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Book-Talk Monday: What Are You Reading?

Monday, November 7, 2011

This is “Book-Talk Monday,” so let’s talk about books!

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  • What is the most recent book you’ve finished reading? (Please tell us a little about it, and whether or not you enjoyed/would recommend it.)
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What’s the next book on your To Be Read stack?

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Last week, I finished reading Mary Jo Putney’s The Marriage Spell, a historical romance with a paranormal element—in this alternate timeline/fantasy, magic is an accepted part of life in Regency England . . . accepted except in the upper echelon of society. Putney has a very interesting take on magic—that it comes from God—which made for an interesting and, at times, thought-provoking aspect of the story. It’s also a marriage-of-convenience/forced-marriage story, which is one of my favorite tropes, so I enjoyed that aspect of it, too. I thought she wrapped things up just a bit too easily in the end, but the fairytale aspect of the resolution worked pretty well for me, as it brought full-circle a plot device she used early in the story. Unfortunately, after this, the first book in her planned Stone Saints series, was published, the rest of the series was never picked up. I have heard, though, that she may be releasing them on her own eventually, and I’d definitely read more in this series. I’d recommend it on the caveat that this is general-market romance so it contains several bedroom scenes that, while not explicit/graphic, might offend some readers.

Because there were no more books to read in the Stone Saints series, I picked up another “paranormal” Mary Jo Putney historical, Kiss of Fate, which I’m reading now. It also deals with the characters having magical abilities (being called “mages” rather than “wizards” in this one) and it’s something the characters try to keep hidden as it’s not as accepted in this version of English society, this time in the mid-18th century (Georgian).

Next on the list . . . if I really enjoy Kiss of Fate will be the second book in this series, Stolen Magic. If not, then I’ll probably move on to one of the other 100+ historical romance titles currently sitting on my Kindle. (Most of which are samples, but I do have some in there that were free, full-book downloads which I’ll probably go to first.)

53 Comments
  1. Monday, November 7, 2011 1:52 am

    The last book I read was a ARC of Protection for Hire by Camy Tang, its out the beginning of Dec and yes I would recommend it. I read it in a day and just couldn’t put it down. Its different. Tessa worked for her uncle a Japanese Mafia boss and goes to prison where she becomes a christian and wants to get away from the family business. The story is different but riveting. It is definitely in my top 10 reads for the year.

    Im reading Fireman Dad by Betsy St Amant I like it but not reading as fast as some books.

    Next its a toss up Highland Sanctuary by Jennifer Hudson Taylor or Back to Resolution by Rose Dee which is an Aussie Author and her debut book, she has asked me to review it and just waiting for a pdf. It will depend if it comes first.

    I did finish Turnabout’s Fair Play on Saturday morning and enjoyed it.

    Like

    • Lady DragonKeeper permalink
      Monday, November 7, 2011 5:08 am

      Ooh, now I’m in greater anticipation for those books! 🙂

      Like

    • Monday, November 7, 2011 3:22 pm

      Just learned that Camy’s book is a single title. I really like her longer stories so I’m going to have to pick this one up.

      Like

      • Monday, November 7, 2011 4:22 pm

        Patricia its going to be a series of three I think.

        Like

  2. Lady DragonKeeper permalink
    Monday, November 7, 2011 5:05 am

    The last book I completed was … “The Icebound Land” by John Flanagan (a “new to me” Australian author). It’s the 3rd book of the Juv./YA “Ranger’s Apprentice” series. The series set in a medieval fantasy world follows Will, a 16 year old boy who becomes the apprentice to a mysterious Ranger (think “Ranger” similar to “Lord of the Rings’s” Aragorn). My younger brother flew through the books and I’m trying to catch up. It’s a secular series, but other than a few d–ms and minor “curses” like that, as far as I remember it’s pretty clean for elementary aged kids and up. … there are war/battle situations, a bit of romantic crushes going on … you get the idea.

