I want to know – who has ever cleaned out their TBR pile all the way to the bottom? Not me! And, it’s steadily growing larger as we kick off 2019. Goodreads has a running list of “Most Anticipated Inspirational Novels of 2019,” which currently has 82 entries. I encourage you to browse through the list and add some new titles to your pile.
Here are my most anticipated inspirational reads. I know that more will be added as some authors haven’t listed their to be published for this year. What are your most anticipated reads?
P.S. Reviewing my post it occurred to me that all but two of these (Ever After and Wooing Cadie) are by Bethany House. I’ve come to expect great stories from them, but there are other great publishing houses and indie authors too. I’d like to know what others you love.
The Sheehan brothers slid in in the last week 2018 and right into my heart. There is something about a man and his interactions with kids that make me swoon every time and Joe and Ash are great dads – even before they’re dads.
I have to respect, admire, and swoon over Graham’s steadfastness. No floor is too hard, no sticky fingers too daunting. He pushes Kit to be a better version of herself while also giving her room to grow.
Today I’m exciting to be bringing you a blog post found only at Kat’s Corner Books! Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Becky Wade, and Sarah Loudin Thomas join me to talk about a special gift that they have received. In The Christmas Heirloom, four women are gifted a Luckenbooth Broach and find love at Christmas. Join me in sharing the authors’ stories.
Heirlooms can be anything that is handed down from one generation to another, but what makes them special is not the item itself, but the memories and emotions that item evokes. I have an antique washstand in my bedroom that once belonged to my grandmother on my father’s side and a small landscape painting that my grandma on my mother’s side painted. Outsiders would not see anything of particular value in these items, but they mean a great deal to me because they connect me to people I loved from generations past. One of my favorite heirlooms, however, is a recipe for zucchini bread written in my dad’s handwriting. I lost my dad when I was only 16, so this is a prized possession. Not only is the recipe delicious, but seeing my dad’s handwriting brings back a flood of happy memories every time I take it out.
As for gifts I’ve received, the ones that mean the most are the ones that have heirloom potential. They tie into specific memories and emotions. A couple years ago, my husband gave me two such treasures. The first was a blanket made with a photo of my kids. My first child was leaving for college and the empty nest had begun. This was a way for me to snuggle with my kids even when they were gone. Love it! The other gift was a set of throw pillows made from pictures we had taken on a trip to The Netherlands. My Dutch publisher had brought me out for a book tour, and they allowed Wes to tag along. It was one of the best trips we have ever taken. We met so many wonderful people and saw so many amazing things. These pillows sit on my couch all throughout the year, and every time I see them, I remember that trip and smile.
I’m a cross-stitcher, so this time of year, the house fills with handmade items like stockings, ornaments, and wall hangings. I’d like to think that some of these will become heirlooms as my children start their own families and take a few touches of Christmases past to start their own traditions, but even if they don’t, they will still hold memories and joy for me every time I look at them.
Kristi Ann Hunter
I didn’t often get the trendy toy of the year growing up. I never owned a Cabbage Patch Doll or a Furby, but when I was three I did get a Care Bear. TenderHeart to be exact. I loved that bear. I slept with it every night, carried it around the house, he was my constant companion. I called him Tendy. Over the years Tendy soaked up a lot of tears, got a lot of washings, and got hugged until he was pretty much smashed flat. Eventually, when I was in college, I had to admit that Tendy was getting a little too worn to be my constant companion. My father, who’d gotten me Tendy to begin with, went on a hunt for a replacement. At the time he was traveling around the world for work. Everywhere he went, he visited toy stores looking for the softest, cuddliest replacement for my beloved Tendy. I was twenty when I received Scruffy, a gray dog with floppy arms and legs and fluffy fur. Scruffy has since been replaced by my husband, but he and Tendy still sit together in a place of honor in my bedroom.
Sarah Loudin Thomas
Being sentimental is my super power. My most prized possessions are the bits and pieces that used to belong to someone who matters to me. There’s the Brown Betty teapot that belonged to my neighbor Betty. The stitched wall hanging Aunt Bess made. The wooden butter mold Uncle Willis made for Mom. Dad’s shaving mug. Mom knows this about me (maybe instilled it in me?). Which means she knew exactly what she was doing the year she gave me my favorite book EVER. It’s the copy of Heidi that her own aunt gave her as a girl. Mom must have read it to me a hundred times. There, inside the front cover, it says “To Nancy Cox, Christmas 1954.” And then she passed it on to me one Christmas. And some Christmas down the road I plan to pass it along to my niece–mom’s granddaughter. And hopefully, there will be a great-granddaughter to appreciate it one day–say in 2054? While the Luckenbooth in The Christmas Heirloom was a valuable piece of jewelry, what made it such a prized possession wasn’t it’s dollar value, but rather it’s link to family. My character, Fleeta, lost her mother when she was very young. Having that connection to her mother restored in a way was what gave the pin value in Fleeta’s eyes. It’s much the same with my copy of Heidi. It’s not a book–it’s something my great aunt picked out and wrapped for my mother. It’s the memory of curling into my mother’s side while she read aloud. It’s a connection to people I want with me always. I’m so looking forward to sharing those connections on down the line . . .
