Just booking it…

When the tv shows wrap up for the spring, the days get longer, and commitments get somewhat slower, it becomes the perfect time to snuggle up with the pup and read a good book.

Here are my latest reads, what I thought, and where to find them…

If I Run by Terri Blackstock

51+Wav-RDNL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Terri Blackstock is one of my long-time favorite authors. I love her take on Christian fiction, because it always has a hint of intrigue and mystery. In her latest, Casey Cox is on the run – and under suspicion of having murdered one of her best friends. Dylan Roberts is hired to help the police find her and arrest her. But somewhere along the way, Dylan starts to doubt that Casey is guilty…

 

Step by Step by Candace Calvertcover72349-mediumThis was a fun read. Fast-paced and with fun, wholesome characters at the same time. Right now, the Kindle version is available for just $4.99 on Amazon. A fun, romantic, uplifting read, Step By Step was a new favorite. Candace Calvert expertly weaved her story together, showing us Taylor’s struggle and ultimately, how she would fall in love again. Can’t wait to read more. Tyndall House books are always a win!

Very Like a Queen by Martin Lake

jacket.aspxI’m a sucker for historical fiction, especially for some of the lesser-known characters. Martin Lake’s novel was the perfect fit for that, as it imagines King Henry VIII’s mistress Alice Petherton’s life at court. She’s already seen the downfall of three of Henry’s wives, and she would like to escape her time at court with her own head still in tact. Fun read, with lots of court intrigue. The talent Lake shows in weaving Petherton’s tale in with the well-known stories of the time is fantastic. The Kindle version is $6.49 on Amazon.

The Marriage Contract by Katee Robertcover65563-medium

This was a fun read! Family drama, the mob, romance… it’s all there.The characters were well-developed and realistic. The plot was fun – not always predictable, which can be hard! I’d love to read more from this series! Definitely recommend.

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The holiday bookshelf…

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I love Christmas break. Almost a dozen days off of work with lots of down time and family fun is pure bliss. But one of the best parts about it is the time I get to dive back into reading. I get a lot of my writing energy from reading. I write better when I’ve been reading – no matter what kind of book it is.

So I’m excited to go back into work at a busy time with a head full of new words.

Here’s what I’ve read over the break and what I thought about it… You know I’ll be back with more soon.

Drawing Fire by Janice Cantore

I absolutely loved this book. When I went to look it up on Amazon to share for this post, I had to laugh when I saw it frequently purchased with books by Dee Henderson, another favorite author of mine. That absolutely makes sense.

Drawing Fire is a great read, featuring homicide detective Abby Hart. A recent case brings more to light about her past, and how her parents were killed in a fire. She fights to learn the truth and finally bring their killer to justice. Along the way she gets to know an intriguing (and handsome) PI. Fun, easy read. You can check it out on Amazon here.

Conflicting Webs by Darlene Quinn

I’ve read the four previous Darlene Quinn Web series books, and was so excited to hear that this fifth book was out! You really could not imagine all the challenges April Toddman and Kyle Clark have to go through to get to their wedding day and life beyond – it’s unreal. But the Toddman clan, and all the cast of characters you’ve become familiar with are back and better than ever in this book. Highly recommend, but while they say this can stand alone – I’d read them in order instead. Check it out here.

From Scratch by Rachel Goodman

This book is the one I’ve known about the longest among this trio of reads. Rachel Goodman used to blog as Mojito Maven, and you can still find her on Twitter. So hearing about this book from when she signed to write it on through it’s publication was fun. I think it’s absolutely fantastic on top of that! It’s definitely “sweet” if you’ll pardon the pun.

In this fun Southern romance, Lillie has to head back home and winds up facing numerous demons. She winds up competing in place of her father in the annual regional baking competition Upper Crust – and gets a whole lot more than she bargained for in the process. A happy, romantic, fluffy read, this would make the perfect spring getaway for your brain. Check it out on Amazon here – just $5.99 right now! (Future plug, Rachel’s also got Sour Grapes coming out in May!)

Recent summer reads…

If there’s one fabulous thing about summer and a few less commitments in the evenings, it’s that I get to read more. Few things make me happier. Here are a few snippets about my recent favorites!


 

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Buried Secrets, by Irene Hannon

I am a huge Irene Hannon fan. She’s a fabulous Christian thriller writer, and Buried Secrets was no exception. In Buried Secrets, police chief Lisa Grant and detective Mac McGregor join forces to investigate an unmarked grave. Then they discover that someone will stop at nothing to keep a big secret under wraps. Good writing. Fantastic story. You’ll enjoy it!


 

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Random Elements, by Kate Donovan

This was one of the best books I’ve read in 2015. From a great plot and likable, developed characters to a great romance, it had it all. Kate Donovan really outdid herself. This is the perfect beach read. From the drama of a tv show and its cancellation to the star actress heading off to the FBI, you didn’t really know which way things would go. That makes any book even better in my world!


 

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The Last Heiress, by Mary Ellis

The Last Heiress was an absolutely wonderful read. Totally charming, perfectly romantic, and full of great values on top of it all. I loved the fiery personality of Amanda Dunn, who is ready to buck tradition and propriety in order to keep her family’s textile mills operating during the Civil War. Read this one. It was fantastic.


 

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Ever After, by Jude Deveraux

I absolutely loved Jude Deveraux’s Ever After, and really want to go read the rest of the Nantucket Brides Novels now! Hallie Hartley is a physical therapist who has given up nearly so much for her stepsister, Shelly. Through a strange twist of fate, Hallie winds up owning a house on Nantucket and serving as a PT to a troubled combat veteran, James. This is one of the most classically written modern romances I’ve read lately. Great fun!


