Everyone (hopefully) have books which have inspired them or changed their lives. Ones they will cherish for a lifetime. I certainly do. Below are my top six, and if you would like a chance to win a copy of your choice of one of my top six, just comment with one book you are thankful for and why. Give away is open until December 2nd at midnight. So you don’t have to leave your email for all to see, just enter it here on Rafflecopter and click that you left a blog post. That’s all there is to it. Share it with others.
In no particular order, 10 books (besides the Bible) that I am thankful for on my reading journey.
When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke – This was the first Christian Fiction book I ever read and it is what pulled me from reading some books that were definitely not healthy for my young Christian walk at the time. This particular series showed me what a healthy marriage looks like and what God-honoring love looks like.
“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. Book 1 of the bestselling Canadian West series.” – Amazon.com
A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano – This book just has so much depth and really gave me new understanding about being attached to the Vine.
“Tressa Harlowe’s father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn’t take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they’re really up to. She’ll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune–before someone else finds it first.” – Amazon.com
Brentwood’s Ward by Michelle Griep – The book that introduced me to this amazing author and continues to guide me in my own edits and writing style.
“Place an unpolished lawman named Nicholas Brentwood as guardian over a spoiled, pompous beauty named Emily Payne and what do you get? More trouble than Brentwood bargains for. She is determined to find a husband this season. He just wants the large fee her father will pay him to help his ailing sister. After a series of dire mishaps, both their desires are thwarted, but each discovers that no matter what, God is in charge.”
Stealing the Preacher by Karen Whitemeyer – I read most of this book to my Grandmother during my good-bye trip the fall before she passed on. This book will forever be precious to me. I still haven’t worked up the nerve to read it all the way through, but maybe soon.
On his way to interview for a position at a church in the Piney Woods of Texas, Crockett Archer can scarcely believe it when he’s forced off the train by a retired outlaw and presented to the man’s daughter as the minister she requested for her birthday. Worried this unfortunate detour will ruin his chances of finally serving a congregation of his own, Crockett is determined to escape. But when he finally gets away, he’s haunted by the memory of the young woman he left behind–a woman whose dreams now hinge on him.
For months, Joanna Robbins prayed for a preacher. A man to breathe life back into the abandoned church at the heart of her community. A man to assist her in fulfilling a promise to her dying mother. A man to help her discover answers to the questions that have been on her heart for so long. But just when it seems God has answered her prayers, it turns out the parson is there against his will and has dreams of his own calling him elsewhere. Is there any way she can convince Crockett to stay in her little backwoods community? And does the attraction between them have any chance of blossoming when Joanna’s outlaw father is dead set against his daughter courting a preacher?” – Amazon.com
Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson – This book really taught me to look at hard circumstances differently, and especially dandelions. Every time I see one now, I smile and feel encouraged to keep on going.
Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she’s discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.
Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.
Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?” – Amazon.com
A Confident Heart by Renee Swope – This nonfiction book really taught me how to look at myself through God’s eyes after what I felt was a devastating blow to what I thought my identity was. It was so good, I pick up a physical copy whenever I find one and save it to pass on to someone in need of that assurance.
“Often the biggest obstacle to living out our faith is our own doubt–about our worth, our abilities, our relationship with God, and situations in our lives. A Confident Heart gives voice to the questions, doubts, struggles, and hopes so many women have. Author Renee Swope shows us how to identify, overcome, and learn from our self-doubts so that we can live confidently in God’s assurance, truth, and grace. Perfect for women’s small groups or individuals, A Confident Heart is an authentic, insight-filled and encouraging message for any woman who wants to exchange defeating thought patterns with biblical truth that will transform the way she thinks, feels, and lives.” – Amazon.com
Don’t forget to leave a comment with what book you are thankful for and why!
The winner will receive an e-book copy of Brentwood’s Ward (#1), The Innkeeper’s Daughter (#2), and The Noble Guardian (#3).
This contest is open to all over the age of 18. If you want to join my mailing list to follow my writing journey, it is greatly appreciated but NOT required. I just want to share this fantastic series with others.
Entries open from Tuesday, October 29 (10 am EST) to Friday, November 8 (11:59 pm EST).
*Entering your email DOES NOT sign you up for anything other than an entry. The information is used only to contact the winner and is not kept beyond the duration of the giveaway.
For fun, share who your favorite author is or a book you are enjoying in the comments.
It takes a criminal to catch one, and Nicholas Brentwood is just the man for the job. Reformed in more ways than one, the rough-around-the-edges Brentwood is a member of the Bow Street Runners, London’s early nineteenth-century fledgling police force. There’s none better than Brentwood at catching the felons who ravage the city’s streets, and there’s nothing he loves more than seeing justice served. Beautiful and beguiling, Miss Emily Payne is not the sort of miscreant Brentwood usually hunts down. When he is assigned as her bodyguard, he vows to protect her from her father’s enemies, who will stop at nothing to carry out their mission fueled by greed and revenge.
All her life, Emily has longed for love, but it remains beyond her grasp. This season she’s determined to find a husband, which is quite the undertaking with a hound-dog guardian like Brentwood watching her every step. If he would just give her some measure of freedom, she is sure she could win the heart of society’s most eligible bachelor.
Emily’s headstrong persistence challenges Nicholas in ways he doesn’t expect but of one thing he’s certain—of all the cunning criminals he’s dealt with in the past, this time he’s met his match.
