I’ve been kindle-crazy lately and have decided to make more of an effort to leave reviews on what I’ve read – both because, as an author, I understand how important it is, and also because I want to keep track of what I’ve read.
I subscribed to BookBub.com and get lots of free and cheap books through them, so there’s a risk with all these books I’m whipping through, that I’ll end up reading something twice (years later) without realising it. Life’s too short for that.
I’ve wanted to blog but my words seem to have dried up. I haven’t been inspired to cook or write something about God, and our house project has sort of stalled temporarily. I did get my romance off to the beta readers – finally! a big accomplishment for me – and am afraid to start working on the Regency, although I have a few ideas bouncing around in my head. So you can see why it was hard for me to think of what to write about. There’s so much happening – and nothing at all – all at the same time.
So instead I’ll tell you about what I’ve read, am reading, or am about to read. I won’t tell you about the books I didn’t like or didn’t finish, so everything I mentioned here, I either liked or am pretty sure I will like once I read it.
I’ll also include a link to each book in case you think you might be interested. These are Amazon affiliate links, which means I earn a few cents on each purchase. But it’s more convenient for me to do it this way because the book image appears directly in the link. If you don’t want to use an Amazon affiliate link, you can always copy the link and open a new browser (I think that will work)
Almost There by Korinthia Klein – I just finished this one today. The beginning of the story reminds me of a well-worn book I have in my house called Life at Thrush Green. It’s comfortable, and meanders into the lives of different families in one town. But the book takes a turn and the writing goes from comfortable to powerful. I defy you to finish this one with dry eyes.
Letters for Scarlet by Julie C. Gardener – This one doesn’t come out until April so I can’t include a link for it yet. Julie is a friend of mine, and she’s very special to me (well, for many reasons, but the one I’ll name here is) because she was the first person to read my memoir, and she told me I could be a writer.
But let me get on to her book! Letters for Scarlet is about a friendship, broken trust and a mysterious past, the messiness of life, and – more importantly & my most favourite element of all – the beauty and perfection that is found in messy, complicated lives. Julie pulls a phoenix out of the ashes and out of the mess comes hope. I’ll let you know when it comes out.
The Paris Effect by K.S.R. Burns – This book is unexpected, particularly the ending, and I joked in my review that I hated the ending and loved the book. Yes, that’s a thing! Her writing is stunning and you feel like you’re right in Paris as you’re reading it – the descriptions are that vivid. Even I felt like I was in Paris because, as I’m sure you all know, living in the suburbs is an entirely different thang. She has another book coming out soon and I can’t wait to read it.
Chick Lit / Romance
The Frosted Cowboy by Charlene Ross – I liked the heroine because she was relatable. Except she always said what was on her mind right on the spot, whereas I usually think of the snappy comeback a week later. It takes place in California, involves a career in design and a cute guy, and was just a fun, light-hearted read to plunge into. I was always glad to get back to it.
Bayou, My Love by Lauren Faulkenberry – Another light, fun read where she gets the guy. But this time it takes place in New Orleans and involves some danger and an old fixer-upper house. I liked both of the main characters a lot. If light, fun, romance sounds good to you, you’ll like this one.
Damselfly Inn by Cameron Garriepy – This book still fits into the Romance category, but it was a longer read than some of the more traditional romances. I appreciated the slow build in the story, which incorporated lots of characters from the town – particularly since this is the beginning of a sequel and she will have another book out this spring with some of those other characters. If you like stories revolving around old historic inns (complete with sexy carpenters), you’ll love this one.
Fairchild, by Jaima Fixen – Regency is my favourite era to read, and I read a lot of it. Some of it is so-so. Some of it I can’t even finish. And sometimes I come across a book that’s completely unexpected. This was that book. It starts with this line: “The day Sophy let Mrs. Upton’s pig into the laundry, her mother died.”
The characters were unusual, and much deeper than I often find in Regency, and the storyline was beautiful. (I’m also glad to give the author an extra plug because she’s self-published like me).