    I’ve been half through “Raven’s Ladder” by Jeffrey Overstreet … I started it months ago, but haven’t gotten around to finishing it, which is weird because usually I devour Christian Fantasy stuff. “Here Burns My Candle” by Liz Curtis Higgs is another one I’ve started and haven’t finished yet, but it hasn’t been as long as “Raven’s Ladder” … I shouldn’t have, but I just started “Winter is Past” by Ruth Axel Morren … I was wanting another Regency and this one had been sitting on my TBR pile ever since I picked it up from my favorite used book store a couple of months ago.

    To read next … I’m hoping to finish some of those books I mentioned, but if I end up getting other books by certain authors, those “half finished” books get shoved down the list a bit. =)

    Like

    • Lady DragonKeeper permalink
      Monday, November 7, 2011 5:09 am

      Ugh, sorry for the typo … it should be “d-mns”

      Like

  3. Monday, November 7, 2011 7:23 am

    Not to be a “suck up” but –
    What is the most recent book you’ve finished reading? “Love remains” – I think you know about it 🙂
    What are you currently reading? “Art of Romance”
    What’s the next book on your To Be Read stack? “Turnabouts Fair Play”

    I have to re-read the series 🙂

    Before that I read: Prairie Rose (A Town Called Hope) by Catherine Palmer
    Very good. nineteen-year-old Rosie Mills takes a job caring for the young son of widowed homesteader Seth Hunter in order to escape the orphanage in which she was raised. Rosie’s naive view of love and her understanding of what it means to have a Father in heaven are quickly put to the test. Afraid of being wounded again, Seth struggles to freely open his heart—to his hurting son, to a woman’s love, There are a few twists in there so it was not completely predictable. Good start to a series, but I haven’t read the others as of yet.

    Like

    • Lady DragonKeeper permalink
      Monday, November 7, 2011 2:57 pm

      That reminds me I have “Love Remains” –I just bought it before school started … maybe I should read that before “Turnabout’s Fair Play”. =)

      Like

      • Monday, November 7, 2011 3:23 pm

        It is a good series, Heather. I still have to read Turnabout’s Fair Play.

        Like

        • Monday, November 7, 2011 4:01 pm

          I have read the first two already. I am reading them in order again to have the “flow” before I start TFP

          Like

    • Misty permalink
      Monday, November 7, 2011 5:43 pm

      The Matchmaker series is on my Christmas list. 🙂 Can’t wait to read them!

      Like

  4. Monday, November 7, 2011 7:44 am

    Just finished Laurie Kingery’s The Rancher’s Courtship and enjoyed it. Will be posting to my blog today hopefully. Am working on Laurie Alice Eakes’ A Necessary Deception but am only about a chapter in. Not quite sure about it yet.

    Have several other reviews to write and post, plus a TBR pile a mile high. Once TFP gets here, it’ll likely jump to the top of the stack ;).

    Like

    • Lady DragonKeeper permalink
      Monday, November 7, 2011 2:59 pm

      I really like the cover of “A Necessary Deception” –I usually like Regencies, so I’ve been keeping an eye out for that one at the local bookstore. You’ll have to let us know what you thought of it later. ^_^

      Like

  5. Monday, November 7, 2011 8:02 am

    I finished reading two books over the weekend. One was Love Remains by Kaye Dacus. Would I recommend it? Absolutely! I SO related to Zarah, in ways I won’t even talk about publically because really Kaye, aside from our professions and her horrible no good father you might have been writing about me. I missed these characters after I turned the last page and was sad I couldn’t go back to them (something I felt with the Bonnetarre sp? books too). But now I’m looking forward to the next two in the series, esp. that last one.

    Also I’m devouring the historical fiction written for children back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s by William O. Steele. Most of it is set in the Tennessee valley, but not all. His books are full of adventure, muskets, tomahawks, and all the cross cultural back and forth (friendly and otherwise) between white settlers and natives that I am drawn to. How I wish I’d found his books as a kid. I just did a post on him over at one of my blogs, Colonial Quills.

