Top Ten Tuesday

Today’s theme as per The Broke and the Bookish is “Top Ten Books I Wish Had More/Less X in Them”. However, I couldn’t think of anything for this topic, so I looked at past Top Ten Tuesday Themes and decided to do one that I don’t think I’ve done in the past.

Therefore, my theme for today is “Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry”.

  1. Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
  2. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
  3. Unblemished by Sara Ella
  4. Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund
  5. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
  6. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
  7. Fire and Water by Betsy Graziana Fasbinder
  8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  9. This Side of Heaven by Karen Kingsbury
  10. The Promise by Danielle Steel


Top Ten Tuesday


Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is a FREEBIE as determined by The Broke and Bookish.

Therefore, since I could choose WHATEVER I wanted to create a list of, AND because I am a writer, I decided to do “Top Ten Books on the Writing Craft That I Hope to Read This Year”.

  1. & 2. Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence by [Cron, Lisa] & Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere) by [Cron, Lisa]

I finally ordered and just received “Wired for Story” by Lisa Cron. I have heard so many good things about this book from other writers. I can’t wait to finally dig into it! Then there’s Lisa’s newest release from 2016, “Story Genius”. I’ll be looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this one too.


Okay, confession: I have already started reading this one. But, I’ve only completed chapter one. I ran into an issue in my WIP (work in progress) and thought this might help, and I’ve already discovered and corrected my biggest issue, after just reading one chapter, so I can’t wait to see what the rest of this book has for me!

4. Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules by [James, Steven]

This one has been recommended to me several times by other writer friends, so it still lingers on my TBR list. I did just order it and should receive it into my hot little hands by February 1st.


This one sounds like a book every writer needs. I read about it, as it came recommended by K.M. Weiland, who has great writing advice.


I don’t intend to write a screenplay, but I’ve heard this book recommended for book authors as well.

7. The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller by [Truby, John]

This, too, comes highly recommended to me by other writer friends.


My son recommended this book to me a long time ago, but also informed me that Robert McKee tends to use some profane language in it, so I have steered clear of it so far. Then a Christian writer friend recommended it to me and I asked her about the language, and she didn’t remember there being any. So, I guess I’ll take a chance. I can always do like my son said a friend of his did and cross out the inappropriate words with a black sharpie. (The only problem with that is I have to see the words to cross them out.)

9. & 10.  & Elements of Fiction Writing - Conflict and Suspense by [Bell, James Scott]

Yes, I am a James Scott Bell fan. He gives writing advice and tips using some great examples that I am familiar with. He includes some writing exercises to help you apply what he’s teaching. I have read two of his books, and like I mentioned above, I am currently reading another one of his books on writing.

What type of books did you share about on your TTT today?

Top Ten Tuesday


The week’s theme for the Top Ten Tuesday meme by The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten Underrated/Hidden Gems That I Have Read Recently. Therefore, the following picks are books I read in 2016 that I really enjoyed but didn’t hear/read anyone else really talking about. So, if you haven’t read any of these, I suggest you may want to check them out.

A great story about the complicated relationships within families, as well as a really sweet romance between two unlikely people.


This is probably my favorite book of 2016 and I can’t believe that more of you fantasy lovers haven’t been talking this one up. If you like fantasy, you’ve got to check this book out!


This is a book about one man’s struggles with life, love and relationships. I had never heard of Charles Martin before reading this book, but I enjoyed this book enough that I will be checking out more books by Charles Martin, who has written quite a few.


If you like good YA fiction with strong female characters, you’ll enjoy Dauntless, but don’t stop with that one. Read the other two books in the serious as well: Chivalrous and Courageous.


I don’t see a lot of hype ever talked up about these formulaic romance stories, and I am not a big fan of them either. However, Kissed by a Cowboy by Debra Clopton is a great romance story with lots of good characters.


This is the first steampunk book I have ever read and I really enjoyed it, and can’t wait to read the rest of the series. Do any of the rest of you read any steampunk? I haven’t seen any on any of the blogs I’ve visited.


Not my usual genre, and I’m not a big fan of books with violence and profanity, but this book was written in such a personable way about the life of a Marine in Vietnam, that I really did enjoy it. I had difficulty putting down until I reached the end.

