Tag Archives: women’s fiction

Top 10 Tuesday — Fall TBR

21 Sep

Happy Tuesday! After a few challenging TTT topics, I am relieved to have an easy one — Fall 2021 TBR. I can always come up with lots of books that I will be reading soon. As always I have a mix of genres, so you can find a book to suit your tastes or whims. Let me know if any books on my list made yours.

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

Top 10 Books on My Fall TBR List

A Christmas in The Alps by Melody Carlson

Deadly Target by Elizabeth Goddard

Everywhere to Hide by Siri Mitchell

In The Shadow of Your Wings by JP Robinson

Labyrinth of Lies by Irene Hannon

The London House by Katherine Reay

Out of The Water by Ann Stewart

Point of Danger by Irene Hannon

A Season on The Wind by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox

First Line Friday — The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery

10 Sep

Happy Friday! Tonight I was supposed to be winging my way to a western vacation. Some health issues (not Covid) are causing a bit of a delay, but we will hopefully be in the air come Sunday night. I am all packed and ready, so what to do? Read! I am reading my book club’s selection, Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson, right now. After that comes The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery. Amanda Cox is a new-to-me author, and I look forward to reading this book.

Here’s the first line:

Sarah nudged aside last night’s puddle of clothes with her bare foot, the exposed designer label sticking out a bit too much.

Present Day.

After tragedy plunges her into grief and unresolved anger, Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home determined to finally follow her long-denied dream of running Old Depot Grocery alongside her mother and grandmother. But when she arrives, her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that the store is closing. Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a pact to save the store, but Rosemary has worked her entire life to make sure her daughter never follows in her footsteps. She has her reasons — but she’ll certainly never reveal the real one.

1965.

Glory Ann confesses to her family that she’s pregnant with her deceased fiancé’s baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve the family reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined.

This dual-timeline story from Amanda Cox deftly explores the complexity of a mother-daughter dynamic, the way the secrets we keep shape our lives and the lives of others, and the healing power of telling the truth.

Before becoming a stay-at-home parent, Amanda Cox spent her time counseling children, families, and individuals through life’s challenging moments. Now she uses those same skills to develop layered characters and stories, bringing them on a journey of hope and healing. A journey she hopes her readers experience in their own lives as they read.

A few of her favorite things are the sanctuary of the great outdoors, the feeling of pen on paper, the sound of her children’s laughter, and exploring new places with her husband of 15 years. (Oh, let’s not forget good fiction and good coffee. She’s addicted to both.) You can stay connected with her latest writing updates at http://www.amandacoxwrites.com. You can find her on social media by searching Amanda Cox Writes.

Blog Tour — Summer Plans (And Other Disasters)

25 Aug

About The Book

Book:  Summer Plans and Other Disasters

Author: Karin Beery

Genre: Women’s Romantic Fiction

Release date: April 2021

Elementary school music teacher Callie Stevens thinks she’s finally figured out God ’s plan for her life — she even made a list to keep her on track. Moving in with her brother and reconnecting with her ex-boyfriend are at the top of the list. What ’s not on the list is running into her childhood crush, Ryan. God wanted her to connect with Kyle, right? Trying to figure out God ’s plan is hard enough. But a dating-averse older brother, the young blonde who adores him, a pregnant best friend, and Callie ’s continual mishaps make her wonder whether her best-laid plans were truly God-inspired.

Click here to get your copy!

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

My Impressions:

What a great summer read! Karin Beery’s debut novel, Summer Plan And Other Disasters checked all my boxes for light, yet thoughtful, romance/women’s fiction. Even though I am of *ahem* a certain age and may not be the target audience for this book, I found it delightful. The characters are charming and easy to bring into your heart. Callie is earnest in following God’s will, but sometimes it’s easy to do what we think is God’s will. Along with great characters, I loved the setting. I have never been to Michigan, but I felt like I was right at home. Now I want to live in a lighthouse too! Although I first read the paperback of this book, I am so glad that the audiobook is available too. I often look for a fun book to listen to during my walks — Summer Plans fits the bill nicely!