    Like

  6. Monday, November 7, 2011 9:45 am

    And Kaye, you have a wonderful way of creating a whole community of characters with your contemporary romances that I wish I could be part of, be friends with, hang out with. I don’t read a lot of contemporary set fiction, but yours are always must reads.

    Like

    • Monday, November 7, 2011 9:55 am

      I know. Don’t you just want to hang out with the Guidry family in Louisiana, and Zarah, Caylor, and Flannery in Nashville?

      Like

      • Audry permalink
        Monday, November 7, 2011 12:30 pm

        yes!

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      • Monday, November 7, 2011 3:25 pm

        Ditto! World building, particularly of a community of lovable people, is one of Kaye’s strengths.

        Like

        • Monday, November 7, 2011 3:25 pm

          Ooops! Sorry for the duplication. Thought I x-ed out the first one by mistake.

          Like

    • Monday, November 7, 2011 3:24 pm

      World building, particularly of a community of people, is one of Kaye’s strengths, I think.

      Like

  7. Monday, November 7, 2011 9:54 am

    I’m catching up on books by friends these days!

    The last book I finished was “Love Finds You in Groom, Texas,” by Janice Hanna. It’s a fun book about a cowboy who ISN’T a cowboy, and the girl who captures his heart when she’s stranded in the small town of Groom, TX after a train derailment.

    Right now, I’m reading “Love Finds You in Prince Edward Island,” by Susan Page Davis. A fan of “Anne of Green Gables,” I’m loving this! The main characters are a local girl hired to do domestic work in the Governor’s house during the visit of Edward Albert, Prince of Wales, and the Aide who comes ahead of the entourage. Molly’s family has a secret. Will her grandfather’s past come back to haunt them all on the eve of the Prince’s visit?

    Next on my list is Susan May Warren’s, “The Great Christmas Bowl.” I’m trying to catch up, and I’m hoping it will get me in the mood for Christmas shopping!

    My TBR pile is gargantuan. The buffet in my dining room is stacked with books, mostly from the bookstore at ACFW! But as soon as I get “Turnabout’s Fair Play” in my hot little hands, it goes to the TOP of the pile!

    Like

    • Monday, November 7, 2011 2:32 pm

      I have Love finds You In Prince Edward Island and am really wanting to read the book.

      Like

    • Monday, November 7, 2011 3:26 pm

      Love the “Love Finds You…” series. Haven’t read too many this year, though. Have to catch up.

      Like

    • Abigail Richmond permalink
      Wednesday, November 9, 2011 11:35 am

      Haven`t read any of the Love Finds You yet but they all look very interesting.

      Like

  8. Rachel Wilder permalink
    Monday, November 7, 2011 10:25 am

    I finished His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons over the weekend. Excellent book! My review will be going up hopefully today. If you love Civil War this one is a must read. She does an amazing job of laying out the issues without judging or telling the reader what to think. I really appreciated how she didn’t have every Southern character convert to an abolitionist. I hate it when Civil War books do that. It’s not true to life. It also takes place on the Texas coast.

    Up next is diving into more research books. I’m reading End of an Era, about New Olreans in 1850-1860. Found two more on Google Books the other day, one from the late 1800’s and about the Creoles, and the other from 1915 about the city’s orphanages. My heroine (who’s a slave) had her daughter taken from her and put in an orphanage and she spends as much time over there as she can.

    Novel wise, I can’t decide if I want to read Lynn Austin’s Fire By Night next, or Lori Copeland’s Civil War one that just came out, The One Who Waits For Me.

    Like

    • Monday, November 7, 2011 3:27 pm

      Rachel, your story sounds interesting. I’ll have to look up Golden Keyes Parson’s book.

      Like

  9. Rebekah W permalink
    Monday, November 7, 2011 11:25 am

    Currently I am reading “Sweet Caroline”, and I am almost done!! I like it. It’s about a young woman who inherits a little cafe’ in Beaufort, SC, and is finding it hard at times to either let it go, or to permanently keep it. She is also stuck between two men in her life. The country heart throb Mitch whom she has known for a long time, and the bad boy J.D. Haven’t finished it yet, but so far it is a delight.