I know we’re supposed to do ten, but I cannot honestly think of any more books that I read in 2016 that haven’t received a lot of attention and hype.

Top Ten Tuesday

Today’s meme by The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant to Read but Didn’t Get To (But Totally Plan To).


I fell in love with this cover the first time I saw it and I wanted to read the book. Then I saw it turn up on lots of TTT lists in 2016 and I learned more about it, and it is still on my TBR.


I have always been fascinated by the legend of Jack the Ripper and the fact that the case remains unsolved, so any book, fiction or not that has anything to do with Jack the Ripper is of interest to me.


Libraries and adventures in another world! Anything to do with books and libraries, count me in! The next book in this series is due out in February 2017 — I’ve got to get a hold of this book before then!


Mystery and suspense — sign me up!


An orphaned child, a circus and a pride of lions.


Another story that involved a circus. Yes, I love the circus and I love animals.


I even own this book and still haven’t gotten to it yet. As a matter of fact, I own the first and second books of this series too, and have only read the first one, so book two is also still on my TBR.


A woman trying to rise to a better career makes a bet about a client and then unexpectedly gets personally involved with him. What will happen when he finds out about the wager?


I own this one too, and the second book in the series is due out in March.


In all honesty, I was one book short, so I went looking at lists of books published in 2016 and found this book about two people who connect over their common love of the Narnia book series by C.S. Lewis, so, of course, since I am a HUGE fan of the Narnia series myself, this had to be added to the list.

Here is one nonfiction book that came out in 2016 that I just recently found out about, but really want to read:

I still really want her first book, Wired for Story, as well.

Top Ten Tuesday

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday meme from The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten 2017 Debuts I’m Excited For.

I don’t really follow any book lists for debuts or new releases. I simply read books I hear about from friends or through participation in the weekly meme. However, in order to participate in today’s topic, I did search 2017 debuts on Goodreads and this is the list I have come up with:

  1. The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle (no cover available yet)

What books are you excited about in 2017?


Top Ten Tuesday


This meme is brought to you today via The Broke and the Bookish and this week’s topic: Top Ten Best Books Of 2016 (you choose — best books overall of what you read regardless of pub date, of a particular genre, 2016 debuts, 2016 releases, etc)

I have chosen to do the Top Ten Books of 2016 That I Have Read — no particular genre and not all 2016 releases.

I loved this book and eagerly await the next book in the series, due to release in July 2017.


This is a great romance story that includes some great characters and a bit of humor.


This is an altogether sweet romance story with a wonderfully chivalrous gentleman.


Another wonderful romance story between two unlikely characters, but not a perfect romance. This one is realistic with some bumps along the way.


My first steampunk read and I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read the rest of this series.


This is the first book I’ve read by Charles Martin. Mr. Martin creates rich characters and spins a wonderful story. I look forward to reading more of his works.

7. Reflection: The Stranger in the Mirror (Records of the Ohanzee Book 1) by [Smith, Rachel R.]

Although I do not like the style in which this book is written — serialized, where the story line flows continuously through the books in the series, heavily connecting the books, I did enjoy the characters and the story line and do look forward to reading the rest of the series. However, if Ms. Smith continues to write in this style, I probably will not read her future works beyond this series.


A good writer never stops learning and seeking to improve their craft, and I enjoy studying books on the craft of writing by James Scott Bell.

9. & 10. Love Finds a Home, Love Comes Softly Series #8, a Novel  -     By: Janette Oke

These are my four favorite books in the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke, but I thoroughly enjoyed the entire series.

What books are on your list of Top Ten Reads of 2016?

Top Ten Tuesday

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme according to The Broke and the Bookish is the Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under my Tree. The following are my top ten, give or take 🙂 in no particular order.

  1.   &  LADY EVER AFTER: A Medieval Time Travel Romance (Beyond Time Book 2) by [Leigh, Tamara]
  2.   and every other book by Amy Harmon.

