Tag Archives: Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday — All About Moms!

16 May

I’m back to blogging after a week+ hiatus. The hubs and I spent a wonderful week in Germany visiting friends. In addition to our travels in Deutschland, we spent time in Switzerland and even tiny Liechtenstein. The only glitch to the trip was the virus my husband took with him returned with me. 😩  This is the first day since returning to the US that I have felt well enough to participate in life. That means I missed Mother’s Day and my birthday (also on Mother’s Day). So I am doubly grateful to be a part of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday — All About Moms. Check out the other bloggers’ choices for great books featuring moms HERE.


I went way back to find books featuring strong moms. I went over the proscribed 10, but that’s ok. You can never have too many great stories.

Top Fiction Featuring Strong Moms

As I Have Loved You by Nikki Arana 

Leigh Scott is a single mom who just wants the best for her only son, Jeff: a college degree and a good job. But when he starts seeing Jessica, a young woman with a troubled past and a questionable future, Leigh envisions all her best-laid plans going up in smoke. As Jeff spends more and more time with Jessica, Leigh sees her fears realized in Jeff’s dropping grades and bad choices. To top it off, Leigh finds her relationships with her parents, her brother, and a long-lost old flame getting more complicated. Will Leigh get through to her son in time? Or is there more to Jessica than meets the eye? This many-layered, emotional family saga will captivate readers as it shows them the peril of judgment, the need for forgiveness, and the gift of love.

Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers

The first in an epic two-book saga by beloved author Francine Rivers, this New York Times best-selling story explores the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters over several generations.

Near the turn of the twentieth century, fiery Marta Schneider leaves Switzerland for a better life, determined to fulfill her mother’s hope. Her formative journey takes her through Europe and eventually to Canada, where she meets handsome Niclas Waltert. But nothing has prepared her for the sacrifices she must make for marriage and motherhood as she travels to the Canadian wilderness and then to the dusty Central Valley of California to raise her family.

Marta’s hope is to give her children a better life, but experience has taught her that only the strong survive. Her tough love is often misunderstood, especially by her oldest daughter, Hildemara Rose, who craves her mother’s acceptance. Amid the drama of World War II, Hildie falls in love and begins a family of her own. But unexpected and tragic events force mother and daughter to face their own shortcomings and the ever-widening chasm that threatens to separate them forever.

Intervention by Terri Blackstock

Barbara Covington has one more chance to save her daughter from a devastating addiction, by staging an intervention. But when eighteen-year-old Emily disappears on the way to drug treatment—and her interventionist is found dead at the airport—Barbara enters her darkest nightmare of all. Barbara and her son set out to find Emily before Detective Kent Harlan arrests her for a crime he is sure she committed. Fearing for Emily’s life, Barbara maintains her daughter’s innocence. But does she really know her anymore? Meanwhile, Kent has questions of his own. His gut tells him that this is a case of an addict killing for drugs, but as he gets to know Barbara, he begins to hope he’s wrong about Emily. The panic level rises as the mysteries intensify: Did Emily’s obsession with drugs lead her to commit murder—or is she another victim of a cold-blooded killer?


Missing Max by Karen Young

When baby Max is kidnapped during Mardi Gras, Jane and Kyle Madison’s life falls apart. What their daughter, Melanie, does next is unthinkable.

Max vanished into thin air while in the care of his teenage sister, Melanie. Six months later, the family is a shadow of its former self: Melanie blames herself and is acting out and rebellious; Jane is obsessed with finding Max; and Kyle, a lawyer, struggles to cope with his own grief—and a persistent suspicion that one of his cases is connected to Max’s disappearance.

With her family in turmoil and her marriage on the rocks, Jane thinks things can’t get any worse. Then when an affair and an unexpected pregnancy threaten to tear the Madisons’ lives apart, an anonymous caller leads to a break in the case. Can a second kidnapping bring their family back together?

Mother of Pearl by Kellie Coates Gilbert 

Barrie Graeber has two great kids, a loving husband, and a respected job as a high school counselor in her close-knit community. Without warning, everything unravels when her teenage daughter, Pearl, is betrayed by friends and lashes out.

Nothing prepares this mother for the helplessness that follows when her attempts to steer her daughter back on course fail and Pearl shuts her out . . . or when she discovers the unthinkable about her nemesis, the football coach.
Emotionally riveting and profoundly moving, MOTHER OF PEARL brings us into the heart of a mother bound by an incredible burden, who ultimately finds she must recognize her own vulnerability and learn to trust in something much bigger.


Of Stillness And Storm by Michele Phoenix

It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing. 

At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.

Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.

The Offering by Angela Hunt

After growing up an only child, Amanda Lisandra wants a big family. But since she and her soldier husband can’t afford to have more children right away, Mandy decides to earn money as a gestational carrier for a childless couple. She loves being pregnant, and while carrying the child, she dreams of having her own son and maybe another daughter. . . .

Just when the nearly perfect pregnancy is about to conclude, unexpected tragedy enters Mandy’s world and leaves her reeling. Devastated by grief, she surrenders the child she was carrying and struggles to regain her emotional equilibrium.

Two years later she studies a photograph of the baby she bore and wonders if the unthinkable has happened—could she have inadvertently given away her own biological child? Over the next few months Mandy struggles to decide between the desires of her grief-stricken heart and what’s best for the little boy she has never known.

