Top Ten MUST READ Christian Romances for 2019

Top 10 Christian Romance Books Blog Post Image

While I am admittedly woefully behind on the books I wanted to read in 2018 (see my 2018 TBR here), the publishing world is not waiting for me to catch up. Instead, it marches heartlessly onward with plans to release still more books which I must somehow squeeze into my schedule or else die trying. (Sleep is optional, right?)

Thus, below you will find the top ten historical romances I am most anticipating in 2019 (in order of release date and then by author last name):

 

Ladies of Intrigue by Michelle Griep

Ladies of Intrigue
Releases January 15, 2019.

3 Page-Turners Under One Cover from Reader Favorite Michelle Griep!
Can truth and love prevail when no one is as they appear?

The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady
Cornish Coast, 1815
When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?

The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner!)
Dakota Territory, 1862
Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins.

A House of Secrets
St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890
Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.

Find Ladies of Intrigue on Amazon.

 

A Return of Devotion by Kristi Ann Hunter

A Return of Devotion
Releases February 5, 2019!

Daphne Blakemoor was perfectly happy living in her own secluded world for twelve years. She had everything she needed–loved ones, a true home, and time to indulge her imagination. But when ownership of the estate where she works as a housekeeper passes on, and the new marquis has an undeniable connection to her past, everything she’s come to rely upon is threatened.

William, Marquis of Chemsford’s main goal in life is to be the exact opposite of his father. Starting a new life in the peace and quiet of the country sounds perfect until his housekeeper turns his life upside down.

They’ve spent their lives hiding from the past. Can they find the courage to face their deepest wounds and, perhaps, find a new path for the future together?

Find A Return of Devotion on Amazon.

 

Between Stairs and Stardust by Pepper Basham

48249807_10217948542765877_8683367254722609152_o
Releases February 14, 2019!

Stella Faye Emory has known a life of loss. Orphaned at the age of eleven, she is sent from her home at the Biltmore Estate to become a companion for a wealthy family in Boston. As she grows into a kind and talented young lady, a benefactress recognizes Stella’s artistic skills and funds her education but Stella’s fame as an illustrator inspires jealousy and an unwanted rumor that sends Stella fleeing back to the Biltmore.

James Craven is the second-born son of an automobile tycoon. Following his family to their new estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains, James finds his place among the forests and mountains of the countryside. When his little sister is saved from drowning by the mysterious, “Faye”, James’ interests take a new turn in the direction of this fairy-like artist who seems to appear and disappear at the most unexpected times.

As James and Stella’s friendship deepens, Stella’s past finds her and threatens her newfound romance. Can a charm bracelet and an unanticipated visitor restore hopes for a happily-ever-after?

Find more about Between Stairs and Stardust on Pepper’s website.

 

The Unexpected Champion by Mary Connealy

The Unexpected Champion
Releases March 5, 2019

City dweller John McCall never expected to be out in the High Sierras of 1868 on a wild-goose chase to find the Chiltons’ supposedly lost grandson. But now that he’s out here, things have gotten even more complicated, mostly due to wildcat Penny Scott. She’s not like any woman he’s ever met–comfortable in the woods, with a horse, and with a gun.

When Penny and John are taken against their will by a shadowy figure looking for evidence they don’t have, both realize they’ve stumbled into something dangerous and complicated. With their friends and family desperately searching for them, Penny and John must make a daring escape.

When they emerge back into the real world, they are confronted with a kidnapper who just won’t stop. They must bring a powerful, ruthless man to justice, even as this city man and country woman fight a very inconvenient attraction to each other.

Pre-order The Unexpected Champion on Amazon.

 

The Story Raider by Lindsay A Franklin

(Not technically in the romance genre, but it is written by a Christian, has a strong romance subplot, and I am practically turning blue waiting for this release, so I had to include it!)

The Story Raider
Releases April 30, 2019

Tanwen and the Corsyth weavers race to collect the strands of an ancient cure that might save Gryfelle. But Tanwen has a secret–Gryfelle isn’t the only one afflicted by the weaver’s curse. As Queen Braith struggles to assert her rule, a new arrival throws her tenuous claim to the Tirian throne into question. Braith’s heart is turned upside down, and she’s not sure she can trust anyone–least of all herself.

The puppet master behind Gareth’s rise to power has designs on Tanwen and the story weavers, and will stop at nothing to reclaim the throne. A plot to incite the angry peasants of Tir takes shape, and those dearest to Tanwen will be caught in the crossfire. As the fight for Tir consumes the realm, no one can remain innocent.

Pre-order The Story Raider on Amazon.

 

A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund

A Reluctant Bride
Releases June 4, 2019

Living in London’s poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she’s offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.

Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship’s surgeon, he’s in charge of the passengers’ welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love.

With hundreds of single men congregating on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?

Pre-order A Reluctant Bride on Amazon.

More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer

More Than Words Can Say
Releases June 4, 2019

After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free to live life on his own terms. No family entanglements. No opportunities to disappoint those he cares about. Just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away once again when the baker of his favorite breakfast treat is railroaded by the city council. As hard as he tries to avoid getting involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.

Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. Not the stoic lumberman who oozes confidence without saying a word whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when around him.

When vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. As trust grows between Zach and Abby, she finds she wants more than his rescue. She wants his heart.

Pre-order More Than Words Can Say on Amazon.

 

Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett

Ever Faithful
Releases June 18, 2019

Vibrant historic Yellowstone National Park comes to life in this romantic mystery about a man hiding the truth, braving the west to become something more–and the woman who must confront his deception.

