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Fun Friday—My TBR List

Friday, July 24, 2009


One of the things most people do when they go to ICRS is stock up on the free books that are being signed and given away. I signed more than 200 books while I was there (both titles combined). I was very proud of myself in that I only picked up three books while there . . . because I knew how many unread books I have sitting here at home. So I thought today, I’d share my TBR (to be read) list, or at least, part of it:

Currently Reading
The Blue Enchantress by M.L. Tyndall. I had to pick this one up at ICRS—not only because of doing a couple of events side-by-side with MaryLu while she was signing them, but because I would have had to wait several more weeks to get it if I hadn’t. Though this is the second book in a series, so far, I’m not really seeing that one would have to have read the first book (The Red Siren) to enjoy this one. The opening scene was absolutely fantastic and drew me into the heroine’s emotions immediately.

A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman. I picked this book up at one of the stores in Louisiana where I did a book signing back in May. I started it about ten days before conference (after turning in A Case for Love). Unfortunately, I must admit that it was rather easy to set aside while reading MaryLu’s book, as the first few chapters haven’t yet gripped me. But I’ll get back to it soon.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. This is my current audiobook that I’m listening to on my walks. It isn’t as good as the BBC miniseries. But still, I’m getting much more insight into John’s and Margaret’s characters this way. And no, it wasn’t read by Richard Armitage, more’s the pity.

To Read, Eventually
Okay, so here’s the list of books I keep hoping I’ll get to soon–and some of them I really need to get to, as I received influencer copies, so it’s incumbent upon me to read them since I did receive them for free by promising to read and, if I like it, post a review:

Turning the Paige by Laura Jensen Walker (Book 2 of the Getaway Girls series) I really enjoyed the first book in this series (Daring Chloe), so I’m upset that I haven’t been able to get to this one yet.

Daniel’s Den by Brandt Dodson. Not only do Brandt and I share the same wonderful agent (Chip MacGregor) and the same publishing house (HH), I’ve been hearing wonderful things about this book, so I can’t wait to get to it.

The Reluctant Cowgirl by Christine Lynxwiler. Christine herself gave me a copy of this one the last day of our Michigan book signing tour, and I got engrossed in it on the flight home. Unfortunately, life then went absolutely crazy, and I haven’t been able to get back to it. But I WILL!

American Anthem by B.J. Hoff. This is actually a re-packaging of three of Hoff’s previously released novels: Prelude, Cadence, and Jubilee. It may be a while before I can get to it, but I will read it sometime.

A Claim of Her Own by Stephanie Grace Whitson. Whitson’s series that started with Walks the Fire are some of the first books I read when I started getting into Christian fiction ten or twelve years ago. I loved her next series as well. After that, she lost me a little bit—as I was growing somewhat weary of the “Old West”/Cowboys-and-Indians settings and stories. But it’s been a long time since I’ve read that kind of setting (Mary Connealy’s Montana Rose being the first Cowboy/Old West romance I’ve read in a long time), and the description of Whitson’s book intrigued me.

Gone to Green by Judy Christie. I met Judy at ICRS and got a signed copy of her debut novel. I’m not usually one to read books written in first person with a chick-litty tone, as this one seems to have, but just hearing Judy describe the story caught my attention, so I can’t wait to read it.

Now, as I said, that’s just a partial list . . . I have so many other unread books lying about, it’s ridiculous. It may be time to purge again, though I hate getting rid of books. But if I’m not going to read them, I can donate them to the library and someone can get some enjoyment out of them.

So, what are you currently reading? What are the first few books on your TBR stack?

  1. Friday, July 24, 2009 8:56 am

    I happened to have bought your book, Ransome’s Honor yesterday while I was at LifeWay. Can’t wait to get home this weekend and read. I can read at work (since I work for a publisher) but they like for us to read what we publish (which I do), maybe I can hide your book inside one of ours and they’ll never know!


    • Sunday, July 26, 2009 12:28 pm

      I’m glad you found it, and I hope you enjoy reading it!


  2. Friday, July 24, 2009 10:09 am

    Just started Camy Tang’s Deadly Intent.