Has anyone read any of the books by Amy Harmon? I found The Law of Moses on someone’s TTT post a while ago and thought it sounded like a great book, then I saw that she had another book, The Song of David, so I looked her up  on Amazon and found a few others as well. I read all of the book descriptions and they all sound so good! I can’t wait to get my hands on at least one to see if they are as good as they sound, and if I like them, I’ll move on to the others.

I know this is more than 10, but, seriously, can any of you stick to just 10?

What books made it on your list?

Top Ten Tuesday

Today’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday as determined by The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to for the First Half of 2017.

  1. Daughter of the Pirate King by [Levenseller, Tricia]
  2. By Your Side by [West, Kasie]

When I read the book blurb about this one, it brought to mind and old favorite movie, The Breakfast Club, so I eagerly await this book’s arrival.

3. Once and for All by [Dessen, Sarah]

4. The Illusionist's Apprentice by [Cambron, Kristy]

5. The Mark of the King by [Green, Jocelyn]

6. If I'm Found (If I Run Series) by [Blackstock, Terri]

7. The Memory of You by [West, Catherine]


9. Recruits (Recruits Book #1) by [Locke, Thomas]

10. Piecing Me Together by [Watson, Renée]

Are any of these on your list? Are any of these authors your faves?

Top Ten Tuesday

Today’s list selected by The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten New-to Me Authors I Read for the First Time in 2016.

  1. This first author is not just New-to-Me, but she released her first book in October 2016 — Unblemished. I loved this story and eagerly await the sequel due to release in July 2017! The author is Sara Ella.
  2. Charles Martin is a New-to-Me author, who apparently has been writing for quite a while. I had never heard of him until 2016, with his release of Long Way Gone, which I highly recommend.
  3. Sherry V. Ostroff released her first book in 2016. It’s a memoir of her mother’s life — The Lucky One. It’s an easy read and extremely interesting. Ms. Ostroff is currently working on her first fiction novel, which you can read about on her website.
  4. Robin Sloan is another new author in 2016, which makes him New-to-Me. I really enjoyed his book Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. He is also working on a new novel to be released in the fall of 2017.
  5. Dina L. Sleiman was a New-to-Me author in 2015. I LOVED her Dance from Deep Within and was very disappointed to learn that she is not currently planning a sequel to it because her publisher won’t publish one because Dance from Deep Within didn’t sell as well as they wanted it to, so I don’t think I can really count this one.                However, Dina does have a series that I read the first book of in 2016 — Dauntless. The series is called “The Valiant Hearts Series” and it is historical fiction set in medieval times, and her female characters are strong, bold and courageous.
  6. Debra Clopton is a New-to-Me author in 2016, and I LOVED her book, Kissed by a Cowboy. I highly recommend it for all you romance readers.
  7. So, Shelley Adina is a name I had heard before 2016 and I knew that she wrote steampunk. However, I never got around to reading any of her books until 2016, when I read A Lady of Devices. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and hope to read the rest of the series someday.
  8. Melanie Dickerson is a New-to-Me author in 2016 and I read her book, The Golden Braid. It was an enjoyable read and I hope to read more of her books in the future.
  9. I am currently reading a New-to-Me author in 2016, James M. Dixon. I am reading his book, Things I’ll Never Forget: Memories of a Marine in Vietnam. I am about two thirds of the way through the book, and I don’t usually read these kinds of books. I always expect them to be filled with graphic violence, but Mr. Dixon has done a great job writing this book and allowing the reader to really “see” and “experience” some of what it was like to be a Marine in Vietnam without  being overly graphic. Of course, you can’t tell a story of war without some graphic violence. War is not pretty.  He tells some wonderful stories as well as those of the heartbreak that come with war.                           Mr. Dixon also has a children’s short mystery novel available, Secrets of the Warden’s House. You can find both of Mr. Dixon’s books on Amazon.
  10. I’m not a big fan of formula writing, but in 2016 I found that I really enjoyed Her Christmas Hero by Lorraine Beatty. It’s part of her “Home in Dover” series for Love Inspired romance stories. Lorraine created lovable characters who faced difficult life situations and found love despite the fact that neither of them were really looking for it.

Top Ten Tuesday

Today’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is a Holiday Gift Guide Freebie, which means you create a list of ten books that would be great gifts for Dads, YA lovers, etc. So my TTT is Top Ten Books to buy for your Middle Grade Reader, and every one of these books is Book 1 of a series.

