Beth’s Summer Reading List

Beth shares with us her some what eclectic summer reading list.

Lost LakeLost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
Publication Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press 

What it’s about:

From beloved bestselling author Sarah Addison Allen comes her long-awaited new novel, Lost Lake, about heartbroken people finding hope at a magical place in Georgia.

Suley, Georgia, is home to Lost Lake Cottages and not much else. Which is why it’s the perfect place for newly-widowed Kate and her eccentric eight-year-old daughter Devin to heal. Kate spent one memorable childhood summer at Lost Lake, had her first almost-kiss at Lost Lake, and met a boy named Wes at Lost Lake. It was a place for dreaming. But Kate doesn’t believe in dreams anymore, and her Aunt Eby, Lost Lake’s owner, wants to sell the place and move on. Lost Lake’s magic is gone. As Kate discovers that time has a way of standing still at Lost Lake can she bring the cottages—and her heart—back to life?

Sometimes lost loves aren’t really lost. They’re right where you left them, waiting for you to find them again.

My thoughts: I have been a long-time fan of Sarah Addison Allen, but for some reason, missed her last two books. I plan on fixing that this summer with Lost Lake! Though her books are in the general market, they are sweet reads – especially if you like touches of magical realism.


Price of PrivilegePrice of Privilege (Price of Privilege Trilogy #3) by Jessica Dotta
Publication Date: December 18, 2014
Publisher: Tyndale House

What it’s about:

Having finally discovered the truth of her birthright, Julia Elliston is determined to outwit Chance Macy at his own game. Holding a secret he’d kill to keep, however, is proving more difficult than she imagined. Just when Julia thinks she’s managed to untangle herself from Macy’s clutches, he changes tactics with a risky ploy. As the scandal of the century breaks loose, drawing rooms all over London whisper what so far newspapers have not dared to print: Macy’s lost bride is none other than Lord Pierson’s daughter–and one of the most controversial cases of marital law ever seen comes before Victorian courts. Though Julia knows Macy’s version of events is another masterful manipulation, public opinion is swaying in his favor. Caught in a web of deceit and lies, armed only with a fledgling faith, Julia must face her fiercest trial yet.

My thoughts: I’m a little behind on finishing this trilogy. I recently (finally) read book two and will definitely be getting to book three. Jessica’s writing is very different from most CBA novels out there, and I know she’ll surprise me in book three.


The Mistress of Tall AcreThe Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz
Publication Date: September 8, 2015
Publisher: Revell

What it’s about:

The American Revolution is finally over, and Sophie Menzies is starved for good news. When her nearest neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy, finally comes home to Tall Acre, she hopes it is a sign of better days to come. But the general is now a widower with a small daughter in desperate need of a mother. Nearly destitute, Sophie agrees to marry Seamus and become the mistress of Tall Acre in what seems a safe, sensible arrangement. But when a woman from the general’s past returns without warning, the ties that bind this fledgling family together will be strained to the utmost. When all is said and done, who will be the rightful mistress of Tall Acre?

Triumph and tragedy, loyalty and betrayal–readers find it all in the rich pages of this newest historical novel from the talented pen of Laura Frantz. Her careful historical details immerse the reader in the story world, and her emotional writing and finely tuned characters never cease to enchant fans both old and new.

My thoughts: I’m not sure if September still counts as summer, but Laura Frantz is one of my all-time favorite authors. I adore her books, so it is a no-brainer that I’ll be reading this one. Plus, the post-American Revolution should be an intriguing setting, especially in Laura’s hands.


The AwakeningThe Awakening (The Gifting #2) by K.E. Ganshert
Publication Date: July 1, 2015
Publisher: Self-published

What it’s about:

Tess Eckhart isn’t crazy. She’s not suffering from psychosis. She and Luka Williams are part of The Gifting. Before they can find out what that means, the man with all the answers turns up dead. The only thing he left behind? A few patient files that lead to the nation’s most lawless city.