    I’ve got Lady Jasmine by Victoria Christopher Murray, And Mistress Makes Three by Francis Ray, Ransome’s Honor by You-Know-Who, and Things Left Unspoken by Eva Marie Everson in my TBR pile.


    • Sunday, July 26, 2009 12:29 pm

      I need to pick up something by Francis Ray. I keep hearing wonderful things about her books.


  3. Sylvia permalink
    Friday, July 24, 2009 3:53 pm

    Stephanie Grace Whitson’s best book, imo, is Karyn’s Memory Box. The next book Nora’s Ribbon of Memories is good too, but pretty much because the characters from Karyn’s Memory Boxappear in the last half of the book. I have read Karyn’s Memory Box several times. Her two modern day books A Garden In Paris and A Hilltop In Tuscany are good. Very European, a little sad at times, but end up happy. One keeps expecting “La Vie En Rose” to be playing. They are stories of lost loves, secrets, new loves, forgiveness, and ultimate happiness.


    • Sunday, July 26, 2009 12:32 pm

      One of the reasons I haven’t read SGW’s contemporary novels is that I’m not into the “sad, but with a happy ending” kind of story. That’s too much like reality. I prefer something that’ll make me laugh, or at least that doesn’t spend most of the time dealing with tough, controversial, melancholy, or overly dramatic conflicts/issues. I just want to be entertained.


  4. Sylvia permalink
    Friday, July 24, 2009 3:58 pm

    Oh, and I love the book North and South and the film of course! I think I’ve read North and South three times. My sister found a hardback copy of Gaskell’s Mary Barton for me at a thrift store. One of these days when I’m really in the mood I will sit down and read it. I hope it ends up happy. I do not like sad books.


    • Sunday, July 26, 2009 12:36 pm

      From what I’ve heard, Mary Barton has a much darker tone than N&S, but I’m pretty sure Gaskell did manage to pull out a happy ending.


  5. Friday, July 24, 2009 9:45 pm

    I loved The Red Siren and I can’t wait until Blue Enchantress is released! I’ve also read Julie Lessman’s trilogy and really enjoyed all the books. I haven’t read North and South yet but I LOVE the movie…Richard Armitage**sigh**. Right now I’m reading Ransome’s Honor :). My TBR stack is HUGE…I could probably get halfway through a book in the time it will take me to type them! Here goes!

    To Love a Gentle Stranger- Carol Gift Page
    With Endless Sight- Allison Pittman
    Diamond Duo- Marcia Gruver (book 2, Chasing Charity was really good)
    A Constant HEart- Siri Mitchell
    Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana- Melanie Dobson
    Threads of Silk- Linda Lee Chaikin
    Gift of Grace- Amy Clipston
    The Reluctant Cowgirl- Christine Lynxwiler
    The Forest of Hands and Teeth- Carrie Ryan
    Summer on Blossom Street- Debbie Macomber
    The House in Grosvenor Square- Linore Rose Burkhard
    Hannah Grace- Sharlene MacLaren
    Taming Rafe- Susan May Warren
    If Tomorrow Never Comes- Marlo Schalesky
    Betryayed- P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
    Chosen- P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
    Stakes and Stilettos- Michelle Rowen
    The Baby Chronicles- Judy Baer
    Million Dollar Dilemma- Judy Baer

    Yep I’m a busy girl this summer!


    • Sunday, July 26, 2009 12:39 pm

      Wow, that’s some list! How long will it take you to get through all those books?

      I used to read three or four books a month . . . back before I went back to college and then started pursuing publication and became an editor. Because reading is predominantly what I do for my “day job” (or whenever I actually work on it), previously as a full-time copy editor and now as a freelancer, it’s really hard for me to just sit down and read for hours and hours like I used to. But it is the sign of a really good book for me—if I can sit and read it for hours and hours.


      • Sunday, August 2, 2009 9:09 pm

        Well since I don’t have a job right now I can get through about 3-4 books per week in the winter and maybe 2-3 per week during the summer. When I was in college I pretty much stayed within that range since I didn’t have much homework. I’ve been slacking off lately since I’ve been out of town but hope to catch up with my reading this month!