  1. Adventures in the Northwoods Vol. 1: The Disappearing Stranger - By: Lois Walfrid Johnson

Kate O’Connell and her mother are left to struggle in 1906 Minneapolis after her father dies in a construction accident. Praying for a new husband for her mother, when God actually answers her prayers in the affirmative, Kate dreads what will happen next. Becoming part of a Swedish family in Wisconsin, Kate begins to get into conflicts with her step-brother Anders. When she notices some strange things happening around the farm, will she and Anders learn to work together to solve the mystery?

2. Adventures in Odyssey The Imagination Station ® #1: Voyage with the Vikings - By: Marianne Hering, Paul McCusker

Join cousins Beth and Patrick as they travel back in time to Greenland circa 1000 to find a Viking sunstone! While visiting Whit’s Soda Shoppe, the cousins find a mysterious, old letter in Imagination Station asking for Viking sunstone; if the sunstone isn’t found then someone named Albert will be imprisoned. Beth and Patrick race through time, meet the Vikings Erik the Red and Leif Eriksson, and locate the sunstone.but when they return to the Soda Shoppe another note is waiting for them requesting a silver goblet.

3. The Swamp Robber, Sugar Creek Gang Series #1 - By: Paul Hutchens

The Sugar Creek Gang series chronicles the faith-building adventures of a group of fun-loving, courageous Christian boys. These classic stories have been inspiring children to grow in their faith for more than five decades. Children continue to grow up relating to members of the gang as they struggle with the application of their Christian faith to the adventure of life.

The Sugar Creek Gang discovers a “disguise” hidden in a sycamore hollow. Does it belong to the bank robber hiding in the swamp? A mysterious map hidden near the tree proves to be even more exciting then the disguise. Before the adventure ends, the gang encounters the robber, helps Bill Collins welcome a new baby sister, and saves the victim of a black widow spider bite. Join Bill and the rest of the Sugar Creek Gang as they learn the lesson of “sowing” and “reaping.”

4. Viking Quest Series #1: Raiders from the Sea - By: Lois Walfrid Johnson

In one harrowing day, Viking raiders capture Bree and her brother Devon and take them from their home in Ireland. After the young Viking prince Mikkel sets Devon free on the Irish coast far from home, Bree and Devin embark on separate journeys to courage. Readers will be captivated by the unfolding drama as Bree sails to Norway on the Viking ship and Devin travels the dangerous road home.

5. The Ark, the Reed, and the Fire Cloud (The Amazing Tales of Max & Liz Book 1) by [Cote, Jenny]

Max, a Scottish terrier, takes his usual morning trot down to the loch where he hears a mysterious Voice humming in the reeds saying, “Come to Me…follow the fire cloud.” He embarks on an unknown journey from Scotland, meeting other animals along the way including Liz, a brilliant, petite black cat from France. Max and Liz become the brave leaders for their group, and eventually, for the entire ark. The mysterious journey, filled with danger, humor, trials, and triumphs, leads them across Europe to the Middle East. The moment of arrival for these animals is spectacular as the ark is miraculously transformed into the animals’ natural habitats.

Throughout the previous one hundred years, Noah and family have endured ridicule from villagers while building the ark. Now this family must painfully witness the loss of lives and total destruction of the earth through the mighty flood.

After the journey to the ark, the voyage in the ark begins. Liz finds ways to keep the animals occupied, including daily exercise led by the flamingos and a talent night where the animals entertain each other with their natural abilities. But a sinister plot develops Someone is out to kill Noah and his family. Liz follows clues that lead her to discover a stowaway who has deceived them all. Max and Liz foil the plot, but at a high price. The end climaxes with unexpected twists and turns, taking the reader from despair to hope.