A man who can’t read will never amount to anything–or so Nate Webber believes. But he takes a chance to help his family by signing up for the new Civilian Conservation Corps, skirting the truth about certain “requirements.” Nate exchanges the harsh Brooklyn streets for the wilds of Yellowstone National Park, curious if the Eden-like wonderland can transform him as well.
Elsie Brookes was proud to grow up as a ranger’s daughter, but she longs for a future of her own. After four years serving as a maid in the park’s hotels, she still hasn’t saved enough money for her college tuition. A second job, teaching a crowd of rowdy men in the CCC camp, might be the answer, but when Elsie discovers Nate’s secret, it puts his job as camp foreman in jeopardy. Tutoring leads to friendship and romance, until a string of suspicious fires casts a dark shadow over their relationship. Can they find answers before all of their dreams go up in smoke?

Pre-order Ever Faithful on Amazon.

 

Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson

Where Dandelions Bloom
Releases July 1, 2019

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?

Pre-order Where Dandelions Bloom on Amazon.

 

Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham

Yours Truly Thomas
Releases July 2, 2019

For three years, Penny Ercanbeck has been opening other people’s mail. Dead ends are a reality for clerks at the Dead Letter Office. Still she dreams of something more–a bit of intrigue, a taste of romance, or at least a touch less loneliness. When a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love falls into her hands, Penny seizes this chance to do something heroic. It becomes her mission to place this lost letter into the hands of its intended recipient.

Thomas left his former life with no intention of ending up in Azure Springs, Iowa. He certainly didn’t expect a happy ending after what he had done. All he wanted to do was run and never look back. In a moment of desperation, he began to write, never really expecting a reply.

When Penny’s undertaking leads her to the intriguing man who touched her soul with his words, everything grows more complicated. She wants to find the rightful owner of the letter and yet she finds herself caring–perhaps too much–for the one who wrote it.

Pre-order Yours Truly, Thomas on Amazon.

 

Please Note:  There are several more authors whose books are releasing in the next year that I am most eagerly looking forward to, but at this time their release dates are still uncertain. So I’ve limited this list to those books whose release dates are known.

Let’s Chat! 

What do you think? Have I missed any of your favorite upcoming releases? See anything here you’ll be adding to your TBR? Let me know in the comments below!

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Check out this list of Top 10 MUST READ Christian Romance Books for 2019! 

Top 10 Best Christian Romance Books of 2018

Top 10 Christian Romance Books Blog Post Image - 2018

As the year comes to a close, I thought I’d share with you the ten best books I read this year. . . That was the plan. If you pay close attention, however, you’ll notice that I squeezed in a bonus book which I just couldn’t bring myself to cut out. So you’re getting eleven, okay? I know the graphic up there says, “Top 10” but I’m going to go out on a limb and trust that you won’t be mad at me for giving you one additional awesome book to add to your TBR. And let me tell you, just narrowing my favorites down to such a small number was no easy feat. The process got downright painful. Every book on this list fought for its position here. If there are any titles on this list that missed your To Be Read List this year, I earnestly suggest you remedy that oversight!

(In order by author’s last name)

 

Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

Book Quote - Where the Fire Falls - Waterfall Surrender

Stunning Yosemite National Park sets the stage for this late 1920s historical romance with mystery, adventure, heart, and a sense of the place John Muir described as “pervaded with divine light.”

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

As Clark opens Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas–a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

My ReviewAmazon

 

When You Look at Me by Pepper Basham

 

Book Quote - When You Look at Me - Pregnant

An unexpected mother-to-be
A romance-leery composer
And a forgotten melody from the past that holds the keys to their futures

When Julia Jenkins’ great aunt dies and leaves her a Victorian mansion with decades of secrets, Julia never expects to unearth a World War 2 espionage mystery. Struggling with her own past since an assault left her pregnant, her future as a solo parent leaves her dreams uncertain. The inheritance from her great aunt gives Julia the ability to take a step back into her future, but also sends her into the discovery of a love story she’d never anticipated. As she goes through her aunt’s treasured possessions, Julia uncovers some oddly written piano music with a musical code she can’t decipher on her own. Not to worry, introverted Englishman and composer, Henry Wright, is thrust on the scene by a pair of homespun matchmakers who know the ‘right’ man for Julia’s wounded heart.

Henry arrives in Pleasant Gap with the task of composing the soundtrack for his best mate’s newest film. The Jenkins’ family’s southern welcome and gregarious personalities set his reticent nature on edge, but he’s inexplicably drawn to his gentle and music-loving hostess, Julia. Uncertain how to build a friendship with the wounded woman, and rather hopeless in communicating well through words, the bond of music becomes a bridge between her uncertainty and his awkwardness.

But her broken past and his families’ expectations build a wall much greater than the cultures that separate them. As they work together to solve a musical mystery from the grave, will an unlikely romance from the past inspire their hearts to trust in a God who’s written the perfect melody for their lives?

My Review | Amazon

 

The Tory’s Daughter by Angela K Couch

The Tory's Daughter

Burying his wife is the hardest thing Joseph Garnet has ever done—until he’s called to leave his young son and baby daughter to fight Iroquois raiders. When one of the marauders tries to steal his horse, the last thing he expects is to end up tussling with a female. The girl is wounded, leaving Joseph little choice but to haul her home to heal—an act that seems all too familiar.