With authorities chasing them, Luka and Tess escape into the very heart of peril and against all odds, find an underground community of people just like them. They aren’t gathered together for the sole purpose of survival, either. They have a plan and a purpose–to awaken as many people with The Gifting as possible. It’s dangerous and deadly work. Tess wants to help. Luka is desperate to keep her safe–a task that proves increasingly difficult as Tess’s gifting comes to light.

Is Tess Eckhart the One they’ve been waiting for? The One with the power to save them all?

My thoughts: K.E. Ganshert is actually the name Katie Ganshert uses for her new young adult, fantasy/supernatural novels. Book one in this series, The Gifting, is amazing and proves that Katie can easily hold her own in the young adult genre.


Healer of CarthageHealer of Carthage (The Carthage Chronicles #1) by Lynne Gentry
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Howard Books

What it’s about:

A twenty-first-century doctor. A third-century plague. A love out of time.

First-year resident Dr. Lisbeth Hastings is too busy to take her father’s bizarre summons seriously. But when a tragic mistake puts her career in jeopardy, answering her father’s call seems her only hope of redeeming the devastating failure that her life has become.

While exploring the haunting cave at her father’s archaeological dig, Lisbeth falls through a hidden hole, awakening to find herself the object of a slave auction and the ruins of Roman Carthage inexplicably restored to a thriving metropolis. Is it possible that she traveled back in time, and, if so, how can she find her way back home?

Cyprian Thascius believes God called him to rescue the mysterious woman from the slave trader’s cell. What he doesn’t understand is why saving the church of his newfound faith requires him to love a woman whose peculiar ways could get him killed. But who is he to question God?

As their different worlds collide, it sparks an intense attraction that unites Lisbeth and Cyprian in a battle against a deadly epidemic. Even as they confront persecution, uncover buried secrets, and ignite the beginnings of a medical revolution, Roman wrath threatens to separate them forever. Can they find their way to each other through all these obstacles? Or are the eighteen hundred years between them too far of a leap?

My thoughts: “Time-slip” novels don’t happen often in Christian Fiction, so I’m really eager to see how this one plays out and glad to see that it’s the start of a series.


Trial by TwelveTrial by Twelve (A Murder in the Mountains #2) by Heather Day Gilbert
Publication Date: May 1, 2015
Publisher: Woodhaven Press 

What it’s about:

Tess Spencer loves her low-key job at the Crystal Mountain Spa, which allows her plenty of down-time with her one-year old daughter and lawyer husband, Thomas. But when a pool installation turns up eight skeletons in the spa’s back yard, Tess becomes entangled in a sleuthing job destined to go awry.

As the investigation gets underway, someone dumps a fresh body near the excavated burial site, confirming unspeakable fears. A serial killer has returned to Buckneck, West Virginia…a skilled hunter with a unique taste in prey.

When Tess agrees to help the cunning Detective Tucker gather clues from the inside, she discovers the posh spa hides more than dead bodies. Even as she sifts through layers of deceit, Tess realizes too late that the killer’s sights have zeroed in on her.

Unpredictable psychological mystery replete with memorable characters, Trial by Twelve is Book Two in A Murder in the Mountains series.

My thoughts: Tess Spencer is such a memorable character – a bit quirky, yet totally down-to-earth at the same time and someone I want to be friends with, but, since she’s not real, I guess I’ll have to settle with getting into trouble with her again in Trial by Twelve.


Hearts Made WholeHearts Made Whole (Beacons of Hope #2) by Jody Hedlund
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Bethany House

What it’s about:

After her father’s death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren’t supposed to have such roles, so it’s only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper–even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.

Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He’s been given the post as lighthouse keeper, and the isolation where he can drown in drink and hide from his past is appealing. He’s not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who’s none-too-pleased to be giving up her position. They both quickly realize he’s in no shape to run the lighthouse, but Ryan’s unwilling to let anyone close, ravaged by memories and guilt. Caroline’s drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope…and possibly love?

My thoughts: I loved the first book in the Beacons of Hope series. It’s always fun when interesting side characters get their own stories, and I know that Jody will deliver her trademark historical romance.