Miss Grimsley’s Oxford Career, by Carla Kelly – Apart from my favourite Regency author of all time, Georgette Heyer, Carla Kelly takes a prime spot. I could have picked any one of her books to share, but this might possibly be my favourite. A girl secretly attending Oxford, disguised as a boy- seriously. What’s not to love?
Meet Me in Paris by Juliette Sobanet – This was painful to read as it’s about my least favourite subjects: divorce and affairs. But the author did such a good job of revealing what went on behind the scenes that you can’t help but finish the book with compassion and understanding. I’m glad I read it. (If you prefer Romance, she also has several successful novels out that take place in Paris as well).
She’ll be coming back to France soon, and I told her to “meet me in Paris!” 😉
Xamnesia by Lizzie Harwood – I know I talked about this on Facebook, but I don’t think I have on my blog yet. It’s not that recent a read, but I thought it was worth mentioning because I don’t think it gets as much publicity as it should. It’s so good. It’s about the author’s life in an unnamed rich oil monarchy as a personal assistant to royalty. It’s just crazy what went on there – totally worth the read.
Saved by Angels, by Bruce Van Natta – I downloaded this because it was free at the same time my memoir was free. The author writes about the different ways God talks to us, and although I am now over twenty years in the faith, I still found it refreshing, inspiring, and educative. What I love the most is his down-to-earth personality. He’s one of those guys that’s like, “Look. If God’s willing to talk to me, he’ll talk to anyone,” as he shares about how hard it was to overcome his marijuana addiction. And he has plenty of miracles to keep you inspired and spark your faith.
As Soon As I Fell by Kay Bruner – This could have fit into the Memoir category, but it has a strong faith element. I also downloaded this one for free at the same time my memoir was free. I haven’t read it yet, but I know I’ll like it because she talks about all the less perfect sides of being a missionary (including her husband’s struggle with porn addiction). Man, how I love people who are real.
What made me download it is that one of her author blurbs is from a woman who lives in Djibouti! Rachel blogs here. I couldn’t believe I had discovered another blogger who lives in Djibouti. (If you’re scratching your head, it’s because we lived there during our humanitarian year in Africa). So. I can’t tell you much about it yet, but I can’t wait to read it.
Dutched Up! Rocking the Clogs Expat Style, by Lynn Morrison, Olga Mecking and other authors – This was definitely interesting. Many of the stories and cultural elements were relatable to me as an expat in France. (Or am I really an expat if I’m here for life?). But there were so many other cultural elements that were 100% Dutch and it was fun to discover all of them, from riding bikes, coffee dates, pregnancy, language… If you like visiting other countries vicariously, you’ll love this anthology.
Multiples Illuminated, by Megan Woolsey, Alison Lee and other authors – This is on my to-read list, and I’ll be sharing about it at the end of the month once I’ve read it. But it’s about (in case you can’t guess) twins! And triplets! And more? I suspect it’s going to make me fall down and kiss the ground that I got to have one at a time. In any case, I’m sure it’ll be an adventure to read. This book is available for pre-order.
And that’s what I’m reading these days. What are you reading? Let me know in the comments. I love discussing books!
I do have one other thing to share here in case you missed it on Facebook. I just copied it over from there:
Alright, I feel embarrassed and vulnerable to share this, but I’m on a podcast. It’s with someone who is currently in our sister church in Ecuador but he and his wife are originally from Eastern Europe. The podcast is an interview where you don’t always hear his questions, and it’s edited to remove excess silences, so sometimes it sounds like I’m not taking a breath, but I promise I was pausing to breathe.
In this podcast, I answer questions awkwardly, I pray publicly, I SING publicly (blush) – his thing is to put people on the spot and ask them to create a new hymn by combining a favourite scripture with a random melody and you don’t even have time to prepare!
I also shared about depression and writing and faith. SO if you have 35 minutes to spare and you want to hear me bumble about in live voice, I’m here:
Have a great day everyone!