Though Joseph doesn’t appear to remember her, Hannah Cunningham could never forget him. He rode with the mob that forced her two brothers into the Continental Army and drove her family from their home—all because of her father’s loyalties to The Crown. After five years with her mother’s tribe, the rebels and starvation have left her nothing but the driving need to find her brothers.

Compelled by a secret he’s held for far too long, Joseph agrees to help Hannah find what remains of her family. Though she begins to steal into his aching heart, he knows the truth will forever stand between them. Some things cannot be forgiven.

My Review | Amazon

 

The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

The Hope of Azure Springs

Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He’s determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Debut author Rachel Fordham invites historical romance readers to the charming town of Azure Springs, Iowa, where the people care deeply for one another and, sometimes, even fall in love.

My Review Amazon

 

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

A Defense of Honor

When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. And as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn’t worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger.

My Review | Amazon

 

A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears

A Chance at Forever

In early 1900s Kansas, Mercy McClain, determined to protect Teaville’s children from the bullying she experienced as a child, finds fulfillment working at the local orphanage and serving on the school board. When Aaron Firebrook, the classmate who bothered her more than any other, petitions the board for a teaching position, she’s dead set against him getting the job.

Aaron knows he deserves every bit of Mercy’s mistrust, but he’s returned to his hometown a changed man and is seeking to earn forgiveness of those he wronged. He doesn’t expect Mercy to like him, but surely he can prove he now has the best interests of the children at heart.

Will resentment and old wounds hold them back, or can Mercy and Aaron put the past behind them in time to face the unexpected threats to everything they’re working for?

My Review | Amazon

 

Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

engraved on the heart cover photo

Reluctant debutante Keziah Montgomery lives beneath the weighty expectations of her staunch Confederate family, forced to keep her epilepsy secret for fear of a scandal. As the tensions of the Civil War arrive on their doorstep in Savannah, Keziah sees little cause for balls and courting. Despite her discomfort, she cannot imagine an escape from her familial confines—until her old schoolmate Micah shows her a life-changing truth that sets her feet on a new path . . . as a conductor in the Underground Railroad.

Dr. Micah Greyson never hesitates to answer the call of duty, no matter how dangerous, until the enchanting Keziah walks back into his life and turns his well-ordered plans upside down. Torn between the life he has always known in Savannah and the fight for abolition, Micah struggles to discern God’s plan amid such turbulent times.

Battling an angry fiancé, a war-tattered brother, bounty hunters, and their own personal demons, Keziah and Micah must decide if true love is worth the price . . . and if they are strong enough to survive the unyielding pain of war.

My Interview with Tara Johnson | Amazon

 

The Reluctant Groom by Kimberly Rose Johnson

The Reluctant Groom

When everything goes wrong, can two friends discover true love?

When Ray O’Brien’s world is turned upside down, Katie Fairchild wants to help, but the personal cost is high. Neither desires a marriage of convenience, but when Katie blurts the first thing that comes to her mind Ray can’t dismiss her offer of marriage. It would solve all his problems except for one thing—they aren’t in love.

Can these two friends team up for the greater good and perhaps find love along the way, or are their expectations impossible?

My Review | Amazon

 

The Ruby Knot by Jane Josephs

The Ruby Knot

Graphic Designer Katie Ryan is about to have a baby, the consequence of a romantic encounter with Navy Special Forces “boat guy” CJ Jansen in Las Vegas. Back home in San Diego, Katie is determined to get her life back on track, and finds herself drawn to pastoral intern Noah Davidson. But CJ isn’t about to ignore his son, and soon Katie finds herself torn between her feelings for two very different men. With her son’s future at stake, Katie is faced with a choice: should she stay with the plan she’s made, or follow her heart?

My Review | Amazon

 

Three Words and a Kiss by Sondra Kraak

Book Quote Image - Three Words and a Kiss - Unconventional Notion - 1

When a big-hearted debutante collides with a small-town blacksmith set in his ways, it can mean only one thing—a war of hearts has come to Pine Creek.

Washington, 1892

Cameron Wallace thrives as both the blacksmith and the minister in his community of Pine Creek. Out of the fires of a chaotic childhood, he’s forged a peaceful life filled with safe relationships and predictable routines. But when the smithy he’s been renting is sold out from under him, the impulsive woman who buys it stokes the embers of emotions he’d rather keep unlit—and even has the audacity to lend a helping hand to his smithy work.

Samantha Klein has never been afraid to push boundaries when it comes to helping those whom society—and God—have overlooked, be they orphans, immigrants, or injured animals. When her latest attempt to aid a group of Chinese women lands her in a newspaper scandal, her high-society family sends her packing from Seattle. Setting out on her own, she purchases the Pine Creek smithy and hatches another plan for helping her immigrant friends. But only weeks after arriving in Pine Creek, her plan turns to ashes, and she’s overwhelmed by needs she can never hope to meet, including her own need to be seen and cared for. And the one who seems to understand her is the man who won’t let her anywhere near his heart, no matter the attraction that burns between them.

As Cameron struggles to find a new normal, and Samantha yearns for someone to share her burdens, old hurts and dangerous secrets make them both terrified to admit that what they need—and what God has planned for them—just might be each other.

My Review | Amazon

 

More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer

More Than Meets the Eye

Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Eva has two–Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?

My Review | Amazon

 

I hope you enjoyed this look back at the books I most enjoyed reading in 2018. Be sure to subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss my upcoming post, “Top Ten Christian Romance Books of 2019,” when I’ll be sharing with you the book releases I’m most eagerly anticipating in 2019.

