Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’d Love to Meet

Who wouldn’t love to meet some of their favorite writers? As an aspiring author, I dream of taking those meetings a step further and turning them into brain-picking sessions. I want to uncover their secrets and discover the tools that have served them so well in creating some of my favorite stories.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a non-exhaustive list — you don’t want to be here all day, do you? — of some of those authors I’d love to meet in person.


1. Catherine West

If you spend any time around me or follow my blog, you’ve probably heard me mention Catherine West on multiple occasions. That’s because I’m completely captivated by her writing style. Her books pretty much check all the boxes my writing profs, mentor, critique partners, etc. tirelessly try to ingrain in me on how to create powerful stories. By the way, her latest novel releases TODAY! Congrats, Cathy! (Review)


2. Ronie Kendig

As someone who writes mystery/suspense, a fight scene or two is bound to appear in my WIP (work in progress). However, try as I might, my hero and villain make the three stooges look like fighting experts. (Trust me, that’s NOT the vibe I’m going for!) Ronie Kendig, fight-scene-writer extraordinaire, has not one, not two, or even three, but FOUR military suspense series under her belt, as well as a serial novel, a romantic suspense story, and more. I would love nothing more than to learn from her knowledge so I can turn my Moe, Larry, and Curly into Jason Bourne and Ethan Hunt. (Review)


3. Carla Laureano

I met James MacDonald in 2013. I am still swooning! I love the hero in my WIP, but I want my readers to as well. If the mention of his name still makes them sigh four years later, even better. So yes, I’d like to follow Laureano around until I can figure out her secret. (Review)


4. Lisa Gardner

For a hero to truly shine, he needs a worthy opponent, not simply a caricature intended to make him look good. Gardner creates some of the best — albeit bone-chilling — villains I’ve found in fiction. Their complexity, goals, and motivations rival the protagonists’ in strength, making them come to life a little too well. You really don’t want the electricity to go out while immersed in a Gardner novel. (Review)


5. Dani Pettrey

As my bookcase attests, my favorite genre is romantic suspense. Pettrey masterfully delivers both emotions. One second I’m pinned to the edge of the seat as someone targets the protagonists, but the next I’m grinning ear to ear as the hero and heroine finally admit their feelings. Of course, two seconds later Pettrey tips the balance again and I return to biting my nails. Her entire book turns into a seesaw of emotions that keep me flipping pages desperate to know what will happen next. (Review)


6. Pepper Basham

Humor is not my strong suit. Ask me to write suspense or romance, but please don’t ask me to make a scene funny. It will fall flat on its face. Basham’s unique sense of humor shines through her stories. Not a single page goes by where I don’t laugh at least once. I’m hoping that, if I could hang out with her, maybe a bit of that humor would rub off on me. (Review)


7. Liz Johnson

Though a new-to-me author last year, Johnson penned one of my favorite 2016/7 series the Prince Edward Island Dreams. I’d treasure the opportunity to quiz her on all things romance and exotic locations. (Review)


8. Sarah Sundin

Historical fiction has never been one of my go-to genres. Yet ever since I read With Every Letter, not only am I first in line to read every new Sundin novel, they have consistently been favorites. I don’t just like her stories, I LOVE them. I’m curious how she does that so I can hopefully accomplish the same with my own writing. (Review)


9. Jane Austen

From here on out, I’ve listed authors I won’t be meeting in this lifetime. However, how could I not include my all-time favorite author — the one who gave me Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Emma…and some of the most swoon-worthy heroes in all of history.


10. Elizabeth Gaskell

John Thornton. Enough said!






11. L. M. Montgomery

I tried to stop at 10. I really did! But I couldn’t close this list without mentioning Lucy Maud. After all, she’s the mastermind behind my first book crush — Gilbert Blythe.


What authors do you dream of meeting?


Top Ten Tuesday: All Time Favorite Classics

All time favorites? Seriously, what were the ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish thinking when they chose this week’s topic? In the words of Danielle de Barbarac in Ever After, “I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens.”

Alas, I will give it my best shot … in no particular order except for number one. 😉 For the most part, I’ve tried to stay away from books I’ve mentioned in recent TTTs.

pride-prejudice-persuasion(1) Pride and Prejudice (2) Persuasion by Jane Austen: As tempted as I am to make 1-6 Austen’s books, I’ve limited myself to two. Trust me, this was no small feat. It almost feels sacrilegious to not include Mansfield Park, and Sense and Sensibility, and … okay, you get the idea.



Photo credit: Pinterest

(3) North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell: *Sigh* Mr. Thornton, need I say more? If you don’t know what that means, you should definitely read the book and watch the BBC mini series with Richard Armitage. Goodness, does that man know how to make a girl swoon!

Psst, I will just leave this here. You’re welcome!



(4) Exodus by Leon Uris: A historical fiction account surrounding the establishment of the State of Israel, this story is as riveting as it is heart-wrenching. **Random tidbit: I named my dog, Ari, after the main character in this novel.

agnes-grey-the-tenant-of-wildfell-hall(5) Agnes Grey  (6) The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte: Though Anne tends to be one of the lesser-known Bronte sisters, I’ve found her books to be my favorites. However, I must confess, I didn’t care for The Tenant of Wildfell Hall too much the first time around. It wasn’t until the second reading, when I understood the story and characters better, that I realized how great it is.

jane-eyre(7) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: I have a love-hate relationship with this book. Jane’s steadfastness and morals draw me in, while Mr. Rochester manages to anger me. I understand what he saw in the governess, but sometimes I really struggle to see what pulled her to him. Yet, at the end of the day, no matter how much I’d like to throttle Mr. Rochester or tell Jane to find someone better, I can’t deny I’m captivated by their tale.

little-women-the-inheritance(8) Little Women (9) The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott: Little Women was a childhood favorite, even though I always believed Jo married the wrong guy. I also read Little Men, though not as many times. In college, I discovered another Alcott story — The Inheritance — and it quickly scaled toward the top of my list.

the-phantom-of-the-opera(10) The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux: I own the Gerard Butler movie, I love the music, and in college I was blessed to go with friends to experience the play at Broadway in Chicago, but as always so much is lost from the book. Phantom shippers, the film makes him a lot more sympathetic.

Phew! That was hard, and because misery loves company — or so they say — what are your all time favorites? If you don’t like/read classics, pick another genre.







Bookish Finds: #2

I should be writing. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) zooms by at warped speed and I’m nowhere near the 50K goal for the month. Alas, words seem to have dried up and instead I procrastinate by scouring the internet for cool, bookish things. I thought I’d share some of my finds with you.



Jane Austen Books Coaster Set — Few things complement a book as well as a hot drink, be that coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or my personal favorite — a French Vanilla Cappuccino. As a die-hard Austen fan, I can’t think of a better coaster to set said drink on.




My Weekend is All Booked Mug — Of course, we need a snazzy mug to go with those coasters. Since it’s Friday, this mug seemed especially appropriate.




Shhhh! I’m Reading Door Hanger — How do we ensure some uninterrupted quiet time to enjoy our book and hot drink? This door hanger should do the trick, and if it doesn’t, at least it looks cute.





No Such Thing as Too Many Books Pillow — I couldn’t agree more. I think this would make a great addition to a couch, chair, or bed.