My great grandmother enjoyed a long and faith-filled life of laughter. She had a wonderful marriage, numerous children, and even more numerous grand children and great grandchildren. When she passed away, my grandmother, her oldest child, inherited her gold wedding band. Since my grandmother had two sons and no daughters, she chose to entrust her mother’s ring to her oldest granddaughter — me. She gave it to me when I was still a teenager, long before I was in the market for marriage. But, even then, I recognized the pricelessness of that ring. I, like the characters in The Christmas Heirloom, had received a piece of jewelry that had been treasured and worn by my ancestors. What a gift! Years later, when marriage came my way, I had my great grandparents’ initials and wedding date inscribed inside the ring. To this day, I wear it as my wedding band. I hope to pass it down to my own daughter one day.
Thanks you so much ladies for sharing your precious gifts and memories with us. To celebrate, I’m giving a gift of a Kindle ebook of The Christmas Heirloom. For the chance to win, enter via rafflecopter below. Please refer to my Policies. The giveaway will close at midnight of 12/10/18.
I’m all in for this top ten, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. At first I thought, “How am supposed to pick ONLY 10.” But, then as I really started thinking through it for my favorites, the ones I check frequently, the list shrunk. Secretly, I’m sitting here hoping I’ll show up on someone else’s list 🙂 In no particular order:
I’m putting Carrie and Annie on the same line because they should be on everyone’s list as go-to blogs for new reads. If you haven’t met them yet, they’re awesome and make sure to sign up for #2 so you can meet them…
If you haven’t been yet, you should put it on your schedule and go register! It’s an amazing event, founded by Annie, Carrie, and Bonnie (something about the -ie). The CFRR blog is filled with fantastic interviews from several authors who have visited CFRR. Registration is almost full, so hope on the train soon!
Popular Books Sites
…like Amazon, Goodreads, etc. You all know them. I thought about not including them at all, but they’re important for readers to be able to see reviews for books they’re considering and are even more critical for authors to get new readers.
Happy Tuesday, all! I don’t know about ya’ll, but it hasn’t gotten crazy hot here in Baltimore. Perfect reason to curl up with a read while sequestering myself in my bedroom- the only room in the house with air conditioning.
When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.
After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. And as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn’t worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger.
Kristi approaches some hard topics in this story that I think are great that a Christian Fiction author is getting into. I also appreciate how none of the characters and black and white – not all good, not all bad. Kit struggles with the motivations and decisions she felt forced into to create a stable environment for the women and children she strove to help. Given the same situation, I don’t know what decision I would’ve made. It brings to the forefront the question of “do two wrongs make a right?” And if it doesn’t, how do you survive when there seems to be no other way? I relate to Kit’s internal battle as I’m also someone who just figures out a way to take care of everyone without stopping to trust God and let Him provide for me.
The women in this story make/have made mistakes and are trying to figure out how to move forward and do life in the culture of their time. Illegitimate children were a huge problem in the regency period with soaring numbers where women faced all the consequences, the the men mostly none. With the intensifying recent awareness of the #metoo movement, Kristi gives us a peak into the lives of women facing the same challenges in the early 1800’s. Add to it the Christian worldview without getting preachy or judgmental, framed in a genre that gets serious, but not overwhelming, I count it as a must read.
Kristi has mentioned some of the statistics in a live video and I emailed her for more info to share. She says, “Basically, prior to the extended Regency period (late 1700s to about 1830) the percentage of children born out of wedlock in the UK was around 3%. During the Regency period that number rose to somewhere between 7% and 9%. The church’s backlash against this – for better or for worse – is, I think, part of what drove into the strictness of the Victorian period. Laws around the care of illegitimate children were changed in 1834 to try to discourage it. ”
I am looking forward to diving into Daphne’s story and getting more into the questions of how do we move forward after we’ve made a mistake? How do we face God and forgive ourselves? I admire Daphne’s strength and joy that appears to come from within and her relationship with God.