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

 

Let’s Chat!

Which of these books will you be adding to your TBR today? Which book did I leave out that you think should be added to this list? Tell me in the comments below!

 

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Check out this list of Top 10 Best Christian Romance Books of 2018! #BookReview #ChristFic #TopTen @KathleenDenly https://bit.ly/2SY2SgF

12 Days of Christmas for Book Lovers +SPECIAL OFFER!

12 Days of Christmas for Book Lovers - 2018

If there’s an avid reader on your gift-giving list this year, you’ve come to the right place! Today I’m sharing 12 days of unique gift ideas for those whose passion is in the written word. PLUS I’m sharing a SPECIAL OFFER! Keep reading for more details!

You will notice two obvious gaps in this list:  books and bookmarks. Yes, those are great gifts for book lovers, but they are so beyond obvious, it didn’t seem necessary to add them to the list when there were other, less obvious ideas wanting a spot there. So I left them off.

Since these items are from many different shops, I’ve provided links to purchase each item and with prices ranging from under $3 to over $700 there is sure to be something in your price range. (BTW: None of these are affiliate links.)

Note: Always check pricing before finalizing a purchase. Prices listed were current as of this writing but are subject to change. Today is Cyber Monday, so several of these items are discounted TODAY ONLY! An asterisk (*) indicates a discount was being offered at the time of this writing. Prices below do not reflect Cyber Monday pricing. See shop for discounted pricing.


SPECIAL OFFER!!! 

Literary Book Gifts has generously provided a discount code just for my readers!!! Use code:  KATHLEENDENLY20 to receive 20% off anything in the store, no minimum, and can be used unlimited times


Happy shopping!

(Click on photos to visit listing pages.)

Day 1

Bookish Jewelry

Bookish Key Ring
So Many Books So Little Time Key Ring by The Pendant Emporium $10
Butterfly Book Page Earrings
Origami Butterfly Earrings by The Paper Circus Shop $10.62
Mr Darcy Cuff Bracelet
Jane Austen Fabric Cuff Bracelet by DSP Davey $32
Many Lives Bookish Pendant
I Read Books Necklace by Unicorn Culture $12.95
Go Away I'm Reading Pendant
Go Away I’m Reading Necklace by Belle Regalia $25.43
Flower Book Ring
Flower Book Ring by Epik Creations $15
Bookish Badge Pins
Book Lover Badges/Pins by A Rose Cast $3.98*
Got Books Charm Bracelet
Got Books Charm Bracelet by A Likely Story $39.95
Book Nerd Leather Bracelet
Book Nerd Leather Bracelet by Laurel Denise $24.00*

Day 2

Bookish Perfumes

Jane Austen Library Perfume
Jane Austen Library Perfume by Wicked Good Perfume $6.99
Jane Austen Perfume Collection
Limited Edition: Jane Austen Perfume Collection by Little Bits $85*

Day 3

Teas & Mugs

Literary Teas Gift Set
A Collection of  Literary Classic Love Stories – Teas by Literary Tea Company $2.99
Novel Teas
Novel Teas – English Breakfast Tea Set (with literary quotes from the world over) by Bag Ladies Tea $13.50
I had a lot of things I was going to do Mug
I Had A Lot of Things I was “Going” to Do Then I Picked Up a Book Mug by Hey Shabby Me $18.99
Go Away I'm Reading Mug
Go Away I’m Reading Mug by Mirkwood Scribes $16.50
Just One More Chapter
Just One More Chapter Mug by Tiny Zen Co $15.87*
Many Lives Bookish Mug
I Read Books Not Because I Don’t Have a Life But Because I Choose to Have Many Mug by Hippo and Kelpie $12.90
Obstinate Headstrong Girl Mug
Obstinate Headstrong Girl Mug by Ivory Paige $16.99

Day 4

Clocks

Bookworm Clock
Book Lover Clock by Vinyl Shop US $34.99
It's Never a Bad Time To Read A Good Book Clock
Engraved Book Clock “It’s Never A Bad Time To Read A Good Book” by DesignsbyPhil.com $40
Pride & Prejudice Clock
Pride and Prejudice Book Clock by My Booklandia $50.00
A Christmas Carol Clock
A Christmas Carol Clock by Literary Art Designs $30

Day 5

Greeting Cards & Book Stamps & Bookplates

Austen Book Plate
Bonnets and Bows Adhesive Bookplates by From The Library of $20
Book Plate Stamp - Read Love Return
Read It, Love It, Return It Personalized Library Book Stamp by Fall For Design $26.99
Embossing Book Plate
Custom Seal Embosser Bookplate Stamp by Red Cloud Studio $31.25*
Literary Greeting Cards
Bookish Greeting Cards Multipack by A Rose Cast $5.31*
Self-Inking Book Stamp
Literary Book Stamp – Self Inking by Rubber Stamp Press $25*

Day 6

Book Flowers & Wall Art & Ornaments

Book Page Ornaments
Sphere small – Book Art hanging Ornament by Paper Statement $19.43*
Book Rose
Book Page Paper Flower by Rachel Emma Studio $15.92
Winnie the Pooh Book Flowers
Book Paper Flowers – Winnie the Pooh by Literary Blooms $18*
Louisa May Alcott Wall Art
Louisa May Alcott Little Women Literary Quote Art Print by A Rose Cast $6.64*
Books Wall Art
Book Lovers Alphabet Photography Sign by Simpson Hill Designs $11.99*