    The book I read before that was the third installment in the Callahan’s of Texas series ” Megan’s Hero, by Sharon Gillenwater,and I loved it!!! It follows the lives of a family in Texas, and how God impacts their lives. Highly recommend it!!!

    Don’t even get me started on my ” To Read” list. lol! I have so many I don’t know which one to choose. I have a few Nora Roberts that I would like to get started on. ” The Bride Quartet” looks interesting, so I might start on that. I do need to get Turnabout’s Fair Play, so I read that as well. Oh so many books!!

    PS: Rachel, I highly recommend Fire by Night!! I loved it!

    Like

  10. Jenn permalink
    Monday, November 7, 2011 11:48 am

    Last non-fiction The Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge AMAZING! Definitely fleshes out Jesus & makes relating to him all that much more exciting. Last fiction-Love Remains Quite delightful too!! TBR River’s Song by Melody Carlson, then possibly another nonfiction. Since I have a two year old, I keep a much shorter list than in past!!

    Like

  11. D Ritz permalink
    Monday, November 7, 2011 12:41 pm

    Most recent book was “Dining with Joy” by Rachel Hauck. Number three in the Lowcountry Romance series but can easily be read alone. About a cooking show host who can’t cook. Enjoyed this and would recommend it. Enjoy Rachel’s sense of humor.
    Now reading “There You’ll Find Me” by Jenny B. Jones. Highly recommend this one! Always love Jenny’s wit and sass!
    Next to be read is TBR. Did some “research” on Alex O’Loughlin this weekend–Oh Wow!

    Like

    • D Ritz permalink
      Monday, November 7, 2011 12:42 pm

      Oops–TFP! Sheesh!

      Like

    • Rebekah W permalink
      Monday, November 7, 2011 12:53 pm

      D Ritz, Sweet Caroline is written by Hauck as well. Awesome book. I will look into getting my hands on Dining With Joy.

      Like

      • D Ritz permalink
        Monday, November 7, 2011 1:04 pm

        Yes, do that! The second one is good too–“Love Starts with Elle.”

        Like

        • Rebekah W permalink
          Monday, November 7, 2011 6:53 pm

          We have Dining with Joy!!!! I will be sure to read that!

          Like

  12. Monday, November 7, 2011 3:21 pm

    Last Book: Ready for Love by Gwyneth Bolton (Kimani Press) A much requested close to her Hightower family series written with unusual structure for a category romance. There were three “interludes” during which the contemporary story was told, but the bulk of the story was all flashback of how a couple that everyone thought hated each other had been secretly been seeing each other for a few years. Nicely done.

    Current Book: Lakeside Reunion by Lisa Jordan (Love Inspired) and A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell. Enjoying both books although I can’t say much about the latter since I’m judging that for a contest. I’ve heard a lot about Siri Mitchell’s books; this is the first one I’m reading. Very interesting in that it’s written purposely in a mix of omniscient and third-person POV. Lisa’ Lakeside Reunion is a fun read. At times the heroine feels a bit immature but who can say what it takes and how long for a person to get past their grief?

    Next Book: Mind Over Madi by Lynda Lee Schab and Desired by Ginger Garrett. Former is for a blog feature, the debut release from a former crit partner so I’m already familiar with the story, at least in part–and the latter is for a book review. I’ve had a chance to read a few really great Biblically-inspired novels this year and I’m expecting Desired, the story of Samson & Delilah, to be another.

    Like

    • Misty permalink
      Monday, November 7, 2011 5:41 pm

      I was wondering how to describe how “A Heart Most Worthy” is written, like someone from outside is telling the story. You called it omniscient and third person. Interesting. I don’t know if I’ve read another book like this.

      Like

      • Tuesday, November 8, 2011 12:13 pm

        It is different, isn’t it? Interesting read.

