Anticipated 2019 Reads

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.

Book Boyfriends 2017

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.

2) Karim  (The Esther Paradigm by Sarah Monzon)

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.

 

4) Kristi Ann Hunter – Trent from An Uncommon Courtship and Griffith from An Inconvenient Beauty

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?

5) Amos Bledsoe (Heart On The Line by Karen Witemeyer)

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.

6) Peter (A Name Unknown by Roseanna White)

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.

7) Parker Mitchell (Still Life ) and Declan Grey (Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey)

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.

8) Ben Delaney (The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner)

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.

9) Tavin Knox (The Reluctant Guardian by Susanne Dietze)

Tavin has a Scottish accent and is mysterious. Need I say more?

 

The QuietingGiveaway

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!

Why I Read – With Carrie @ Reading Is My Superpower

Blogiversary Extravaganza! Things I wish I Knew When I Started a Blog

Throwback Thursday – Giveaway

First Line Fridays – Love In Three Quarter Time

Top Ten Tuesday – New to me Authors 2017

toptentuesdayThe first Top Ten Tuesday for 2017 is New to me Authors. This list is a combination of authors I’ve heard of previously, but finally got to one of their books and authors I hadn’t heard of before last year. I hope you find some new faves! Don’t forget to check out other Top Ten Tuesday posts, hosted by Broke and the Bookish

Patricia Beal

Mikal Dawn

Bethany Turner

Pepper Basham

Courtney Walsh

Shannon Brown

Susanne Dietz

Kara Isaac

Meghan Gorecki

Elizabeth Maddrey

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

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@seebethanywrite

Picking up this read was a completely spontaneous decision for me, which by the way, is completely NOT like me. I had heard rumblings about this amazing book coming out that seemed right up my alley and  decided to put it on the hold list at the library (I rarely buy new to me authors). Then it came out and it was like my social media world exploded with The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck. I thought I’d have to wait since it was brand new, but lo, and behold, I got the coveted message that it was ready to be picked up. I went as soon as possible.

I then proceeded to read it in almost  one sitting.

The Story

SLS Hollenbeck Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.

With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.

My Review

Guys, I will be the first to admit that the subject matter in The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was exactly mine. As I delve more and more into the Christian Fiction world, one thing that can get on my nerves is when authors ignore the realities of attraction and how we, as broken humans, respond to. It’s like sex doesn’t exist (gasp! I wrote the “s” word).

SLS Hollenbeck 1

@seebethanywrite

That is where this story is different. It puts it right out there in front for everyone to see and get comfortable with from the start. I mean, what else are you going to expect from a reformed romance writer (as in THAT kind of romance)? But Bethany approaches it in a refreshingly real way that seems more like a friend is telling you a story, imparting the life lessons within, without going into gory detail. I’ve heard many say that it’s about the testimony of God in their story, not the details, and while there are plenty of details, it’s not the kind of details that make your eyes want to burn.

So, while I could go on about great story and swoony heroes, I won’t, because the essence of the story is what got to me at my core and made it relatable in a way that only a few other authors have accomplished.

In my opinion, this is exactly what Christian Fiction should be about; how do I be a Christ-follower while navigating this world I’m living in, but not of?

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The Author

Bethany is a born and bred Kentucky girl who relocated to Colorado in 2001, three years after meeting the love of her life in a chat room, back before anyone knew that wasn’t always a good idea. Thankfully, it worked out in this case, and she and her husband are the proud parents of two boys. In 2014 Bethany walked away from her career as a bank vice president to step out in faith as a writer. Since then, God has not only opened doors in the publishing world, but has also called her to full-time ministry serving on a church staff. She is an innovative systems administrator for a rural church that is passionate about reaching the unchurched.