Day 7

Pillows

I declare Jane Austen Pillow
Jane Austen Pillow by The Pillow Geek $22.95
Just One More Chapter Pillow
Just One More Chapter Pillow by Tiny Zen Co $26.40*

Day 8

Bookish Gift Sets

Bookish Gift Set 1
Book Lover Bundle by Storytale Decor $46.48*

Day 9

Hats, Scarves, Socks & T-Shirts

Bring me a book Socks
Funny Socks by Totes Burlap $16.99*
Gray Read Beanie with Puff Ball
Customized Bookish Hat with pom pom by Booklover Pullover
Red Book Lover Beanie Hat
Custom Book Lover Hat by Booklover Pullover
Jane Eyre Scarf
Jane Eyre Shawl by Universal Zone $39
Pride & Prejudice Scarf
Pride and Prejudice Scarf by Universal Zone $39
Pride & Prejudice Butterfly Scarf
Pride & Prejudice Scarf by Enjoy The Traffic $45
Alice in Wonderland T-shirt
Alice in Wonderland Women’s T-Shirt (avail. in multiple colors) by Literary Book Gifts USE CODE: KATHLEENDENLY20 to receive 20% off anything in the store, no minimum, and can be used unlimited times
Jane Austen T-Shirt
Pride and Prejudice Women’s T-shirt (avail. in multiple colors) by Literary Book Gifts USE CODE: KATHLEENDENLY20 to receive 20% off anything in the store, no minimum, and can be used unlimited times

Day 10

Purses & Tote Bags

Emily Dickinson Tote Bag
Emily Dickinson Tote Bag by Literary Book Gifts USE CODE: KATHLEENDENLY20 to receive 20% off anything in the store, no minimum, and can be used unlimited times
Pride & Prejudice Tote Bag
Pride & Prejudice Tote Bag by Literary Book Gifts USE CODE: KATHLEENDENLY20 to receive 20% off anything in the store, no minimum, and can be used unlimited times
Library Tote Bag
Book Lover Tote Bag by Bookish Stuff $22*
Pride & Prejudice Purse
Pride and Prejudice Literary Handbag “You have bewitched me body and soul. ~Mr. Darcy~” by Enjoy The Traffic $72

Day 11

Junk Journals & Altered Book Journals (handmade)

Altered Book Journal
Vintage Shabby Altered Book Journal by SnS Dragonfly $35
Dream Junk Journal
Altered Book Journal “Dream” by Rosehart Studio $39.84
Fabric Bible Themed Junk Journal
Cherish Bible Journaling Collection Junk Journal by Pleasant Creations Co. $179.99
Junk Journal Green
Junk Journal by Christy Sich Designs $86.75*
Mini Junk Journal
Mini Junk Journal (3 3/4 x 5 1/4 inches) by Breezy Blessings Co $18.50
Rose Altered Book Journal
Handmade “altered book” Journal by Rethink Paper $31.87*

Day 12

Book Sculptures

The Tree of Love Book Art
The Tree of Love – Book Art by Malena Valcarcel $765.25
Where the Wild Things Are Book Art
Where The Wild Things Are – Book Art by Malena Valcarcel $523.90
Treasure Island Book Art Greeting Card
Treasure Island Greeting Card (printed with image of an altered book sculpture) – by Days Fall Like Leaves $2.66
Jane Austen Book Sculpture
Pride & Prejudice book sculpture by Days Fall Like Leaves $398.41
Jane Austen Book Sculpture Greeting Card
Pride and Prejudice Greeting Card (printed with image of an altered book sculpture) by Days Fall Like Leaves $2.66

 


Don’t forget the SPECIAL OFFER from Literary Book Gifts!!!

Literary Book Gifts has generously provided a discount code just for my readers!!!

Use code:  KATHLEENDENLY20

to receive 20% off anything in the store, no minimum, and can be used unlimited times


 

And in case you were wondering: No, I am not affiliated with Literary Book Gifts or any of the shops listed above. I simply love bookish gifts and great deals.

Don’t forget to share this list with all your bookish friends and those who may be shopping for your gifts this holiday season! 

TWEETABLE:

Check out this great list of bookish gifts + a SPECIAL OFFER! @KathleenDenly https://bit.ly/2Sf1Dtc

 

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Books That Stood Out In 2018

Books That Stood Out

If you are looking for a book that is just a bit different from your usual fare, this is the list for you. Today I’m featuring those books which I have read this year that have stood out to me as unique and the reasons I think they are different.

Written in the Stars & Written in the Dust (Books 1 & 2 of the Backroads Series)

by Christina Coryell

 

So I’m starting this list by breaking the rules because these two books really read as one book split into two.  The reason they make the list is two-fold:

Firstly, the style of writing and flow of the story felt completely unique and fresh to me. I can’t quite put my finger on exactly why, but there is just something different about how this story is told that makes it stand out.

Second, there is a raw realism to the backroads, country lifestyle the author portrays in this story and a depth to her characters that makes you feel like you could bump into them at the grocery store … or inside a gas station.

