BOOK CLUB VOTING LIST 2019 - We are Picking 7
1. The Love Letter
By Rachel Hauck
My Thoughts: I stood up and cheered at the end of this book. It’s a time slip story done well. My husband and I have worked in theater and movies. So this was just plain fun.
ABOUT BOOK: Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.
When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.
Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.
Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.
Amazon Link to book
2. Where Hope Begins (today it’s $1.99 kindle)
By Catherine West
My thoughts: Even thought this book tackles tough subjects she has a wonderful mix of humor and hope as the main character struggles what to do with her life after her husband leaves her.
Savannah goes to her parents Lake house and meets a neighbor that’s a writer. There are some fun moments with great scenes I know that author had fun writing.
Book Blurb: Sometimes we’re allowed to glimpse the beauty within the brokenness . . .
Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.
But soon Savannah is given a challenge she can’t run away from: Forgiving the unforgivable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all.
Where Hope Begins is the story of grace in the midst of brokenness, pointing us to the miracles that await when we look beyond our own expectations.
3. A Melody for James (Free Kindle)
By. Hallee Bridgeman
My Thoughts: This story has action, adventure and mystery with a natural spiritual thread woven into a fun love story with a satisfying ending. There are a few books in this series. The author keeps this one free to hook you to read the others. Grin!
Book Blurb: Melody Mason has the hottest female voice in the country music scene. But the cheers of throngs of adoring fans mean little in the absence of the handsome stranger who rescued her years before. Widower James Montgomery has never forgotten her. He prays God can bring her back.
Incredible events finally bring them face to face again. Together at last, they realize the bond between them has miraculously risen to a crescendo, melodiously marrying them like strong symphonic chords. Uncannily, they learn they share more in common than they could have ever imagined. They know God reunited them for a purpose.
Sinister forces threaten to destroy their new found happiness. The couple must work in close concert, placing all their faith in God as they solve the deadly mystery that ties their lives inexplicably together.
Fire, loss, and bloodshed cannot shake their faith in God to see them through as they face a percussive climax that leaves hearts and lives forever changed.
Check out Book Cover: https://www.amazon.com/Melody-James-Romantic-Suspense-Song-ebook/dp...
My Thoughts: If you love Narnia by C.S. Lewis you will adore this book. Emelia and Peter quote lines from the book to each other and friends. They are obsessed with these books and the way these two meet in fun. I had never read anything by this author before this book. She lives in New Zealand and I really enjoyed this book.
Book Blurb: A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England.
Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But deep down past this fearless tabloid-reporter façade, there's a nerdy Narnia-obsessed girl who still can't resist climbing into wardrobes to check for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic results, she flees to Oxford, England--home to C.S. Lewis--to try and make amends for the damage she has caused.
Peter Carlisle was on his way to become one of Great Britain's best rowers--until he injured his shoulder and lost his chance at glory. He's determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking permanent disability to do so. It's the only way he can find his way past failing the one person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream.
When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction is instant and they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can the lessons from a fantasyland be enough to hold them together when secrets of the real world threaten to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an aristocratic estate, and an antique shop with curious a wardrobe bring the world of Narnia to life in Kara Isaac's inspiring and romantic story about second chances.
My thoughts: This book talks about a real and present danger. What happens when an EMP strikes and wipes out all of technology and life as we know it. I had read a book like this called the Last Light by Terry Blackstock what looks at it from an American stand point. But this book looks at it from inside the Amish/Mennonite community. Their life isn’t affected that much but everyone knows that. How do they copy? What do they do? It’s fascinating.
Book Blurb: When Leora Ebersole sees the small plane crash in her Old Order Mennonite community, she has no idea it's a foreshadowing of things to come. Soon after the young pilot, Moses Hughes, regains consciousness, they realize his instruments were destroyed by the same power outage that killed the electricity at the community store, where Englischers are stranded with dead cell phones and cars that won't start.
Moses offers a sobering theory, but no one can know how drastically life is about to change. With the only self-sustaining food supply in the region, the Pacifist community is forced to forge an alliance with the handful of stranded Englischers in an effort to protect not only the food but their very lives.
In the weeks that follow, Leora, Moses, and the community will be tested as never before, requiring them to make decisions they never thought possible. Whom will they help and whom will they turn away? When the community receives news of a new threat, everyone must decide how far they're willing to go to protect their beliefs and way of life.
6. The Lady of Bolton Hill
By. Elizabeth Camden
My Thoughts: I learn so much from this authors books. I like that she has strong female leads in her books and equally as strong headed men.
Book Blurb: Female journalists are rare in 1879, but American-born Clara Endicott has finally made a name for herself with her provocative articles championing London's poor. When the backlash from her work forces a return home to Baltimore, Clara finds herself face-to-face with a childhood sweetheart who is no longer the impoverished factory worker she once knew. In her absence, Daniel Tremain has become a powerful industry giant and Clara finds him as enigmatic as ever. However, Daniel's success is fueled by resentment from past wounds and Clara's deeply-held beliefs about God's grace force Daniel to confront his own motives. When Clara's very life is endangered by one of Daniel's adversaries, they must face a reckoning neither of them ever could have foreseen.
My Thoughts: If you haven’t read a book by this author you must do so. Not only do I learn from her books about history, but Jen Turano is hilarious. I smiled from ear to ear all the way through this book. She just leaves you with a great feeling.
Book Blurb: Miss Temperance Flowerdew is on her way to work when a stranger suddenly grabs her off the street and sends her on a Chicago-bound train before she can figure out what happened.
When Mr. Gilbert Cavendish is called upon to rescue a missing woman, he follows the trail to Chicago only to discover that the woman is his good friend Temperance. Before they can discover who was behind the abduction, they're seen alone together by a New York society matron, putting their reputations at risk.