Dover, England, 1808: Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the king—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue. . .until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.
All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.
Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.
The must-read conclusion to Michelle Griep’s Bow Street Runners Trilogy: Life couldn’t be better for Abigail Gilbert—but it’s been a long time coming. Having lived with a family who hated her, love is finally within reach. Abby sets off on a journey across England to marry one of the most prestigious gentleman bachelors in the land—until highwaymen upset her plans and threaten her life.
Horse patrol captain Samuel Thatcher arrives just in time to save Abby. But to him she’s simply another victim in a job he’s come to despise. Tired of the dark side of humanity, he intends to buy land and retire.
Abby pleads with him to escort her on the rest of her journey. He refuses until she offers him the thing he desperately needs to achieve his goal: money. Delivering her safely will earn him more than enough to settle into a quiet life.
So begins an impossible trek for the cynical lawman and the proper lady. Each will be indelibly changed by the time they reach her betrothed, if they don’t kill one another first—or fall in love.
Squee!!! Michelle has managed to sweep me away again.
I have been waiting for another Bow Street Runner Book since I first read Brentwood’s Ward (review here). As soon as The Innkeepers Daughter was up for preorder, I preordered it… and then I preordered again a few months later when I forgot I’d already bought it. Oops… luckily I did catch it before Amazon shipped them both, so now I have money set aside for the THIRD one she’s working on now. Squee!!
This book is so well written that I struggled to separate my reader-self from my writing-self. As gripped as I was by reading the story, I kept stopping to examine how she did it. Seriously, if you are a writer and want a good author to study deep POV and story world creation, Michelle is it. As a reader, you will absolutely forget you live in the 21st century and live in Regency England.
Alright enough swooning and rambling:
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Plot Overview: Joanna struggles to keep her family’s inn afloat and if they don’t pay their debts by the end of the month, she, her mother, and her younger brother will be sent to the workhouse. Alexander Moore is a Bow Street Runner sent to conduct a mission off the books, one that if he is discovered could end his life with none of his friends or the magistrate who sent him to step in to help. Staying at Joanna’s rundown inn puts him in constant contact with the woman determined to ignore his unrelenting charm, but finding the traitor to the crown must come first or they could all end up dead.
What I loved: The number of historical fiction novels that fully encompass a detective story and romance well are rare in my opinion. My desire for a good, suspenseful mystery and a swoony romance are simultaneously met in this book. I kept trying to figure out who the traitor really was and wondering how Joanna and Alex would get together. The struggles were real and intense and completely fulfilled every desire this chica craves in a book.
As a writer, OH MY GOODNESS! I want to write like her. I am literally copying pages of her work and analyzing how she draws readers so completely into her world. I have examined pacing and story structure of other authors but never to the degree I am now. To master deep POV and story world is a goal of mine, and studying Michelle will definitely help me grow closer to that goal.
Favorite Character: Alexander Moore, no contest. I thought Brentwood was swoony, but Brentwood has nothing on Alex. Whew, doggie! *fans self* Strong, smart, compassionate, and yet a man of God. Oh, yes, it is a good thing he is a fictional character because I am already married.
Who would like this: Anyone who loves a good detective story, swoony romance, danger, interesting characters, down-right awful villains, and a strong story that submerses you so deep into its waters, you are in danger of drowning.
Rating and Why: This is a five-star story for me. Her mastery of deep POV and story world is a large part of that. Being so completely swept away and surprised at the end is very hard to do and she has done it again. And who wouldn’t give Alex a five-star score? *swoon*
Join the Discussion: What makes a book so good you can’t put it down?
Where do I start with this novel? First let me say I bought this as a clearance audiobook to listen to on a lonely drive. Now I will be purchasing a hard copy to reread.
Michelle Griep masterfully plunks you down into the world of London in such a way you never realize you are not actually there. It is as if you are the one interacting with the setting, not some fictional character. I have never seen that done is such a masterful way.
The characters of Nick Brentwood and Emily Payne are so true to life you feel as if they are living, breathing people whom you are intimately familiar with. Their emotions are you emotions. Their thoughts, yours.
I have a knack for seeing twists before they happen, but I certainly did not see the many twists inserted so skillfully into the plot. If you want suspense, justice, and romance mixed with a whole lot of history, there is no better book out there.
The immersion into Brentwood’s and Emily’s world was so complete I would sit in my car for over an hour waiting for a point when I could break free of my trance. Only the knocking on the window by my concerned children forced me to hit the pause button. When the flu kept me from driving, I snuck out to my car, grabbed the disc, and played it in my bed until it had reached its more than satisfying ending.
Brentwood’s Ward is historical fiction at its best. You would be grievously robbed of an unforgettable experience if you don’t read it! Beware though, it is like a potato chip – you can’t just have one… chapter that is. Once you pick it up, you will never want to put it down.
Thank you, Michelle, for a fantastic book. I cannot wait to read more of your work.
Place an unpolished lawman named Nicholas Brentwood as guardian over a spoiled, pompous beauty named Emily Payne and what do you get? More trouble than Brentwood bargains for. She is determined to find a husband this season. He just wants the large fee her father will pay him to help his ailing sister. After a series of dire mishaps, both their desires are thwarted, but each discovers that no matter what, God is in charge.