So if you are looking for your next summer read, pick up Summer Plans in paper or audio. I heartily recommend it.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

About The Author

Karin Beery grew up in a small, rural Michigan town where she wrote her first novel in high school. She’s still writing today, telling contemporary stories with a healthy dose of romance. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s editing or teaching it. And when she’s not doing that, she enjoys time at home with her husband and fur babies, once again living in a small, rural Michigan town.

More from Karin

I discovered audiobooks two years ago, and they have changed my life! Now I look forward to long car rides and endless hours cleaning and cooking. Well, I don’t really look forward to the cleaning and cooking, but at least the chores are tolerable because I just turn on a new book and listen to a story while I work! I know I’m not the only one who multitasks with audiobooks. I had a few friends ask me when my books would be available in audio form so they could listen—with long commutes and families at home, they prefer listening to their books in the quiet of the car.

That’s why I’m so excited to bring Summer Plans and Other Disasters to audiobook, and I’m just as excited about my narrator, Jasmine Zhwalen. Summer Plans was my first published book, and now it will be Jasmine’s first too. As soon as I heard her audition, I knew I wanted her to give Callie, Jack, Stacey, and Ryan their voices. Considering it’s the first go-round for both of us, I think it turned out pretty well!

Thanks for listening!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 18

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 19

Texas Book-aholic, August 20

Cats in the cradle blog, August 20

Inklings and notions, August 21

For Him and My Family, August 22

deb’s Book Review, August 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 24

By The Book, August 25

The Sacred Line, August 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 27

CarpeDiem, August 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 29

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Karin is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Audible gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/112e5/summer-plans-and-other-disasters-celebration-tour-giveaway

Top 10 Tuesday — I Will Read Anywhere!

17 Aug

Today’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is favorite places to read. Since I will read anywhere, I thought it would be a fun twist to match books to the Dr. Seuss-style poem about reading (many thanks to Seuss’ Green Eggs And Ham for the poet’s inspiration). While I had to stretch some of the connections, I think you will forgive me as the books I am sharing are awesome!

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

Books Featuring Boats

The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey

Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot

Books Featuring Farms (goats live on farms 😉 )

The Sowing Season by Katie Powner

Stay with Me by Becky Wade

Books Featuring Trains

The Haunting of Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

Books Featuring Rain

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton

Books Featuring A Fox

These really are a stretch — a young man who is sly as a fox and an exotic pet-sitter who probably wouldn’t turn down a pet fox.

Belinda Blake And The Snake in The Grass by Heather Day Gilbert

Two Steps Forward by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Books Featuring Boxes

Possession by Rene Gutteridge

The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate

Books Featuring A Mouse

Mouse’s Christmas Gift by Mindy Baker

The Thief by Stephanie Landsem

Books Featuring A House

In The Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson

The Memory House by Rachel Hauck

Top 10 Tuesday — Island Reading

27 Jul

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday theme is books to read on a deserted island. Since it’s mid-summer and you may still need a getaway that doesn’t involve fending off island predators and/or those stranded with you 😉 , I am going another direction and listing books set on islands, real and fictional. There’s women’s fiction, history, romance, suspense, and mystery included, so there should be something for every reading taste. And don’t those covers give you the necessary island vibe!

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

Top Island Reads

The Art of Rivers by Janet Ferguson

As The Tide Comes In by Cindy Woodsmall

As The Light Fades by Catherine West

Hidden Currents by Christy Barritt

Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren

On A Summer Tide by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Still Waters by Lindsey Brackett

Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble

To Have And To Hold by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller

Blog Tour + Giveaway! — Lavender Tears

19 Jul

Lavender Tears JustRead Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog Tour for Lavender Tears by Sondra Cunningham, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Lavender TearsTitle: Lavender Tears
Author: Sondra Cunningham
Release Date: March 12, 2021
Genre: Christian Historical Biblical Women’s Fiction

The strength to rise again and again is not for the faint of heart.