Amazon

A Chance at Forever (Teaville Moral Society #3)

by Melissa Jagears

A Chance at Forever

This book features a heroine born with a congenital anomaly that led to bullying which shaped her childhood and her view of the world as an adult. Furthermore, the hero is her childhood tormentor with a painful story of his own. This incredible story of forgiveness, redemption and Christ’s miraculous ability to use everything for good, is an excellent conclusion to the series (although it can be read as a stand-alone) and is well worth a reader’s time. The characters were relatable and complex. The plot was unique, compelling, and held surprises I didn’t see coming. The conclusion was satisfying and grin-inducing. In short, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more by Melissa Jagears

Amazon

The Reluctant Groom (Brides of Seattle Book 1)

by Kimberly Rose Johnson

The Reluctant Groom

This book took me by surprise in a very good way. I didn’t realize I had certain expectations of the plot until I started reading and had my expectations thrown out the window. I can’t tell you how difficult it is to find a refreshing take on the usual marriage of convenience story, but Kimberly Rose Johnson has done it. The characters in this story and their motivations and choices felt so refreshingly unique and real. It was like they could be my neighbor or my friend.

There was one particular part which I absolutely loved. Without giving too much detail away, I will say that big plans were made, but they didn’t turn out as expected and what made that so fantastic is that they didn’t go melodramatically wrong. Things just sort of played out in a very true-to-life, relationships-are-messy sort of way.

I am delighted by the unique perspective this author has demonstrated in this story and look forward to reading more novels by her.

Amazon

Catching Christmas

by Terri Blackstock

Catching Christmas

This book stands out because of its unique characters, unique premise, and the unique twists the author throws in at every point in the story. There is an element to it that, had I known of it in advance, would have prevented me from reading this book. That would have been a shame because my reasons for avoiding that element would have been based on completely incorrect assumptions. And it is that very element itself which makes it stand out from the crowd of books I have read this year. If you’re not already a follower, make sure to subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss out on my full review of this book, coming December 17th!

Amazon

Sons of Blackbird Mountain

by Joanne Bischof

Sons of Blackbird Mountain

This book stands out not only for its beautiful writing, but for a very easy to state reason: it features a hero who is deaf and an alcoholic. Joanne has shown serious writerly skill in managing to not only bring this character to life on the page but also in making him someone the reader roots for. She makes us see beyond his addiction and doesn’t let his different communication abilities define who he is, but instead takes us deeper into the many layers of what makes him, him. For my full review of Sons of Blackbird Mountain, click HERE.

Amazon

The Ruby Knot (The Dirty Boat Guys of Coronado Book 1)

by Jane Josephs

The Ruby Knot

If you are a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club Member, you know that I positively gushed about this book in my summer newsletter. Last week, I finally revealed my review to the rest of the world. (You can read it here. To become a KRC Member, click here.)

What qualifies The Ruby Knot for this list of stand-out books is the premise of the book. The story begins with a heroine who, after getting pregnant as a result of a one-night stand, is trying to get her life in line with God’s Word, but as you can imagine, the consequences of her previous choices do anything but simplify her life and the choices she now faces (especially between the two men pursuing her heart) are anything but straightforward. This story shows us how God’s love shines through life’s raw messiness.

Amazon

Let’s chat!

What books have you read this year that stood out as different to you?

TWEETABLES:

Looking for something different to read? Check out this list of Books That Stood Out In 2018!

Discover why these books stood out in 2018.

 

 

8 Fantastic Authors I Met At The 2018 ACFW Conference & What I Didn’t Know About Them

8 Fantastic Authors ACFW 2018

This was my first year attending the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference and I can’t tell you how excited I was in the weeks leading up to the event. Over the last few years I have been blessed to connect with a number of authors online, but for many of them, this would be my first chance to meet them in person.  I know that as readers, many of you can share in my excitement over meeting these wonderful women who have crafted some of our favorite stories. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite moments with you. (Presented in alphabetical order because I couldn’t possibly rank by favorite.)

Tamera Alexander

alexander145rt - Version 2

I actually met Tamera in the one place they tell you not to bother the faculty: the bathroom. LOL To be fair, it’s not like I stalked her in there. I just happened to come out of the stall just as she was finishing washing her hands. While I was washing my hands, I said, “Well, this is an awkward place to meet, but I have to tell you that I think your books are awesome.” Or something very similar to that. She very graciously thanked me for my compliments and that was it. Not much of a conversation since we were both hurrying to the next class, but a little while later I was able to sit in on a class where she was part of the panel discussing “Writing in Community.” It was great to hear her thoughts on the subject along with those of the others on the panel (many of whom I was also silently fan-girling over: Deborah Rainey, Jody Hedlund, Lynette Eason, Lynn Blackburn, Karen Witemeyer).

What I didn’t know about Tamera was that Deborah Rainey is her critique partner. The banter between those two kept the panel discussion fun.

Books by Tamera: A Note Yet Unsung (2018 Carol Award winner & 2017 Christy Award Winner & part of the Belmont Mansion series),  The Inheritance (2010 RITA Award winner), From a Distance (One of my personal favorites & 2009 Christy Award Winner & part of the Timber Ridge Reflections series). Find more of her books here!

Pepper Basham

After reviewing a few of Pepper’s books for the blog, I’ve had the opportunity to begin a friendship with this wonderful woman via email. Getting to finally meet her in person was such a pleasure. She immediately recognized me when we spotted each other in the huge crowd and gave me a hug. She is just as friendly and genuine in person as you could hope for.

What I didn’t know about Pepper was how comfortable she could appear on stage in front of nearly 600 people as part of the conference worship team. Her beautiful voice blended well with worship leader Rachel Hauck’s(!). (Rachel isn’t on my list because I just didn’t get a chance to connect with her – so many people, so little time – but yes, I was totally fangirling over her, too.)

Books by Pepper: The Penned in Time series (the books that made me fall in love with her writing), the Mitchell’s Crossroads series (how can you not love a great reimagining of Pygmalion?), and Jane by the Book (featuring a hero like no other). Find more books by Pepper here!

