Top Ten Tuesday – New Author Discoveries This Year

Today’s Topic:  Freebie

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

I’m extremely author loyal. But I also love discovering new to me authors. One of my goals this year has been to read more by authors I’ve never read before. So far, I’ve had great success with this. So for this week’s freebie, I thought I would share some of my favorite new author discoveries this year.

Naomi StephensShadow Among Sheaves -This cross between the biblical story of Ruth and Boaz and Bronte’s Jane Eyre fascinated me. And I was impressed by how well written this debut novel is.

Scarlette Pike In Spite of Lions -This historical novel transported me to the plains of Africa and introduced me to one of the most fascinating characters I’ve ever met – and it turns out he is a real life historical figure.  My Review for The Silver Petticoat.

 

Jenn BennettStarry Eyes, Anatomical Shape of a Heart  – This popular YA author is one I’m behind on discovering. I enjoyed Starry Eyes better than the latter.

Lucy ParkerAct Like It, Pretty Face, Making Up – Several people have recommended Parker’s contemporary romances, including Modern Mrs. Darcy. I devoured these three on the plane and loved them.

Melanie BenjaminThe Girls in the Picture – I loved this fictionalized story of real life female film pioneers, Mary Pickford and Frances Marion. My review.

J’nell Ciesielski The Songbird and the Spy – Though I haven’t yet read her well-received debut, I did enjoy her sophomore WWII romantic drama.

Jules WakeFrom Rome with Love, From Italy with Love – Rom-coms and Europe? This author’s books are right up my alley.

Sarah McCoy Marilla of Green Gables – As a fan of the Anne of Green Gables series, this is the book I never knew I always wanted to read. Just perfect. My review for The Silver Petticoat.

Carla Kelly The Wedding Journey – Author Rachel McMillan has never steered me wrong with her book recommendations. I enjoyed this historical about a group of vagabonds making their way across war-torn Spain.

Nadine BrandesFawkes – Too much hype often turns me off a book. It took me a while, but I finally gave this historical fantasy a chance and am so glad I did.

Dorothy Adamek Carry Me Home – This historical set on an Australian island is one of the best books I’ve read this year. My review.

Who are some authors you’ve discovered this year? Are there any you would recommend?

Book Review -The Love Letter

SUMMARY

Chloe Daschle is the child of Hollywood royalty, but that hasn’t helped her in her quest to shed her image as the onscreen death queen. Chloe longs to break her typecasting and land a role in which she lives. When she reads a screenplay based on a love letter between real life Revolutionary era inhabitants Esther Longfellow and Hamilton Lightfoot, she is convinced she has finally found that part.

Jesse Gates is a mathematical genius, turned actor, turned screenwriter. Running from past tragedy, his big break arrives in the form of his first screenplay about his ancestor Hamilton Lightfoot. An even bigger break arrives when he meets Chloe and they are both cast in the film based on his screenplay. But Chloe is still wrestling with her past shame and an inferiority complex. And Jesse is still unable to forgive his own part in the death of someone he once loved.

In another century, Esther and Hamilton dwell amidst war in South Carolina. Esther has always loved Hamilton, but her father is an agent of the British crown. And Hamilton’s family support the Patriot cause. Just as Hamilton is ready to admit his love and claim Esther, personal tragedy drives them even further apart and Hamilton joins the fight against the British. Even still in the midst of conflict, he pens a letter declaring his love for Esther.

Centuries apart four people yearn for love, but wrestle with external circumstances and internal battles which keep them apart. Continue reading “Book Review -The Love Letter”

Top Ten Tuesday -Authors I’ve Read the Most

Today’s Topic: Books I Can’t Believe I Read

Hosted by: The Artsy Reader Girl

Since I was having trouble with today’s topic I thought I would share with you my  most read authors instead. I’ve been an obsessive reader from the age of four, so it’s impossible for me to track and count every book I’ve read. And obviously, I’m not including any children’s authors.

As I was compiling this list I became aware of a couple things. One is that there are certain authors who I no longer read either because they are no longer publishing new titles or I got burned out on the author’s writing style.

Another thing I noticed is that even though my book counts for these authors is high, there are several whose totals count were achieved years ago.

Also, though several of these are among my most read because I love the authors, there are so many other favorite authors who didn’t make the list because they haven’t released as many titles. So this list is in no way a reflection of my favorite writers. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Authors I’ve Read the Most”

Author Spotlight -Amy Leigh Simpson

I love discovering authors who I’ve never read before. If they happen to be indie publishing their debut novel then I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot.

Amy Leigh Simpson was such a discovery for me. I can’t even remember how I first found her, but after reading her first title I knew I had found an author who would have a permanent place on my auto-buy list.

Simpson writes adrenaline pumping, heart rate raising, romantic suspense stories. I can’t determine which element is the most intense and surprising, the romance or the suspense. If you are one who usually guesses the villain in a mystery, you will find it isn’t so easy in Simpson’s novels. And if you like a clean but passionate romance then you won’t be disappointed.

