I’m constantly on the hunt for great reads, and I’ve discovered some incredible tales thanks to friends and family. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a list of books I’ve read or added to my TBR pile because someone recommended I check it out.
(1) The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate — One of my all-time favorites!
Successful New York editor, Jen Gibbs, is at the top of her game with her new position at Vida House Publishing — until a mysterious manuscript from an old slush pile appears on her desk. Turning the pages, Jen finds herself drawn into the life of Sarra, a mixed-race Melungeon girl trapped by dangerous men in the turn of the century Appalachia. A risky hunch may lead to The Story Keeper‘s hidden origins and its unknown author, but when the trail turns toward the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a place Jen thought she’d left behind forever, the price of a blockbuster next book deal may be higher than she’s willing to pay.
(2) The Whiskey Sea by Ann Howard Creel
(Recommended by: Renee @ Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot)
Motherless and destitute, Frieda Hope is determined to make a better life for herself and her sister, Bea. The girls are taken in by a kindly fisherman named Silver, and Frieda begins to feel at home on the water. When Silver sells his fishing boat to WWI veteran Sam Hicks, thinking Sam would be a fine husband for Frieda, she’s outraged. But Frieda manages to talk Sam into teaching her to repair boat engines instead, so she has a trade of her own and won’t have to marry.
Frieda quickly discovers that a mechanic’s wages won’t support Bea and Silver, and is lured into a money-making team of rumrunners supplying alcohol to New York City speakeasies. Speeding into dangerous waters to transport illegal liquor, Frieda gets swept up in the lucrative, risky work—and swept off her feet by a handsome Ivy Leaguer who’s in it just for fun.
As danger mounts and her own feelings threaten to drown her, can Frieda find her way back to solid ground—and to a love that will sustain her?
(3) A Twist of Faith by Pepper Basham
(Recommended by: Carrie @ Reading is my Superpower)
Dr. Adelina Roseland has worked ten years in research as an accent reduction specialist to attain her dream job. But a secret wager to transform Appalachian cattle farmer Reese Mitchell into corporate material challenges Adelina in ways she never expected, threatening her new position.
For one, Adelina didn’t plan for the faith and friction of Reese, or the unexpected influence of his chaotic family. Now, drawn into a culture she’d tried to forget, Adelina finds the warmth of family, the hope of faith, and the joy of love melting away the deep wounds of her past.
But when Reese discovers that he’s a pawn in her climb up the academic ladder, will he forgive Adelina’s deceit or will their miscommunication end in two broken lives?
(4) Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson
Dear Novelist: Would you like your readers to live your stories, not merely read them? Deep Point of View anchors your readers inside the point of view character(s) of your novel. This handbook shows you how to perform the transformation from ordinary narrative to deep narrative in clear, easy-to-master steps. I invite you to sweep your writing to the next level with a technique that creates immediacy and intimacy with your readers and virtually eliminates show/don’t tell issues. My Best to You, Jill
(5) The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden take care of one another. They have no parents, no other family — except for a grandfather they don’t care to see — and no home . . . until the night they find the boxcar. Old, rusty, lonely, and abandoned in the woods, it’s the perfect home for four brave children on their own. Through hard work and courage, the Aldens begin to build a life full of fun and adventure. But when they’re faced with a problem they can’t solve themselves, they’re forced to look for adult help—and will find it in the most unlikely ally.
(6-8) The Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers
#1 A Voice in the Wind: Torn by her love for a handsome aristocrat, a young slave girl clings to her faith in the living God for deliverance from the forces of decadent Rome.
#2 An Echo in the Darkness: Turning away from the opulence of Rome, Marcus is led by a whispering voice from the past into a journey that could set him free from the darkness of his soul.
#3 As Sure As the Dawn: Atretes. German warrior. Revered gladiator. He won his freedom through his fierceness . . . but his life is about to change forever.
(9) The Things We Knew by Catherine West
(Recommended by: Melony Teague)
After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to blame their father for their mother’s death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette’s memory only speaks through nightmares.
Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette’s adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother’s death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family—and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister.
As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.
(10) The English Assassin by Daniel Silva
An Israeli spy by trade and art restorer by preference, Gabriel Allon arrives in Zurich to restore the work of an Old Master for a millionaire banker—and finds himself standing in blood and framed for the man’s murder.
While trying to clear his name, Allon is swept into a spiraling chain of events involving Nazi art theft, a decades-old suicide, and a dark and bloody trail of killings—some of them his own. The spy world Allon thought he had left behind has come back to haunt him. And he will have to fight for his life—against an assassin he himself helped train.
What books have you read (or added to your list) at the recommendation of others?