Mary Connealy

MaryConnealy by Ginger Murray Photography

Mary Connealy is a Carol Award winner and a Rita and Christy and IRCC Award Finalist. I have been a fan of her writing for so long, I can’t remember when I started reading her books. I only know if there’s a book of hers that I haven’t read (and I’m not sure there is), it’s only because I haven’t been able to get my hands on it yet.

It was the first day of the conference when I was speaking to Carrie Schmidt (another online friend I was thrilled to meet in person) when Mary’s name came up and I mentioned what a huge fan I was and that I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of meeting her. Carrie, dear heart that she is, immediately got up and went to pull Mary from the crowd and bring her over to introduce us. I’m not sure I managed a very fascinating conversation considering my brain just kept repeating, “No way. No way. I can’t believe I’m actually meeting her!” LOL But I do recall that she asked what genre I wrote in and I managed to get some intelligible words out . . . I think.

What I didn’t know about Mary was her willingness to help other authors. Later that night there was an event at which nervous authors were invited to come practice their pitches before facing agents and editors in appointments on the days to follow. Carrie Schmidt was one of the hosts so I stopped by to see how it was going and Mary was there, along with other experienced authors who’d volunteered to listen to pitches.

Books by Mary: The Cimarron Legacy series (don’t miss the novella prequel!), the Wild at Heart series, & The Kincaid Brides series, and Garrison’s Law is her fun new contemporary series that I’m loving.  Find more of her books here!

Emily Conrad

Emily Conrad

You know what’s really fun? Having a casual conversation with another author and suddenly realizing you just downloaded their debut novel the night before! That’s what happened when I met Emily Conrad at the conference. If you haven’t heard of her debut novel, Justice, I definitely recommend you take a minute to check it out.

What I didn’t know about Emily was … well I already covered that, didn’t I? 😉 I had no idea the author whose book I’d just purchased would be standing in front of me the very next day.

Find Emily’s debut novel here.

Sarah Sundin

Okay, technically this was my second time meeting Sarah, but she is just too wonderful a person not to mention here. I first met her at the 2018 Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in the spring. This time we happened to catch the same shuttle from the airport to the resort and were able to reconnect as we rode. It was lovely to get to know her better over the next few days through several conversations and her moderation of the Historical Fiction panel at the conference. (The panel also included: Karen Witemeyer, Carrie Turansky, & Melanie Dobson)

What I didn’t know about Sarah was that she is a serious outliner when it comes to plotting. Some writers start with a basic idea, then just sit down and start writing. Others outline nearly everything that happens in their novels before writing a single word. Sarah falls into the latter category and it can take her about three months to complete an outline, but then her actual writing goes pretty fast.

Books by Sarah: The Sunrise at Normandy series, the Waves of Freedom series, the Wings of the Nightingale series. Find more books by Sarah here!

Carrie Turansky

Carrie Turansky

I just happened to cross paths with Carrie Turansky after checking in at registration for the conference. She was very sweet when I stopped her to tell her how much I loved her writing. We had a couple more opportunities to talk during the conference and I found her to be a very kind person.

What I didn’t know about Carrie was that she is not only a fabulous author but a mentor as well. She was a finalist for this year’s Mentor of the Year Award.

Books by Carrie: Shine Like the Dawn (My favorite!), Waiting for His Return, and Across the Blue. Find more of her books here!

Erica Vestch

Erica Vestch

I met Erica at the Pitch Practice session where she was helping listen to authors practicing their pitch. While I was there, Erica very kindly took the time to look over some of my writing and provide me with invaluable feedback. The fun part is that I knew her name was familiar but couldn’t bring to mind her titles (my brain was mush by then – almost 10pm). So when I returned to my hotel room, I searched her name and discovered that I had actually read many of her books. Better yet, I immediately downloaded her latest novella, A Perfect Christmas, which has only recently released as part of The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection and, despite the anchors weighing my lids, I had a very difficult time putting that book down!

What I didn’t know about Erica was what a kind and helpful spirit she has.

Books by Erica: A Perfect Christmas in The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection (Highly recommended!), Prescription for Love in The First Love Forever Romance Collection, My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille Find more books by Erica, here!

Karen Witemeyer

I first spotted Karen seated at a table beside mine, but she was engaged in conversation the entire time and I didn’t get to say hello until later that day when I mentioned to Kristi Ann Hunter (another great author!) how much I loved Karen’s books. Kristi kindly introduced me to Karen the next time we were in the same hallway together. After telling Karen how much I enjoy her writing, the first thing I asked her was if she had an assistant that helped her maintain the seemingly impossible schedule she keeps with her incredibly active Facebook Group (The Posse) and her writing deadlines and her fulltime job and everything else she does. The answer? Her assistant’s name is Karen Witemeyer. 😉 Her words. 😀

What I didn’t know about Karen (besides her not having an assistant) is that her humor is just as witty in person and she is genuinely kind. She really cares about her readers. I also didn’t know that she has a lovely singing voice. Karen and Kristi were both members of the choir that sang for us at the ACFW Gala.

Books by Karen: More than Meets the Eye (Laugh-out-loud-funny!), Heart on the Line (picked as one of my Top 5 Heroes of 2017), and A Tailor-Made Bride (the first book I read by Karen). Find more of Karen’s books, here!

Why only 8?