She currently has two books published and a third one in the works for her Girl Next Door series. Learn more about this author at her Amazon author page or her Facebook author page. Continue reading “Author Spotlight -Amy Leigh Simpson”

Author Spotlight -Helen Argers

One of the many things I want to use my website for is to introduce you to authors and films which are not often celebrated, but which deserve to be.  That is why you will find that I am not always writing about the newest releases or the most popular author.  A good story can be found in unlikely even obscure places and I would hate for you to miss out on such hidden treasure.

Today I want to spotlight Helen Argers, author of historical romance stories. Helen has ten titles to her name two of which were written under the name Helen Archery. The majority of her books were published in the nineties with seven of them being published in the smaller mass paperback form. These paperbacks are all set in Regency England.

Helen Argers also published three titles in hardback, one of which, The Gilded Lily, is actually available in ebook form. These three books are longer and as such have more intricate and detailed plots.

I have read and own every one of her stories and love them. In fact, I often re-read them.  Her heroines are independent and fit the mold of early feminists while still remaining true to the time in which they live. Continue reading “Author Spotlight -Helen Argers”

Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Authors

Today I’m linking up for the first time with The Broke and the Bookish to share my Ten Underrated/ Hidden Gem Authors. The prompt was actually for underrated books, but I tweaked it slightly just because.

  1. Sibella Giorello -I’m addicted to her Raleigh Harmon mystery series about a slightly prickly female forensic geologist with trust and family issues. The first book of the series The Stones Cry Out, is free for Kindle readers.
  2. Brandy Vallance -fell in love with her debut historical romance release in 2014 and had to wait (impatiently, I might add) two years until her next. She tells unique stories.
  3. Joyce DiPastena Medieval stories are my favorite and she certainly knows how to transport a reader to the Middle Ages.
  4. Amanda DeWees -writes what I would call gothic-lite historical suspense with a slight hint of the paranormal and great heroes.
  5. Amy Leigh Simpson -a fairly new voice in the romantic suspense genre, but one that keeps me on the edge of my seat and swooning at the same time.
  6. Nichole Van -love, love, love her light and airy time-travel romances with endearing, quirky characters.
  7. Becky Doughty discovered her this past year and have devoured almost all of her contemporary YA and women’s fiction novels about flawed, imperfect, yet brave women. Her first YA story All the Way to Heaven which has the feel of Under the Tuscan Sun, is free for Kindle readers.
  8. Heather Burch -another contemporary fiction author whose stories I have consumed. She writes broken characters so well and then redeems them in a believable way. One Lavender Ribbon is available for free Kindle download for Amazon Prime members.
  9. Chana Keefer -adore her Night with a Rock Star books. She takes a potentially cliche story and gives it surprising depth.
  10. Catherine West – another amazing women’s fiction author whose stories center around family and redemption.
  11. Mary Jane Hathaway -I have enjoyed both the Cane River Valley series (with the same setting as Steel Magnolias) and her Jane Austen Takes the South series as well as her stand-alone novels. She also writes historical fiction under the name Virginia Carmichael. Pepper in the Gumbo, her first book in the Cane River Series is currently free for Kindle.
  12. Julianne Donaldson -author of Blackmoore and Edenbrooke. The first is very Bronte-esque and the second is lighter, yet equally engaging, but more in the style of Jane Austen. I’ve been anxiously waiting for a new release for a couple of years now and continually revisiting these two excellent stories.

Okay, I know the prompt was only for ten, but math has never been my forte. Plus, I’ve never been very good at limiting myself. Who would you say is an underrated author?

 

 

Most Anticipated Books of 2017

As an avid reader I have an exorbitantly large TBR pile of books which have already been released that I plan to read. I think this list is now in the hundreds, but I don’t let that stop me from also having a list of as yet unreleased books which I desperately want to add to that pile.

Here is my partial list for 2017:

The Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden -This debut book by a new author has a contemporary story that sounds interesting. Plus, I love the cover. Continue reading “Most Anticipated Books of 2017”

Book Year in Review

This has been a very busy year for me as a reader.

Although my Goodreads account says otherwise, according to my personal count I read around one hundred books. One hundred! While I claim to be a voracious reader I even shocked myself with that number. This is even more surprising when I realized that I also watched about the same number of films. I obviously had more free time than I realized.

So without further ado and in no particular order, here are my top ten favorites this year:

The Lady and the Lionheart -This is not only my favorite read this year, but is going on my top ten favorite books that I’ve ever read. The compelling and redemptive story of a tender hearted lion tamer and the sweet nurse with a tragic past who helps him care for an orphaned infant is one which has haunted me in a good way even months after I finished the book. I’m not the only one who loves their story. It’s getting rave reviews, so do yourself a favor and buy it.

The Progeny -Tosca Lee has always written fascinating stories and this one about gifted descendants of one of the most allegedly prolific female serial killers in history is a real thriller. Continue reading “Book Year in Review”