Gilbert is willing to propose marriage--except Temperance will have none of it. She's finally stepped out of the shadow of her relations and won't give up her independence. But when it becomes clear the misunderstanding in Chicago has escalated into a threat on her life and followed her to New York, accepting Gilbert's help in solving the mystery may lead to more than she ever could have dreamed.
Check out the Cover: https://www.amazon.com/Caught-Surprise-Apart-Crowd-Book-ebook/dp/B0...
My Thoughts: I enjoy Ann Gabhart books but this one was pretty amazing on how one man and the grace of God helped this community survive when almost everyone in the town either left or died. How do you go on? Ann spins a tale the only way she can. It’s heart-felt, sad but hopeful and she bases part of this story on true events that make this even more intriguing. Great ending.
BOOK BLURB: Orphaned in the cholera epidemic of 1833, Adria Starr was cared for by a slave named Louis, a man who stayed in Springfield, Kentucky, when anyone with means had fled. A man who passed up the opportunity to escape his bondage and instead tended to the sick and buried the dead. A man who, twelve years later, is being sold by his owners despite his heroic actions. Now nineteen, Adria has never forgotten what Louis did for her. She's determined to find a way to buy Louis's freedom. But in 1840s Kentucky, she'll face an uphill battle.
Based partly on a true story, Ann H. Gabhart's latest historical novel is a tour de force. The vividly rendered town of Springfield and its citizens immerse readers in a story of courage, betrayal, and honor that will stick with them long after they turn the last page.
Check out Book Cover: https://www.amazon.com/River-Redemption-Ann-H-Gabhart-ebook/dp/B079...
My Thoughts: This is a historical that takes place in a time period that sent people to debtors’ prison. The Aurelie lived there with her father. She’s set free once her father passes and she finally meets her family – one that didn’t know she existed. She’s also in search of her mother.
Aurelie is an author and she write a story within this story. This author does this well. I enjoyed the mystery. I was swept away and immersed into a time period that showed two classes in society colliding. I enjoyed the sweet love story and the natural spiritual thread in the mix.
BOOK BLURB: When Aurelie Harcourt's father dies in debtor's prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.
When Aurelie decides to complete her father's unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother's disappearance--and perhaps even her father's death.
Author Joanna Davidson Politano's stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance.
Check out Book Cover: https://www.amazon.com/Jayne-Disappears-Joanna-Davidson-Politano-eb...
My Thoughts: If you haven’t read Angela Hunt well expect the unexpected. With all the crazy possibilities in the world today this one blew me away. I also adored this 5 year old and felt for the mothers struggle. This story makes you think. It’s suspenseful and fascinating as she brings the spiritual side of things to light naturally too!
Book Blurb: A five-year-old boy can sense who is telling the truth...and who isn't. It's a gift some will do anything to silence and a mother will do anything to protect.
Lara Godfrey desperately wants to have a child--a living legacy from her late husband. Placing her life in the hands of a doctor she believes she can trust, Lara doesn't relize a web of deception is being woven around her. An unseen voyeur, with dreams of immortality, plans to use the child for a test--an unbelievable experiment that could have genetic consequences not only for Lara's baby, but for the entire human race. In the face of danger, Lara must make impossible choices. That's why she flees the clinic before the baby's birth. It's why she changes her name and hides. She knows she must protect this gifted child who can see through lies and identify truth. Yet how can an innocent truth-telling boy survive in a world that wants to destroy truth at any cost?
Check out Book Cover: https://www.amazon.com/Truth-Teller-Thomas-Nelson-ebook/dp/B003RWS8...
My Thoughts: Don’t I wish history books were this captivating when I went to school. Grin! This is Michelle Griep at her finest. I learned a lot and liked the leading characters and a few minor ones. There’s a mystery to be solved too.
Book Blurb: A War-Torn Countryside Is No Place for a Lady
Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause. . .to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart. Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he is the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought. Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?
Check out the Cover: https://www.amazon.com/Captured-Bride-Daughters-Mayflower-book-eboo...
My Thoughts: I enjoy Melody Carlson and this family and life at The Inn at Shining Waters. It’s a heart-felt story that will pull at your heart strings but give you hope. I enjoyed seeing how Anna creates a place of healing for her and her guests. It was a place I’d like to go! Grin!
Book Blurb: Following her mother's funeral, and on the verge of her own midlife crisis, widow Anna Larson returns to the home of her youth to sort out her parents' belongings, as well as her own turbulent life. For the first time since childhood, Anna embraces her native heritage, despite the disdain of her vicious mother-in-law. By transforming her old family home on the banks of the Siuslaw River into The Inn at Shining Waters, Anna hopes to create a place of healing—a place where guests experience peace, grace, and new beginnings. Starting with her own family . . .
My thoughts: I instantly felt for Eleanor as she is faced with an impossible situation. She’s a smart woman doing a great job in a male dominated profession. I learned some things about the appraising business and how Eleanor managed to get things done being a single woman. I loved the natural spiritual thread and the mystery.
Book Blurb: Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.
The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.
Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.
With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.
TBCN BOOK CLUB READING LIST
JANUARY LADY JAYNE DISAPPEARS
By Joanna Davidson Politano
FEBRUARY The Love Letter
By Rachel Hauck
MARCH River of Redemption
By Ann H. Gabhart
APRIL Caught By Surprise
By Jen Turano
MAY The Alliance
By Jolina Petersheim
JUNE Can’t Help Falling
By Kara Isaac
JULY A Melody for James (A Song of Suspense series book #1)
By Hallee Bridgeman