I was provided a copy by the publisher. All opinions are honest and my own.
About the Author
Kristi Ann Hunter is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com.
The world is a happier place. Why? Because Kristi Ann Hunter’s newest series, Haven Manor, has launched! We are transported to Marlborough and a few years later than the Hawthorne House series. Kristi has promised us glimpses of the Hawthornes, which, if you’re like me, you have been spending a lot of brain power imagining what the siblings are up to.
A Search for Refuge is a novella that opens the series and gives the background story of the founding of Haven Manor. The best part, it’s free! FREE!!!!! While it’s an ebook only, don’t despair if don’t have an ereader. Both Nook and Kindle have apps, and I know at least the Kindle app, you can even read online from a desktop app.
A Search for Refuge is a delightful opening to the new series, and the extended preview at the end verges on mean because I want to read the rest of it RIGHT NOW and I have to wait until June. Ugh! Kristi, can you please write way faster? We want to know what happens with all of those post-it notes on your board!
Also, this cover is gorgeous. I love the eye popping yellow cloak, which is saying something because I’m not a big fan of yellow and I can’t stop staring at it.
Margaretta Fortescue desperately needs to disappear from London society, and her only hope is to follow the rumors of another young woman who recently made a life for herself away from the glare of society. Her search leads her to the market town of Marlborough where, in spite of her efforts to avoid attention, she can’t seem to elude local solicitor Nash Banfield.
All Nash wants is a quiet, sedate life–no risks or surprises. When Margaretta, clearly on the run and unwilling to answer questions, interrupts his solitude, his curiosity and his principles won’t let him leave this determined woman without assistance.
But will discovering the truth about Margaretta make him think twice about finally taking a risk on love?
Kristi is on the top of my list for author/reader interactions. Follow her Instagram and join her Facebook group.
Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Computer Science but always knew she wanted to write. In addition to several pre-published contests, Kristi is a Rita award winner and has also been a finalist in the INSPY, Christy, and GRW Maggie Award of Excellence. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com.
I was going to do an all-time book boyfriends post…I do have my favorites, but 2017 was a great swoony hero year. Here are my favorites. Note: I READ all of these in 2017; most were also published last year, but not all. I did not even attempt to keep it at 10. (Learning from you, Carrie!)
1) Michael Carrington (All of You by Sarah Monzon)
We’re not supposed to objectify others, but….Michael is HOT. Sweltering. I’m not usually into bad boys, but this fine boy is attractive. He has other redeeming qualities as well, but they only make him hotter.
Karim is not your typical CF hero. He’s Muslim. But, oh my goodness, his dedication, quiet strength, patience, love for his people, and yes, his faith. He’s the best quiet but strong character I’ve read in a long time. He’s not brooding, he’s thoughtful.
3) Alex, Wes, and Reese (Pepper Basham’s Bunch)
If you’ve read any of Pepper’s books, or tuned into Carrie’s raves on her heroes, this won’t surprise you. All of her contemporary heroes will make your toes curl and make you jealous of the heroines. You can see my review for Charming the Troublemaker here.
Two more hereos here! Trent and Griffith’s novels were long anticipated by her readers taking sides for #mytrent and #teamgriffith which made their allure grow. I have been in love with Griffith from the very first time we meet him earlier in the Hawthorne House series and I’m so glad that everyone has finally caught on to the Duke of Hotness. We have similar personalities, so I relate a lot to Grif, and his love for his family, especially his momma. How can you not love a guy who loves his mamma?
Amos is another non-typical hero. He rides bikes, wears glasses, and would probably enjoy playing Settlers of Catan if he lived today. He’s geeky and so not alpha male-ish. He reminds me a lot of my husband, so I can’t help but love him too.
I love Peter’s faith and how he goes about living it as a witness to Rosemary. No pushing, just example and patience. He writes her notes too! They’re probably not technically love letter, but I like to think of them that way.
These dudes are half of team hot and you love them more and more as you get to know them throughout the series. They’re protective, but not smothering; let their ladies think for themselves. They’re not perfect, but they’re trying to get there.
I love Ben because he’s so real. I admire him for sticking to boundaries that are very hard to follow in our current culture, but he’s still real about it. He wants his lady, but respects her enough to hold himself back and isn’t mishish about bringing up the issue.
Tavin has a Scottish accent and is mysterious. Need I say more?
Today’s giveaway will be a copy of The Quieting by Suzanne Woods Fisher! I will announce the winner next week on Tuesday. As always, please read my terms and conditions for giveaways and it’s open to US residents only. Click on the link here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway.
Remember to enter the giveaways for the rest of the week!