6. The Prophet, the Shepherd, and the Star (Epic Order of the Seven) by [Cote, Jenny L.]

The Prophet, the Shepherd, and the Star launches the Epic Order of the Seven series, picking up where The Amazing Tales of Max and Liz left off. The Maker has been building a team of animal friends for thousands of years to be his envoys for pivotal points of history.
With this new, critical mission, the team will finally be completed by Messiah and known forevermore as the Order of the Seven. A talking, musical scroll, a pigeon-flying-and-camel-driving mouse, a writing cat, a courageous lamb, and two lion-fighting dogs provide non-stop action in this adventure that brings the Christmas story to life as never before. You will be astounded at the accuracy and perfection of the prophecies and God’s unfolding plan to bring Jesus into the world.
The seven hundred–year mission begins long before the Nativity, as animal friends Max, Liz, Al, Kate, and Nigel work with Isaiah, who prophesies about the coming Messiah. The team intervenes with the Assyrians that threaten to take Jerusalem and prove Isaiah’s prophecies false. They go with faithful Daniel and friends into the Babylonian captivity for the heart-pounding thrills of the fiery furnace and the lions’ den. They meet Gabriel as he appears to Daniel, and hide a secret scroll of prophecy for the wise men to someday discover as they study the Star. The book climaxes with the unfolding Christmas story as the animals once again see Gabriel with Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds.
Experience the hardships of Mary and Joseph as they obediently accept their calling to parent Messiah. Joyfully watch God provide for their every need through a lovable Jewish rabbi who dares to believe them and an unlikely Roman soldier who protects them. The shepherds and the wise men never know their steps are guided by these small animals that lead them to baby Jesus. Relentless in his pursuit is the evil lion, who seeks to devour them and stop the unfolding events leading to Messiah’s birth.


My name is Michael Vey, and the story I’m about to tell you is strange. Very strange. It’s my story.

To everyone at Meridian High School, Michael Vey is an ordinary fourteen-year-old. In fact, the only thing that seems to set him apart is the fact that he has Tourette’s syndrome. But Michael is anything but ordinary. Michael has special powers. Electric powers.

Michael thinks he’s unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor also has special powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up this way, but their investigation brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric children – and through them the world. Michael will have to rely on his wits, powers, and friends if he’s to survive.

8. Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione (The Knights of Arrethtrae) by [Black, Chuck]

A dangerous new order threatens the mission of the Knights of Arrethtrae. Only loyalty to the King can bring victory!

As the Knights of the Prince await His triumphant return, they are steadfast in their mission to take His story into the kingdom and recruit as many as are willing. But when a new and dangerous threat is revealed, their mission is jeopardized.

Sir Kendrick and his young charge, the impetuous Sir Duncan, are sent on a mission to discover the identity and origin of a secretive new order known as the Conquistero Knights. They travel to the city of Bel Lione where Lord Ra has been enticing young people in the kingdom to join his festivals, after which many choose not to return home. Their families keep quiet for fear of repercussion.

When Sir Duncan disappears while trying to discover the truth of Lord Ra’s castle, Sir Kendrick attempts to find and enlist the help of a mysterious warrior. Time is short for he must save Duncan and call upon the knights of Chessington to join in the battle against the evil Lord Ra.

Journey to Arrethtrae, where these knights of noble heart live and die in loyal service to the King and the Prince. These knights are mighty, for they serve a mighty King. They are…the Knights of Arrethtrae!

9. Eye of the Oracle, Oracles of Fire Series #1 - By: Bryan Davis

What ancient mysteries lurk behind the amazing stories in the Dragons in Our Midst series? Reading this prequel, you’ll journey back in time to learn how dragons survived the flood and about the ancient evil force that led to their demise in the days of King Arthur. Discover the mysteries that led to the bestselling fantasy adventure that began with Raising Dragons. With heart-stopping fantasy action and clear spiritual insights, Eye of the Oracle will captivate young and old alike, and it will challenge every reader to search deep within for answers to the mysteries in their own hearts.

10. Raising Dragons (Dragons in our Midst Book 1) by [Davis, Bryan]

Raising Dragons is a contemporary fantasy novel that inspires young people to dig deep within to find their God-given strengths and use them to overcome any obstacle. It is both a hair-raising, modern-day adventure and a glimpse into another world-a world of knights, dragons, and fair maidens.

A boy learns of his dragon past; a girl has known of hers for years. They combine their faith, courage, and love to overcome evil, a slayer who seeks to bring an end to dragon heritage, forever.