  6. Friday, July 24, 2009 11:56 pm

    My stack is WAY too big. Very frustrating that I can’t spend all my free time reading!

    I’ve gotten to where I “reward” myself with time to read. If I write so much, then I get to read a book! How sad is that…

    The current books unread that I reallyr eally want to get to are:

    Daisy Chain by Mary DeMuth
    Beyond this moment by Tamara Alexander (in the middle of reading this)
    Ransomes Honor by… uhh… who is it by again? Just kidding!!!! YOU!
    Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman

    Okay, wow, as I’m typing I’m finding more books, so I’ll stop here otherwise I won’t be able to control my list. And these are just books I HAVE in my possession. There are a TON of books that I WANT to read and get.

    It’s a GOOD problem to have though:-)


    • Sunday, July 26, 2009 12:39 pm

      So what book did you read yesterday instead of writing?


      • Sunday, July 26, 2009 1:53 pm

        Tammy Alexander’s “Beyond This Moment”

        Is it weird that I’m a FIRM contemporary romance writer and none of my “to be read” is in that genre? Actually, I have a few, but they are ones I’ve started the first few chapters and didn’t get into them. I spent $$ on them so I’ll read them eventually… but when I run out of books I really WANT to read. (obviously I didn’t put those on my list to broadcast to all… *grin*)


  7. Sylvia permalink
    Saturday, July 25, 2009 11:02 am

    I read two of Christine Lynxwiler’s other books and was thinking about reading The Reluctant Cowgirl. Has anyone on here actually read it or is just on everyone’s TBR pile?

    My sister and I were discussing reading the other day. The conclusion we came to is that my sister loves reading. Actually, she loves the process of reading. If there’s not a book available she will read the back of the cereal box, a throw-away paper in the mail, anything just to be reading. If it’s in Christian fiction she’s read it because she likes the reading process. I, on the other hand, don’t like to read alot unless I can get involved in the characters’ lives; get in their head so to speak. There are only certain books that actually hold my attention. When I like a book my whole self becomes involved with the characters. They are like friends. I analyze it and think about why these people do this or that? A person on another board told me once not long ago that I should be an editor after I said I was frustrated with the hero of the book I was reading because one moment he was aloof and cold. The next moment he as flirty and outgoing. He was not bipolar, as far as I know. The author kept changing his personality. Most people would just read the book, finish it, and move on to another. I read the books I really like over and over again. Sometimes I venture on and discover new authors’ books that can be added to my permanant collection. Kaye’s books are definitely on that list.


    • Saturday, July 25, 2009 1:15 pm

      Haha, your sister sounds like me. My mom says that I’m the only person she knows who reads the yellow pages when there’s nothing else around! 😉 But since I’ve gotten serious about writing, I find that the characters themselves really have a lot to do with it, too.


    • Sunday, July 26, 2009 12:43 pm

      I have tons of old favorites that I re-read often. And a lot of times, it’s much easier to pick up something I’ve already read—which I know I like—than risk spending that precious reading time on something I’m not sure I’ll like as much. It’s not very often when the urge to sit down and read strikes anymore, so it’s very difficult to make myself read something new. But, with the exception of re-reading a couple of Jane Austen’s books in the next few months as research/background for writing Ransome’s Crossing, my goal is to read (and finish) at least one new-t0-me book every month for the rest of the year.


  8. Sunday, July 26, 2009 12:17 am

    My TBR pile is so huge, I’ll list my currently reading pile:

    Miss Match by Sara Mills
    Public Enemies by Bryan Burrough
    The War Against Miss Winter by Kathryn Miller Haines
    The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
    Silver Fin by Charlie Higson
    They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky


    • Sunday, July 26, 2009 12:48 pm

      And how is Dostoevsky going for you? 😉

      I read Pink Carnation when it first came out—which was before (or right around the time) I started writing Ransome’s Honor. When the second book (The Masque of the Black Tulip) came out, I was deep into RH and the research into the era—and I tossed Black Tulip after the second or third chapter, when the historical-period heroine behaved so badly out of character for a woman of the early 19th century that she would have not only been shunned but completely expelled by all good society for her behavior, yet they all just smirked behind their fans at her. It made me so angry—this idea that it’s okay to have a historical heroine act like a 21st century woman (who would be on the fringes of polite society even now!) and yet still be accepted by the historical society.

