Tag Archives: women’s fiction

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 HavanaMirta 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

If You Liked . . . Breach of Honor

30 Jun

Breach of Honor by Janice Cantore has a lot going for it. Topics like domestic abuse, a woman wrongfully imprisoned, a corrupt police force — a lot to talk about. My book club read it this month and all really liked it. If you liked it too, here are some more reading recommendations.

Domestic Abuse

Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill

The truth could cost her everything.

Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is wonderful.

Or is it?

When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It’s temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss.

If only Ava could believe her own excuses.

Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys.

Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town, Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game?

Dancing on Glass by Pamela Binnings Ewen

In the steamy city of New Orleans in 1974, Amalise Catoir sees Phillip Sharp as a charming, magnetic artist, unlike any man she has known. A young lawyer herself, raised in a small town and on the brink of a career with a large firm, she is strong and successful, yet sometimes too trusting and whimsical. Ama’s rash decision to marry Phillip proves to be a mistake as he becomes overly possessive, drawing his wife away from family, friends, and her faith. His insidious, dangerous behavior becomes her dark, inescapable secret.

In this lawyer’s unraveling world, can grace survive Ama’s fatal choice? What would you do when prayers seem to go unanswered, faith has slipped away, evil stalks, and you feel yourself forever dancing on shattered glass?

Wrongfully Imprisoned

Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley

It’s been eighteen years since TV crime reporter Andi Hollister’s sister was murdered. The confessed killer is behind bars, and the execution date is looming. But when a letter surfaces stating that the condemned killer didn’t actually do it, Detective Will Kincaide of the Memphis Cold Case Unit will stop at nothing to help Andi get to the bottom of it. After all, this case is personal: the person who confessed to the crime is Will’s cousin. They have less than a week to find the real killer before the wrong person is executed. But much can be accomplished in that week–including uncovering police corruption, running for your life, and falling in love.

With the perfect mixture of intrigue and nail-biting suspense, award-winning author Patricia Bradley invites her readers to crack the case — if they can — alongside the best Memphis has to offer.

Sister Dear by Laura McNeill

All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?

Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish – time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.

But Allie’s return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.

As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.

Top 10 Tuesday — Summer TBR

28 Jun

Happy Tuesday everyone! I am actually not planning my reading this Summer. Oh yes, I will be reading — a lot — but I am letting my Summer TBR be spontaneous. That’s certainly a new one for me. 😉 Today’s list will be short — only those scheduled for review or book club. Have any reading recommendations? Bring them on!

For more Summer Reading Lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Summer 2022 TBR

Critical Alliance by Elizabeth Goddard

The Deadly Shallows by Dani Pettrey

Healing Skye by Janet W. Ferguson

The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

And one of these. Which would you choose?

Bookshop by The Sea by Denise Hunter

The One You’re With by Lauren K. Denton

Shaped by The Waves — Christina Suzann Nelson

Top Ten Tuesday — I Want More!

14 Jun

This week’s TTT prompt is books that need an epilogue. I tweaked this a bit, of course. I don’t need more of one story, I need more books by my favorite authors. My list consists of authors who haven’t published anything new in a while. For some it has only been a couple of years (I am impatient like that), but for others I’ve been waiting a long time. The authors write in a variety of genres, so if you haven’t yet discovered them, I promise you will find a new favorite too.

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

Top Authors I Want More Books From

Cathleen Armstrong, author of the A Place to Call Home series

J. Mark Bertrand, author of the Roland March Mystery series

Candace Calvert, author of Crisis Team series

Brandilyn Collins, author of Plummet

Jessica Dotta, author of Price of Privilege series

Rachel Dylan, author of Capital Intrigue series

Tracy Groot, author of Maggie Bright

Rene Gutteridge, author of Misery Loves Company

Kathy Herman, author of Ozark Mountain Trilogy

Mark Mynheir, author of the Ray Quinn Mystery series

Top 10 Tuesday — Time-ly Titles

7 Jun

Today’s TTT challenge is to list books with time in their titles. My first search yielded few books, so I included anything that spoke of time passing. I have lots of different genres — you should be able to find your favorite.

For more time-ly books, check out That Artsy Reader Girl

Top Time-ly Titles

As Dawn Breaks by Kate Breslin

Facing The Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti

Jane And The Year with No Summer by Stephanie Barron

The June Boys by Courtney C. Stevens

The Last Year of The War by Susan Meissner

Night Fall by Nancy Mehl

Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard

A Season on The Wind by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Seconds to Live by Susan Sleeman

When The Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer

Top 10 Tuesday — Book Quote Freebie!

24 May

*****

I read all parts of a book. That’s right — the prologue, the afterword, even the copyright page 😉 . I also read epigraphs — any quotes that the author chooses to begin the story. Many authors choose scripture or a quote that gives some insight into what their book is all about. I like to keep them in mind as I delve into the stories. Today I am sharing those quotes from random books on my shelves. In the cases of the author using several quotes, I randomly chose just one. Lots of genres represented — enjoy!

For more bookish quotes, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Epigraphs — Quotes That Authors Chose to Begin Their Stories

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

Yet he commanded the skies above and opened the doors of heaven, and he rained down on them manna to eat and gave them the grain of heaven. Man ate of the bread of angels.

Psalm 78:23-25

*****

I speak of peace, while covert enmity

Under the smile of safety wounds the world

William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part 2

*****

“I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind, but now I see.”

John Newton

*****

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:5

*****

Love is not consolation. It is light.

Simone Weil

*****

Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.

Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

Psalm 82:3-4

*****

Loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

Isaiah 52:2

*****

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

*****

There’s a bit of magic in everything

And then some loss to even things out.

Lou Reed

*****

It is necessity and not pleasure that compels us.

Dante, The Inferno

Top 10 Tuesday — Professional Book Pushers

10 May

Happy Tuesday! This week’s prompt is a joy. It’s all about bookish characters. I chose to focus on books in which the main character(s) is a professional book pusher — one who gets paid to get someone to read. (As opposed to those of us who just do it for fun. 🙂 ) Basically booksellers and librarians. I am currently listening to The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar. It is riveting, and naturally it is on my list. With the variety of genres represented, I hope you find a book to pique your interest.

For more lists of bookish characters, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Professional Book Pushers

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

Camino Island by John Grisham

Crime And Poetry by Amanda Flower

Hidden Among The Stars by Melanie Dobson

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar

Miss Zukas And The Library Murders by Jo Dereske

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

The Secrets of Paper And Ink by Lindsey Harrel

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Top 10 Tuesday — One Word Reviews

3 May

The week’s TTT was a tough one. I was determined to go by the prompt and let 1 word stand as a review for each of the titles featured. I really wanted to use some adjectives, but I settled for some hyphenated words. 🙂 One word really doesn’t do any of the books listed here justice; they are really, really good in many ways. I hope you find one that intrigues you.

For more brief reviews, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

One Word Reviews

HEART-FILLED

WELL-RESEARCHED

GOTHIC

FAIRYTALE

CREEPY

CREEPIER 😉

FAST-PACED

MASTERFUL

MOVING

PAGE-TURNER