I recently had the honor of reading an Influencer’s copy of Hidden in Dreams by Davis Bunn, which released on July 3, 2012. Hidden in Dreams is the sequel to The Book of Dreams, and has a suspenseful, prophetic, end-times theme. If you enjoy suspenseful, Christian fiction with a touch of romance, I highly recommend this book. http://bit.ly/QlI5hk
I recently read Wildflowers from Winter, Katie Ganshert’s debut novel.
Great story by an up and coming new author I’m sure we’ll be hearing more and more about in the years to come. Wonderful story of God bringing hope and healing out of past pain.
Over the 2011 Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years holidays I read:
A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander. I’d been waiting months for this book to come out. I love Tamera Alexander’s books, and this book, the first in the Belmont Mansion series, did not disappoint! Winning a signed copy made the reading that much more fun!
His Holiday Family by Margaret Daley. This was my first book to read by this author. The storyline caught my attention because it was set in Mississippi during a hurricane. Being from Mississippi and having survived the state’s two worst hurricanes: Camille in 1969 and Katrina in 2005, I enjoyed this story written about characters living on my home turf.
Fields of Grace by Kim Vogel Sawyer. I’ve read one other book by this author, and will read more. A tender story about a family immigrating to America from Russia in the late 1800′s. I love pioneer fiction and especially enjoyed this book because it was set in Kansas. Our family lived in Wichita during the late 1980′s, and our oldest son and his family make their home there.
A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman. I’ve heard lots of good things about Julie Lessman, but this was the first of her books that I have read. Overall I enjoyed this novel, but it was a tad too long. Although I usually like lengthy novels, 505 pages was a bit much. And while she crafted a wide range of interesting characters, by the end of the book, I felt a little like I’d just finished reading a soap opera. I will read another book by Julie Lessman, but I’ll probably wait a while.
Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss. I’ve read a half dozen of the Love Finds You books and have found them to be easy, relatively enjoyable reads. This one was no different. The biggest draw for me was that it was pioneer fiction. Sweet story, although the characters did seem to have life a little too easy considering they were living during the late 1800′s in Montana.
The Doctor’s Lady by Jody Hedlund. I read an e-book copy of The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund several months ago and was really impressed with this young woman’s writing ability. She’s a great story teller and uses real events and the lives of real people as the basis for her characters in her novels. I’m looking forward to her third novel, which will be released sometime in 2012.
Flies on the Butter by Denise Hildreth. I loved the Savannah from Savannah series by Denise Hildreth. All three books kept me laughing, as did The Will of Wisteria. Flies on the Butter was a much more serious read, but was definitely worth my time.
Predator by Terri Blackstock. I love Terri Blackstock’s books. When we first returned from overseas in 1997, she was one of the first Christian fiction authors I discovered. I was thrilled to realize there was well-written Christian based fiction out there, and that one of the leading authors is also a fellow Mississippian. Predator, like all of Terri’s books, was hard to put down. A suspense thriller about an online predator stalking young women not only made for a suspenseful read, but prompted me to stop and reevaluate my personal precautionary measures where my Facebook and Twitter posts are concerned. Not only did Terri write a great story, this book carries a strong warning most all of us probably need to hear.
Valley of Dreams by Lauraine Snelling. I’m a big fan of Lauraine Snellings’ books. This is the first book in a new series, and although it took me a while to get into it (probably because I’d gotten so used to the characters in the last series, which had ten or twelve books), I did enjoy it. A drawback for me was the ending, which leaves a lot of loose ends. I know these will be tied up in the other novels in this series, but now I have to wait for those to come out. Oh well . . . I know she does this sometimes with her books and will look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Other books I’ve read in 2011:
Blood Ransom by Lisa Harris
I was drawn to this book because it was written by a fellow missionary. Since the backdrops of the stories in my Island Legacy Novels are taken from my own personal experiences serving on the mission field in the Dominican Republic, I wanted to see what a story written by a sister author/missionary would be like. I was not disappointed. Set in a fictional country in Africa, the story takes readers on a suspenseful, adventure-filled journey, with just a touch of romance, into modern day slave practices and the corrupt governments that not only allow, but even at times support, such atrocities. A thought-provoking read I won’t soon forget.
Love Finds You in Sundance, Wyoming by Miralee Ferrell.
Love Finds You in Sundance, Wyoming was the first book I’ve read by Miralee Ferrell, but it won’t be my last. It was well-written, with the right amounts of romance, history, adventure and intrigue to make for an overall great read. I read it in two days, but then hated for the story to end. It left me feeling as though I’d spent time on a Wyoming ranch during the late 1800′s. I know the characters of Angel, Travis, Libby, James, as well as the others, will live on in my memory for some time to come.
Dakotah Treasures series by Lauraine Snelling: Ruby, Pearl, Opal & Amethyst – If you enjoy pioneer fiction, these four books are great reads. Set in the Dakota Territory during the 1880′s.
Hidden Places by Lynn Austin – “A captivating tale of lives intertwined by need and circumstance, family and love.”
Lynn Austin’s books cover a wide range of time periods – from biblical fiction to modern day stories, but I haven’t found one yet that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy!
Tamera Alexander has written 7 Christian fiction novels set in the Colorado Territory during the late 1800′s. I loved them all and would highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys reading pioneer fiction.
Tamera’s latest novel, A Lasting Impression, released in November 2011. I was so excited to win a signed copy only a few weeks later. Another great read by Tamera Alexander! Since it’s the first in a three book series, I’m already looking forward to books 2 & 3 and getting to spend more time at the Belmont Mansion.
Other Christian fiction authors I would highly recommend:
Refiner’s Fire series by Lynn Austin: Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, & A Light to My Path. Three great stories set during the Civil War era.
The Gresham Chronicles by Lawana Blackwell: The Widow of Larkspur Inn, The Courtship of the Vicar’s Daughter, The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark & The Jewel of Gresham Green.
The first three books in this series were written during the late 1990′s. The fourth book is a newer addition, written in 2008. I read the first three nine or ten years ago. When I found copies in a used bookstore recently, I decided to buy them and read them again. Great stories set in rural England during the late 1880′s.
The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen. This is the first book I have read by this author and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Set in England during the early 1800′s, it is the story of a young woman, Lilly Haswell, who dreams of traveling beyond the world of her father’s Apothecary shop. When the girl’s aunt and uncle offer “to host her in London, Lilly discovers the pleasures and pitfalls of fashionable society and suitors, as well as clues about her mother” (who disappeared several years earlier).
“Blending romance, family drama, and fascinating historical detail, The Apothecary’s Daughter is a novel to savor and share.”
The Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder are probably some of my all-time favorites! Every few years I go back and read them all again. If you’ve never read them, I don’t care how old you are – they’re a must read!
Another series of books I loved as a child and still read over and over again are the Betsy/Tacy/Tib books by Maud Hart Lovelace. They’re set in the late 1800′s, early 1900′s in Milwaukee and tell the story of a girl named Betsy Ray and her best friends, Tacy and Tib. The story line takes the three girls from kindergarden all the way through until they’re in their early twenties.
I first read this series when I was in fifth grade. When I was in high school, I bought copies of three of the last six books in the series, and then a few years later found a fourth book (library edition) in an antique store. The original hardbacks are now collector’s items, so whenever I’m out “junking”, I keep an eye out for the other two.
And finally, one of my earliest favorites, Baby Dear.
Even had my very own Baby Dear doll – front and center in blue p.j.’s. Got her for my fifth birthday.