Well, because it’s 2018 and I had to cut it off somewhere. Honestly, though, I could fill 30 blog posts talking about all the wonderful people I met at the conference. I told my mom that it was like an actress who’s still waiting tables walking into a room filled with all the A-list celebrities you can think of and discovering their all happy to meet you and willing to help you, AND they all love Jesus!!!

Let’s Chat!

Have you had the pleasure of meeting one of your favorite authors?

Which Christian Fiction author would you most like to meet?

TWEETABLES

Ever wondered if Karen Witemeyer has an assistant? #ACFW2018

This author has a kind and helpful spirit AND her Christmas novella just released! #ACFW2018

Do you know which of your favorite Christian Romance authors was a finalist for Mentor of the Year? #ACFW2018

Can you guess which Christian Romance author has research down to a science and thoroughly outlines her novels? #ACFW2018

When your talking to someone and suddenly realize their book is on your kindle! #ACFW2018

Meeting this author caused total fan-girl brain melt. #ACFW2018

Not only does she write incredible Christian Romance, she can sing, too! #ACFW2018

Do you know who @TameraAlexander’s critique partner is? #ACFW2018

5 of My Favorite Book Bloggers – Part 2

5 Of My Favorite Book Bloggers

Back in April I shared with you 5 of my favorite book bloggers and promised you more to come. Well, today is the day. Here are 5 more of my favorite book bloggers. Happy clicking!

#1

Christian Shelf-Esteem

Christian Shelf Esteem is written by Amanda Geaney and her kind heart shows through in everything she shares.

#2

The Engrafted Word

The Engrafted Word is written by Savannah Kaiser whom I “met” when we both finaled in the 2017 First Impressions contest. Over on her blog she shares book reviews and author interviews. What I think makes her blog unique is that her interviews include both published and not-yet-published authors, like me.

#3

A Baker's Perspective

A Baker’s Perspective written by Jessica Baker. She shares a variety of different posts on her blog, including a fun series titled, “A Day in the Life.”

#4

Cafinated Reads

Cafeinated Reads is written by Molly who also has a fun Facebook Group.

#5

C Jane Read

C Jane Read is written by two best friends known as JaneReads and C.

As with my first post, I have more fun book bloggers to share with you, but I still think five is a good number. Too many and you won’t get to really explore these wonderful sites. So I plan to share even more of my favorite bloggers in future posts.

If you haven’t already signed up to follow my blog, make sure you click HERE and sign up now!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free to join (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Let’s chat!

Which book bloggers do you follow?

TWEETABLE:

Check out these 5 Awesome Book Bloggers! #ChristFic #BookBloggers https://bit.ly/2wzNkXS

Why We Buy the Books We Do

Why We Buy The Books We Do

There are millions (billions?) of books out there waiting for us to buy and read them. So why do we buy the books that we do? What makes us choose a particular book and bring it home with us or load it onto our ereader?

Well, let’s start with the two most obvious reasons:

  1. There are those books whose authors who we know and love. Whatever they write, we’re going to buy. It’s just that simple.
  2. Then there are the sequels to that first book in a series. Maybe we knew what we were getting into or maybe we didn’t realize that great premise was just the start of a longer story. Either way, we’re hooked now and must buy the next book to see where this story goes.

Beyond this, however, things get a bit more complicated. We all have a limited book budget (of both time & money) and with so much of our budget already allocated to the two categories above, what helps a book gain a portion of our remaining budget? I have my suspicions, but I thought I’d do a little anecdotal research and take a look back at five of my most recent impulse purchases to consider what persuaded me to make them. To keep things simple, I’m restricting this to my fiction choices (since the reasons for purchasing nonfiction are so different) and only those books which I have not read before (so an audio version of a book I’ve read previously doesn’t count).

Justice

Justice by Emily Conrad – I read the first line and premise on Iola Goulton’s blog as part of our First Line Friday fun. The premise reminded me of the biblical story of Mary and Joseph (minus the immaculate conception, of course). It intrigued me and was on sale, so I immediately purchased it.

The Determined GroomThe Determined Groom by Cami Checketts – This novel was recommended to me in a newsletter written by an author I enjoy and who writes in the same genre (Lucy McConnell). I don’t currently have many unread titles like this on my kindle, plus it was on sale for $0.99. So I clicked through to buy it.

The Hope of Azure Springs

The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham – I was searching the internet for authors in my genre who’d worked with a particular publisher when I came across a blog post Rachel had written about the design of her cover. As soon as I read the premise, I knew I wanted to read her novel. (I’m a sucker for orphans and nineteenth-century America.)

Be Still My Heart

Be Still, My Heart – This is a novella collection I purchased in a few months ago. To be honest, I don’t completely remember how I found this book, but I *think* I saw a link on Twitter. What I do remember is that it was a set of 7 Christian romance novellas being offered for FREE with all new-to-me authors. A no-brainer, really. I love discovering new authors and a novella doesn’t take up too much of my reading time budget.

The Story Peddler

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin – Okay, yes, if you watched my Facebook Live video from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference this year, you know that I have met Linsday. However, I had added her book to my TBR long before that because I’d seen its gorgeous cover all over the book blogosphere and was further drawn in by its premise. The idea of stories as tangible things was fascinating to me. Throw in a romance and I was sold.

So there you have them, five different books and five different reasons behind my purchases.

What about you? Which books have you purchased lately that weren’t part of a series you’d already started or by an author you already know and love? What motivated you to purchase them? Have you read them? How did it work out? 

Let’s chat books in the comments below!

TWEETABLE:

5 Books, 5 Reasons – Why we buy the books we do.