        Like

    • Monday, November 7, 2011 6:19 pm

      I’ve got to get my hands on Lisa’s book! She is such a sweetheart!

      Like

      • Tuesday, November 8, 2011 12:14 pm

        Yes, you do! Downloaded it to my smartphone. Wound up staying up in the bathroom last night to finish without disturbing Hubby. (That backlight is bright.)

        Like

  13. Misty permalink
    Monday, November 7, 2011 5:36 pm

    I just finished the Francine Rivers books “Her Mother’s Hope” and “Her Daughter’s Dream”. I enjoyed these books that covered four generations of women who struggle to understand one another. Starting with Marta in early 1900’s Switzerland, abused by her father both physically and emotionally, her strong spirit isn’t broken by him, instead she grows more determined to be successful in her life. Hildemara Rose is her daughter, a sickly girl who reminds Marta of her own sister who died young, Marta fearing the same fate for her Hildie is hard on her, forcing her to stand on her own through many situations. Carolyn the daughter of Hildie, turns away from family during the turbulent sixties to live the life of a hippy, only to find redemption through an unexpected pregnancy and birth of her daughter May Flower Dawn. Dawn brings us up to present day with struggles of her own after being raised by her withdrawn mother, only to turn out to be the strongest of them all. This series broke my heart over and over. These women are strong, but hard.
    I just kept thinking, “why aren’t they communicating with one another?! AAHHH!!” It’s a tough series to read, very little happiness, but much endurance & heart and in the end understanding & love. I would recommend these books.

    Now I’m reading “A Heart Most Worthy” by Siri Mitchell, my most recent free download for Kindle. This is the first book I’ve read by her, although she has been recommended to me in the past. Only in chapter three, but definitely intrigued by the trio of women that seem to be the main characters in this story set in 1918 in an Italian immigrant district of Boston.

    Next on my list is one I grabbed at the library by Kim Vogel Sawyer, “Waiting for Summer’s Return”. I recently read “My Heart Remembers” by KVS, which was a first for me from this author thanks to a free Kindle download and loved it! I had to search out more from her. My TBR pile is ridiculous, with lots of tempting books, but since this one is from the library with a due date it’s first. 🙂

    Like

    • Abigail Richmond permalink
      Wednesday, November 9, 2011 11:33 am

      I have only read one of Francine Rivers books which was “The Last Sin Eater” I really enjoyed it. I also saw the movie I loved it to!

      Like

  14. Monday, November 7, 2011 5:56 pm

    What is the most recent book you’ve finished reading? (Please tell us a little about it, and whether or not you enjoyed/would recommend it.)

    Seriously ~ no “brown-nosing” here: “Ransome’s Honor”
    I really enjoyed it….I couldn’t wait to get in bed at night to continue with the lovely story of a more genteel time (19th century England) ~ with twists and turns, where love wins out and seeing God’s provision over those who choose to honor Him and live their lives with integrity. Looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.

    What are you currently reading?

    “Mennonite in a Little Black Dress” ~ having grown up near Amish/Mennonite country (Lancaster, PA), I was intriqued by the title. So far….about three or four chapters into it ~ not a fan. Don’t know if I’ll finish. Some raw spots, and characters to which I can’t seem to particularly like; especially the heroine. Not well written ~ having a hard time following.

    What’s the next book on your To Be Read stack?

    “The Christmas Shoppe” by Melody Carlson. (I LOVE reading Christmas books in December). One of my ALL TIME favorite books is another one of her Christmas books called “The Christmas Bus.” I can SOOOOOOOOO see it as a Hallmark movie. So, looking forward to snuggling under the covers with this one.

    Like

    • Abigail Richmond permalink
      Wednesday, November 9, 2011 11:31 am

      I love Hallmark Movies I haven`t read “The Christmas Shoppe” yet.

      Like

  15. Monday, November 7, 2011 6:22 pm

    Ooh–I also forgot to mention, I’m listening to Sandra Byrd’s To Die For on audio as I get ready in the mornings and on my drive to/from work. Highly enjoyable so far.