Like each new sunrise, Mary of Bethany’s journey required an inner strength and faith that would permeate through the darkness of life’s unexpected tragedies.

When her hopes and dreams came crashing down around her, Mary’s life began to spin, seemingly, out of control. What she couldn’t see, was that God, the faithful potter, was shaping her life into a valuable vessel. One mended and filled with the pure gold of the Father’s love and destined for a unique purpose.

Held together by the sweet and calming scent of lavender and the memories of her mother’s garden, Mary journeys on, learning how to defeat the night and radiate like the noon day sun.

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

EXCERPT

Chapter Twenty

“A sincere faith.”

1 Timothy 1:5, TPT

When I placed my palms on the fine sand, I could feel the remaining warmth from the fired piece buried beneath. After several hours of cooling, the time had come to dig it out for inspection. After I put on my gloves, I pushed the sand to the side, going deeper and deeper while paying attention to the level of heat. I could tell my jug had cooled completely since the sand closest to the piece was no longer hot. Slowly, I revealed the handles then lifted it up out of the sand.

It was beautiful, everything I had anticipated and more. The color was a deep tan, and the carved roses remained as defined and smooth as I had hoped. With a little polishing, painting, and glazing, it would truly be something to behold. I stood carefully, sweeping the side of my foot over the piled sand to level the surface. After dusting off myself and the piece, I went inside to inspect it further.

I took my jug over to the large water barrel inside the shop and slowly dipped it in. Lifting it in and out of the water, filling it up and pouring it out, I rinsed it thoroughly. Once all the sand was cleaned off, I performed the most important test.

Can it hold water?

Dipping the jug in deeply, I slowly pushed it farther down into the water. I watched with great anticipation as I lifted it out. Drip after drip of water rolled off the sides of the piece. I brought it over to the table and placed it on a few folded rags while I dried the outside of the jug, eager to celebrate.

A few minutes passed, and I couldn’t see any obvious cracks or leaks. I was turning the rags to check for moisture when I saw it. Along the bottom decorative rim of the jug was a hairline crack running around the edge of the piece. The rags had moistened just underneath, where the water was discreetly seeping out.

I sat back in my chair, completely numb from the revelation of failure. I didn’t know what to feel and wondered if I should dump it out and smash it outside with the other ruined pots. It was so beautiful, so visually flawless. All my pain, all my brokenness had sculpted this beautiful vessel. And for what? Only to symbolically expose my own cracks and brokenness hidden beneath a beautiful face. I picked up the jug and poured the water back into the barrel, dried it thoroughly, and set it back on the table. Pacing back and forth, contemplating what to do with it, I could feel the past flooding in like a mighty wave. 

The voices in my head rang louder and louder as despair opened the door: “Nothing you will ever do will be good enough. You are worthless, like this broken vessel. Give in. Give up. You’re only good for pleasure. You are flawed. Cover it up.”

Cover it up? That’s it! I’ll fill it with wax, polish it, and paint it! No one will ever know the difference!

I took the piece off the table and quickly went to work on polishing. Once everything was smooth, I carefully laid the jug on its good side then dripped hot wax into the crack. After several coats, I set the jug on its bottom and repeated a similar process to the inside of the crack. When I was satisfied that the wax had dried in place, I filled the jug with water once again and waited to see if it had worked. Success! I saw no seepage whatsoever. I cleaned up the surface of the jug once more and set it on the shelf for painting.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sondra Cunningham

Sondra Cunningham is a wife, mother, worship leader, women’s minister, artist, dreamer, interpreter, and the writer of the new novel, “Lavender Tears.” Her words are eloquently written with sincere pathos and personal understanding of life’s hardships. Sondra’s desire is to use her voice in both song and written word, to sing healing over others and inspire the fallen to get back up. Through many difficulties within her years, Sondra has learned the precious truth of overcoming. Her ministry radiates hope for all those who have struggled to truly receive the love of God and find the confidence to leave the past behind. Sondra lives and works out of her home in upstate New York with her family. She spends her time passionately seeking Jesus, homeschooling her two children, leading worship, biblically interpreting dreams, painting, and writing.