A Bride at LastA Bride at Last (Unexpected Brides #3) by Melissa Jagears
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Bethany House

What it’s about:

Silas Jonesey’s life in Salt Flatts, Kansas, has not followed the course he imagined. After his mail-order bride, Lucinda, abandoned him, it was an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices and sour moods. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true; his estranged wife has contacted him after ten years of silence to tell him of her whereabouts.

Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but after realizing she had been deceived about her intended groom she never went through with the marriage. Settling into life as a schoolteacher, she’s spent her spare time the past few years helping her student, Anthony, and his sick mother. When Lucinda passes away, Kate is ready to fulfill the woman’s wish that she take care of nine-year-old Anthony–until a man shows up in town asking about Lucinda and claiming he was married to the woman ten years ago.

Silas and Kate disagree over who should raise young Anthony, who has opinions of his own about his future. After being forced to come together for the good of Anthony, Silas and Kate begin to see another side to each other and the possibility of a united future despite all that stands between them. When Kate’s past comes to light, Silas’s feelings about women who abandon their grooms immediately throw the walls right back up between them. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony’s wounded souls bind them together as a family, or will past hurts and new resentments leave them lonely forever?

My thoughts: I have really enjoyed the first two books in this series. Melissa’s sweet way with words and endearing characters really draw me in.


Lady MaybeLady Maybe by Julie Klassen
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Berkley 

What it’s about:

In the new novel by the three-time Christy Award-winning author of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, a woman’s startling secrets lead her into unexpected danger and romance in Regency England…

One final cry…“God almighty, help us!” and suddenly her world shifted violently, until a blinding collision scattered her mind and shook her bones. Then, the pain. The freezing water. And as all sensation drifted away, a hand reached for hers, before all faded into darkness…

Now she has awakened as though from some strange, suffocating dream in a warm and welcoming room she has never seen before, and tended to by kind, unfamiliar faces. But not all has been swept away. She recalls fragments of the accident. She remembers a baby. And a ring on her finger reminds her of a lie.

But most of all, there is a secret. And in this house of strangers she can trust no one but herself to keep it.

My thoughts: This is Julie’s first novel published in the general market, and though I trust her implicitly as a reader, I’m still curious as to how this one will be. And I’m just thrilled to get two Julie Klassen novels in one year!


Go Set A WatchmanGo Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: Harper 

What it’s about:

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.

My thoughts: Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird sequel. Enough said.


When the Heart CallsWhen the Heart Calls (Canadian West #1) by Janette Oke
Publication Date: March 1, 1983
Publisher: Bethany House 

What it’s about:

Nothing in her cultured East Coast upbringing prepared Elizabeth for a teaching position on the Canadian frontier. Yet, despite the constant hardships, she loves the children in her care. Determined to do the best job she can and fighting to survive the harsh land, Elizabeth is surprised to find her heart softening towards a certain member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

My thoughts: I’m probably the only person that reads Christian fiction that hasn’t read this series or any Janette Oke book for that matter. Well, perhaps not the only one, but it sure feels like it! I hope to at least get a start on this series at some point this summer.


Found and LostFound and Lost (Haven Seekers #2) by Amanda G. Stevens
Publication Date: February 15, 2015
Publisher: David C. Cook 

What it’s about:

When Violet DuBay’s friend Khloe confides that her dad is a Christian, it’s the one secret Violet can’t keep. Turning in Khloe’s dad to the Constabulary is her duty. Her decision becomes an opportunity to infiltrate the Christian resistance; but as she gets to know Marcus, Lee, and the others, she’s compelled to question the things her society has taught her about God and His followers.

Clay Hansen persuades his family to join him at an underground church meeting and brings Violet, his teen daughter Khloe’s best friend. That night, the church is raided. He and his wife escape, but in the chaos, he loses Violet and Khloe. How can he find them with the Constabulary monitoring his every move? If the God who once spared Khloe won’t intervene, Clay will have to save her himself.

My thoughts: The first book in this series is phenomenal. It’s a bit eerie how the world that Amanda has created in this story doesn’t seem too far removed from the world of today.


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