 

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Red Carpet Kiss, by Melissa Brown

This was a fun, light romance. Good plot and writing. Nothing super standout or special, but a good way to lose a few hours on a summer day!


What have you read lately? Anything else I need to check out?

Lost between pages…

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Reading is my ultimate escape. I love disappearing into hundreds of hundreds of pages. Lately, I’ve read quite a few good books, and have gotten hooked on a few new authors, so I wanted to share. Here are my top picks…

The Job by Janet Evanovich

I am rapidly becoming a huge Janet Evanovich fan! Her most recent “Fox and O’Hare Novel” with Lee Goldberg, “The Job” was absolutely awesome. I was ECSTATIC when I realized that I could get to read it early on NetGalley. That was one of the best approvals ever, really. FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare works with con man Nicolas Fox to bring down major bad guys. But this time, they trot the globe and it looks like Nick may be the one who takes the fall if Kate can’t help him. Great book. Fun read. Can’t wait for more from these authors.

Deceived by Irene Hannon

I absolutely love Irene Hannon books. They are so fun, and she is one of the best Christian fiction writers out there. Deceived, her latest book, was no different. I loved following Kate Marshall’s story as she digs deep to investigate once she sees her dead son alive and well in a different city three years after his supposed death. The private investigator she hires to help is definitely more than she bargained for. It’s a great, thrilling book about family, faith and friendship. Highly recommend. Just $9.99 from Amazon here.

Handpicked by Dani Oden

Hanpicked by Dani Oden was a fun, lightheaded book about a college freshman named Jill who decides to go through sorority recruitment. She experiences a lot, and nothing is as it seems. She looks at leaving the sorority, but can’t seem to get out. Is everything as scary as it looks, or will Jill find out that sisterhood really is a great thing? While this wasn’t true to real sorority life, it was a fun read, and I enjoyed the novel. It’ll be interesting to see what book 2 holds for the Pledged book series. You can buy this now on Amazon for $2.99.

Tender Deceit by H.Y. Hanna

A very good, fun novel by H.Y.Hanna. I enjoyed this book, and got lost in the intrigue and romance of it all. Set in Singapore, it provided a different backdrop and made for a much more intriguing story than those I’ve read lately. Can’t wait to read book 2, Tender Treachery.

I’ll be back with more soon! Here’s to another great year in books!

Jessie

The summer bookshelf…

Summertime for me usually means getting lost in quite a few books. And that has held to be true this summer as well. I actually even purchased two ebooks – the first money I’ve spent on books in quite a while – so I thought I’d start with those!

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The One by Kiera Cass — Originally read the first few books via NetGalley, I actually spent money to download this one, and it was worth every penny – even though I finished it in one day. It was just that good. I loved the entire premise of Cass’ Selection series. It’s like romance meets Hunger Games, and there are just four girls left. America is a girl you want to root for, and when she’s this close to winning Prince Maxon’s heart (and becoming a princess, duh!) there are so many things that can go wrong…

Tear by Rachel Van Dyken — I originally read my first RVD books via NetGalley, but I snagged this one off Amazon for free recently. Now I want to read the whole series. Figures, right?  Tear is the first book in RVD’s Seaside series, and it’s a good one. Natalie is bored with her life. And then famous band members from AD2 show up and start attending her sleepy little school. Nothing boring now!

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I’ve also been doing a LOT of reading thanks to NetGalley, which is always fun to share. Here’s what I’ve been reading and loving (for the most part at least):

Come Dancing by Leslie Wells — A novel set in the early 1980s, this book will make you laugh with it’s details. Julia is trudging along though the publishing industry, trying to climb the ladder, when she catches the eye of one of the biggest rockstars in the country. And he’s not going away. This book is sweet, fun and unpredictable. (Read via NetGalley)

Danger at the Border by Terri Reed — This was an incredible book, with so many twists and turns it almost made my head spin – in a good way though! Dr. Tessa Cleary heads to figure out what is polluting wildlife near the US-Canada border, and winds up in over her head. Kidnapped with a border patrol agent, she finds herself racing the clock to escape and save the locals from the mysterious toxin.(Read via NetGalley)

Firewall by Diann Mill — Taryn Young thought she was headed on her honeymoon after a whirlwind romance and marriage. Then, everything explodes and she finds herself picking up the pieces in the aftermath of a terrorist bombing. Great Christian fiction, with an intriguing plot line. (Read via NetGalley)

A Woman of Fortune by Kellie Coates Gilbert — I loved this Texas Gold novel about socialite Claire Massey. Her world is filled with every material possession she could want, but it all comes crashing down when her husband is arrested for fraud. Not your typical Christian fiction novel, this book kept me guessing as Claire battled to keep her family together. Great book, highly recommend. I’ll be reading the rest of the Texas Gold novels when they come out! (Read via NetGalley)

Begin with Goodbye by Kelly Walker — I can’t imagine my first love marrying my sister. It would send me into a tailspin I bet. But that’s exactly what happened to Samantha, or so she thought. The truth is never just what you think it is, and Kelly Walker’s novel proves that. It had my head spinning by the end! Fun beach read. (Read via NetGalley)

Rushed by Gina Robinson — Alexis is headed through rush, and doesn’t know what to expect. She falls for a house – and a houseboy, a huge no-no. This book is fun, but as a sorority alum and chapter advisor, none of it rings true to my ears. While a fun story, it’s definitely fiction that doesn’t make much look good about the experience. And that’s hard to enjoy when you know many things to be different. (Cover not pictured/Read via NetGalley)

That’s all for now y’all. I’ll be back with more books soon, I promise!