CONNECT WITH SONDRA: Website | Facebook | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winners will receive a hardcover copy of Lavender Tears, Target gift card for $10, a digital copy of the Lavender Tears Devotional, and a lavender sachet!

Lavender Tears JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight July 19, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on July 26, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Print copy US 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 — Who, What, Where, When, How, And Why

13 Jul

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday’s challenge is book titles that ask a question. I cheated a bit and looked at other bloggers’ posts for inspiration. That’s how I came up with the who, what, where, when, how, and why theme. 2 books each with titles featuring those question prompts equals an even dozen! There are a variety of genres — hope you find one to love!

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

Top Who, What, Where, When, How, And Why Book Titles

The Boy Who Danced with Rabbits by J. R. Collins

Who Sang The First Song? by Ellie Holcomb

What Happened on Beale Street by Mary Ellis

What Momma Left Behind by Cindy K. Sproles

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

Where The Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

When Night Comes by Dan Walsh

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin

How The Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim

How Sweet The Sound by Amy K. Sorrells

Why The Sky Is Blue by Susan Meissner

The Whys Have It by Amy Matayo

Top 10 Tuesday — Reasons to Love Fiction

6 Jul

While I say I am an eclectic reader (I read almost all genres), I do limit myself to fiction. Why? I love a good story. And with my advanced years 😉 I need to make sure I read books I enjoy. It’s like eating dessert first! Today’s Top 10 Tuesday prompt is Why I Love Reading — I hope you like my reasons and the books that go along with them.

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

Why I Love Reading Fiction

I love a good story.

The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck

Stories That Bind Us By Susie Finkbeiner

I love history.

The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin

I want to learn about different cultures.

Farewell, Four Waters by Kate McCord

A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy

Fiction makes me more empathetic.

Facing The Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti

Moments We Forget by Beth K. Vogt

I love a good mystery.

Miranda Warning by Heather Day Gilbert

Prince Edward’s Warrant by Mel Starr

Why do you love reading?

Top 10 Tuesday — I Want More!

8 Jun

This week’s Top 10 Challenge is books that made us want more. For my list I went to my past If You Liked . . . posts. Every month I take my book club’s selection and list more novels that feature some of the same elements as the book we just read. For today’s list I have chosen a variety of genres — something for every reading taste. I hope you find some books to love. (And for more reading recommendations, you can find past posts by clicking on the If You Liked . . . link in the side bar.)

For more great reading recommendations, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

If You Liked . . .

The Escape by Lisa Harris


US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn are thrust into a high-profile case when they are called on to transport two prisoners across the country on a private plane. But when the plane experiences engine trouble en route from the Pacific Northwest to Colorado, the pilots crash-land the aircraft deep in the heart of the sprawling Salmon-Challis National Forest. 

When Madison and Jonas regain consciousness, they find both pilots and one prisoner dead–and one fugitive on the run. They’ll have to negotiate the rugged and remote backcountry through Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado while tracking a murderer who is desperate to disappear–and will do anything to stop them.

This high-octane game of cat-and-mouse from bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Harris will have your heart pumping as you try to catch a fugitive with nothing to lose.

US Marshall Service — Seconds to Live by Susan Sleeman

Strong Female Character — Network of Deceit by Tom Threadgill

Edge of Seat Suspense – Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills

The Woman in The Green Dress by Tea Cooper

A cursed opal, a gnarled family tree, and a sinister woman in a green dress emerge in the aftermath of World War I.