      Okay, taking the foot off the soap box before I get fully up on it.


      • Monday, July 27, 2009 10:23 am

        That is my biggest pet peeve in historical fiction/romance! When the heroine acts like a 21st century woman, it doesn’t help me “connect”…it turns me off. Most women were not corset burners, they obeyed society’s rules, and they were ok with (most of) them. I guess it just ticks me when people assume that every 18th-19th century woman had feminist leanings. Sure, there were a lot…otherwise there wouldn’t have been the suffragette movement…but I highly doubt that women on a whole were wanting to wear britches and straddle horses “astride”. 😉 Off my soapbox now.

        I just finished Ransome’s Honor!!! It was fantastic. Especially after your casting post…haha. I could see/hear everyone. It was pretty awesome. Funny thing was, I forgot that you had cast Jane Seymour as Lady Dalrymple, and the whole time I was like, “I could see JS ‘portraying’ this character”…and afterwards I looked back and sure enough. Haha. I absolutely loved the book. Just when I think that one of your books was “the best one yet”, the next one just gets better. Thanks for a great day’s read!


  9. Sunday, July 26, 2009 12:23 pm

    I’m currently reading “Ransom’s Honor” and enjoying it so much, Kaye!

    I’m looking forward to reading “The Blue Enchantress”, you’ll probably enjoy reading “The Red Siren” for a little backstory on Hope, but read it anyway because it was great!

    “Bride of Honor” by Ruth Axtell Morren is next on my list. She is an excellent author of historicals. I wish more people knew about her, they are missing out on great stories and skilled writing.

    I recently read “Breathe” by Lisa T. Bergren and it was amazing. I mean amazing. The next book in the trilogy will not be out until the spring, “Sing”. Also on my list is Bergren’s Northern Lights series, I read the first “The Captain’s Bride” which was thoroughly captivating.

    “White Mountain Brides” by Susan Page Davis is coming out in the fall and includes 3 novels. I already read the first and must read the rest of this fascinating tale.

    I’ve also been discovering Julie Klassen and Linda Lee Chakin and look forward to more of their novels.

    And lastly, for a little fun, “That Certain Spark” by Cathy Marie Hake.


    • Sunday, July 26, 2009 12:28 pm

      Oh, I’ve read The Red Siren, I just included the part about being able to read The Blue Enchantress first in case anyone already had BE and not RS.

      I have two of Ruth Axtell Morren’s Regencies on my shelves. My problem is that I cannot read other contemporary authors’ Regency-set novels while I’m working on mine. I’m too afraid I’ll pick up on their word patterns, or pick up some little tidbit in their book and use it in mine without realizing they made it up.


      • Carla Gade permalink
        Sunday, July 26, 2009 6:13 pm

        I see the problem. I have a hard time reading and writing at the same time. Of course, I can’t walk and chew bubble gum at the same time either!


  10. Monday, July 27, 2009 4:36 pm

    I’ve recently discovered Linda Nichols, and am reading everything by her I can get my hands on.

    In Search of Eden (great!)
    At The Scent of Water (also great!)

    Next up, Not A Sparrow Falls.

    Also I have your latest, Kaye, on the way. Menu For Romance. Ransome will be next.


  11. Monday, July 27, 2009 5:06 pm


    I was at Walmart today and they had MFR and RH. Thought you’d like to know.


  12. pepperbasham permalink
    Tuesday, July 28, 2009 10:15 am

    Hi Kaye,
    I hope you are enjoying North and South. It’s my favorite Gaskell and the movie is fantastic…long but fantastic.
    RH is my next book giveaway. I have the drawing for MFR on Friday. Both such fun reads.

    Pepper Basham


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