    Like

  16. Audry permalink
    Monday, November 7, 2011 8:45 pm

    The last book I finished was Rain Song, by Alice J. Wisler. It was a free kindle download, and I enjoyed it. I’m not sure how to classify it – I kept half-expecting it to turn into a romance, but it didn’t. It was written in first person but didnt really read like chick-lit… Not a lot of drama, or a particularly complex plot, but it was a nice, uplifting story. I’d recommend it, especially if it’s still free.

    I’m currently listening to The Knife of Never Letting Go, which is the first book in Patrick Ness’s YA Chaos Walking trilogy. It’s a dystopian novel set on another planet, and it’s very different than anything I’ve read before. The writing is very good – some of the author’s metaphors are practically poetry. On the other hand it’s fairly violent and graphic in parts, and it’s not a nice story… There are barely concealed allegorical aspects, and you could probably read some deeper meaning into parts as well. Probably worth the time if you’re into that sort of thing.

    I’m also re-reading Elizabeth George’s Playing for the Ashes, for no other reason than that I’m collecting the Inspector Lynley series when I see them for sale as used paperbacks, and I picked that one up at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore last week.

    If my copy of Turnabout’s Fair Play arrives before I finish, that will be the next one I read. If not, I grabbed a couple at the library this weekend – can’t remember the titles, but one of them said on the cover that the author has collaborated with Ted Dekker in the past and it sounded like a unique premise, so I’ll probably start that one.

    Like

  17. Susan Barone permalink
    Monday, November 7, 2011 8:49 pm

    I’m reading Ransome’s Quest. Loving it! At doctor office visits, I’ve been taking a beat-up copy of Mansfield Park (Austen) around since it’s not a library book and if I lost it, I have it in hardbound copy. Austen is definitely good to carry when you know you might be sitting for a while in the waiting room. My next book is Nowhere, Carolina by Tamara Leigh.

    Like

    • Abigail Richmond permalink
      Wednesday, November 9, 2011 11:27 am

      I Want to read Ransome”s Quest too but I haven`t gotten a hold of it yet.

      Like

  18. Monday, November 7, 2011 10:35 pm

    No books arrived to day except my Kindle version of Back to resolution by Rose Dee.

    Like

  19. Charmaine permalink
    Tuesday, November 8, 2011 10:42 am

    I just finished ANNE OF GREEN GABLES because a few weeks ago several authors in this discussion liked it. It was sweet, mild conflict and preachie about being a positive, obedient young lady. I was refreshing and I enjoyed it.
    A friend recently recommended THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY by Erik Larson. It sounded interesting. It is based on facts about the first World’s Fair in Chicago at the end of the nineteenth century. It tells about the builders of the fair and a serial murderer that was terrorizing the city at the same time. My friend said that the Ferris Wheel was invented by a man named Ferris at this time.. I start on chapter one this week.

    Like

    • Audry permalink
      Tuesday, November 8, 2011 3:49 pm

      This sounds interesting – I just requested the audio from my library 😀

      Like

    • Abigail Richmond permalink
      Wednesday, November 9, 2011 11:26 am

      I love Anne of Green Gables!

      Like

  20. Abigail Richmond permalink
    Tuesday, November 8, 2011 1:26 pm

    The last book that I read was “Nightmare Academy” by Frank Peretti I definitely recommend it and others by the author.
    I am currently reading “Freefall” by Kristen Heitzmann about halfway through it.
    Not sure what I will be reading next. I haven’t been able to read much lately because I am sick with a cold and bad cough which i have had for over 3 weeks. I would appreciate your prayers.

    Like

  21. Tuesday, November 8, 2011 5:35 pm

    I just finished Richard Mabry’s book “Medical Error”- I really enjoyed it and finished quickly. I haven’t decided what I’m going to read next, I have about 50 books just waiting patiently! 😉

    Like

    • Abigail Richmond permalink
      Wednesday, November 9, 2011 11:25 am

      I have so many books to choose from as well!

      Like

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