After a whirlwind romance, London teashop waitress Fleur Richards can’t wait for her new husband, Hugh, to return from the Great War. But when word of his death arrives on Armistice Day, Fleur learns he has left her a sizable family fortune. Refusing to accept the inheritance, she heads to his beloved home country of Australia in search of the relatives who deserve it more.

In spite of her reluctance, she soon finds herself the sole owner of a remote farm and a dilapidated curio shop full of long-forgotten artifacts, remarkable preserved creatures, and a mystery that began more than sixty-five years ago. With the help of Kip, a repatriated soldier dealing with the sobering aftereffects of war, Fleur finds herself unable to resist pulling on the threads of the past. What she finds is a shocking story surrounding an opal and a woman in a green dress. . . a story that, nevertheless, offers hope and healing for the future.

Exotic Locale — A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy

Curiosities and Mystery — Lady of A Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

Interwoven Dual Timelines — The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

Living Lies by Natalie Walters

In the little town of Walton, Georgia, everybody knows your name — but no one knows your secret. At least that’s what Lane Kent is counting on when she returns to her hometown with her five-year-old son. Dangerously depressed after the death of her husband, Lane is looking for hope. What she finds instead is a dead body.

Lane must work with Walton’s newest deputy, Charlie Lynch, to uncover the truth behind the murder. But when that truth hits too close to home, she’ll have to decide if saving the life of another is worth the cost of revealing her darkest secret.

Debut novelist Natalie Walters pulls you to the edge of your seat on the first page and keeps you there until the last in this riveting story that will have you believing no one is defined by their past.

Suspense in A Small Town — Trial by Fire by Kathy Herman

Heroine with Struggles — Fragments of Fear by Carrie Stuart Parks

PTSD — Without Warning by Lynette Eason

Magnolia Storms by Janet W. Ferguson

Maggie Marovich couldn’t save her father or her home from Hurricane Katrina, but she’s dedicated her life to meteorology so she can warn others when the monster storms approach. Except . . . she works three hours inland and rarely risks returning to her childhood hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Both her single-parent sister and the ship pilot Maggie once loved refused to leave the Coast, despite Maggie’s requests. Now a hurricane’s headed toward Mississippi, and Maggie’s sister is seriously injured, leaving Maggie little choice but to head south — into the storm.

The water and tides flow through Josh Bergeron’s veins, and he can’t imagine giving up piloting — even for the love of his life, the infuriating Magnolia Marovich. He tried to move on without her, marrying and having a child. But after his wife abandons him and his little boy, his career choice is threatened by the weight of his parental responsibilities. Moving next door to Maggie’s sister and sharing their child care seems like the perfect set-up. Until Maggie blows back into town.

Being forced to lean on Josh for help washes up the wreckage in Maggie’s faith. Where was God during the destruction of Katrina? Why do some prayers seem to go unanswered? Between the hurricane looming in the Gulf and another gale raging in her heart, can Maggie overcome her past and find the trust to truly live?

Importance of Family — Practically Married by Karin Beery

Overcoming Fears — When You Look At Me by Pepper Basham

Past Impacts Present — Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh

Egypt’s Sister by Angela Hunt

Five decades before the birth of Christ, Chava, daughter of the royal tutor, grows up with Urbi, a princess in Alexandria’s royal palace. When Urbi becomes Queen Cleopatra, Chava vows to be a faithful friend no matter what — but after she and Cleopatra have an argument, she finds herself imprisoned and sold into slavery. 

Torn from her family, her community, and her elevated place in Alexandrian society, Chava finds herself cast off and alone in Rome. Forced to learn difficult lessons, she struggles to trust a promise HaShem has given her. After experiencing the best and worst of Roman society, Chava must choose between love and honor, between her own desires and God’s will for her life. 

The Hebrew People in Egypt — Miriam by Mesu Andrews

More on Cleopatra — The Queen’s Handmaid by Tracy Higley

Remaining Faithful — A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith

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