The Pharaoh’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews

Anippe has grown up in the shadows of Egypt’s good god Pharaoh, aware that Anubis, god of the afterlife, may take her or her siblings at any moment. She watched him snatch her mother and infant brother during childbirth, a moment which awakens in her a terrible dread of ever bearing a child. Now she is to be become the bride of Sebak, a kind but quick-tempered Captain of Pharaoh Tut’s army. In order to provide Sebak the heir he deserves and yet protect herself from the underworld gods, Anippe must launch a series of deceptions, even involving the Hebrew midwives—women ordered by Tut to drown the sons of their own people in the Nile.

When she finds a baby floating in a basket on the great river, Anippe believes Egypt’s gods have answered her pleas, entrenching her more deeply in deception and placing her and her son Mehy, whom handmaiden Miriam calls Moses, in mortal danger.

As bloodshed and savage politics shift the balance of power in Egypt, the gods reveal their fickle natures and Anippe wonders if her son, a boy of Hebrew blood, could one day become king. Or does the god of her Hebrew servants, the one they call El Shaddai, have a different plan—for them all?

Reclaiming Lily by Patti Lacy

A storm the size of Texas brews when Gloria Powell and Kai Chang meet in a Dallas hotel. They have come to discuss the future of Lily, the daughter Gloria adopted from China and the sister Kai hopes to reclaim. Kai is a doctor who had to give up her little sister during the Cultural Revolution and has since discovered that an inherited genetic defect may be waiting to fatally strike Lily. Gloria’s relationship with her daughter is tattered and strained, and the arrival of Kai, despite the woman’s apparent good intentions, makes Gloria fearful. Gloria longs to restore her relationship with Lily, but in the wake of this potentially devastating diagnosis, is Kai an answer to prayer. . .or will her arrival force Gloria to sacrifice more than she ever imagined?

River’s Song by Melody Carlson

Following her mother’s funeral, and on the verge of her own midlife crisis, widow Anna Larson returns to the home of her youth to sort out her parents’ belongings, as well as her own turbulent life. For the first time since childhood, Anna embraces her native heritage, despite the disdain of her vicious mother-in-law. By transforming her old family home on the banks of the Siuslaw River into The Inn at Shining Waters, Anna hopes to create a place of healing―a place where guests experience peace, grace, and new beginnings. Starting with her own family . . .


Test of Faith by Christa Allan

Elle Butler has managed to hold on to her politically-driven husband and her secrets until the unexpected happens. When one phone call rips her world apart, Elle will have to decide if the truth is worth the consequences. Especially when it threatens to destroy the world she’s so carefully built around her life and her marriage.





Why The Sky Is Blue by Susan Meissner

What options does a Christian woman have after she’s brutally assaulted by a stranger…and becomes pregnant? That’s the heartrending situation Claire Holland faces. Happily married and the mother of two when she is attacked, Claire begins an incredible journey on the painful pathway to trusting God “in all things.”

When Claire’s husband, Dan, confesses he can’t be a father to the expected child, Claire’s decision to put the baby up for adoption creates a sense of tremendous loss for Claire. Later, unexpected circumstances turn this seeming loss into victory.

This wonderful first novel isn’t a love story….but a life story, presenting the twin themes trusting God in tragic circumstances and reaping the rewards that eventually come with sacrificial loving.


What’s your favorite book featuring a strong mom?

Top 10 Tuesday — Book Turn-Offs

25 Apr

The topic for this week’s Top 10 Tuesday was a bit daunting for me. I like all genres and have a pretty high tolerance for pain when it comes to books. I almost never give up on a book, but persevere to the bitter end. LOL! So I really had to think about what makes me mad or at lest irritated with a book. Many of the things on my list are just petty little annoyances; one or two will make me put a book down. To check out book turn-offs for other bloggers, click HERE.


Top 10 Book Turn-Offs

Covers that don’t match the character descriptions. If a hero is always gazing into the amazing emerald eyes of his lady love, then please don’t feature someone with sapphire eyes on the cover. Just saying.

Descriptions of geographical locations that don’t match reality. Locations of streets and landmarks shouldn’t be tampered with. Don’t make a major interstate run east to west when it runs north to south.

Typos, lots of typos. I’m not sure what the culprit is when a book has an inordinate amount of typos (editor, author or autocorrect), but it takes me immediately out of the story.

Repeated phrases. Give your characters several actions, not just one — over and over again. One character repeatedly forked his hair. I assume he had a nervous habit that made him run his hands through his hair. I had images of him sticking silverware into his head. 😉

Characters that won’t talk to each other. Some books create tension by having characters misunderstand another’s actions/words/motives, but will not ask for clarification. Communication really is key in a relationship, especially for a frustrated reader.

Non-gender specific names. I know this is petty and shows my advanced age, but I get confused when all the characters have names that would be best used for surnames. Give me an Abigail and an Adam, not a McSweeny and Strait.

Hard to pronounce names. If a book is set in a far off historical time, it is of course appropriate to use names of the time. And fantasy novels probably do need names with an exotic feel. But if King Ythopud shows up, at least provide a pronunciation guide.

Cliff-hangers. While I am pretty tolerant of loose threads in a series, do not, I repeat, do not end with a cliff-hanger if you have no intention of writing book 2!

Bad language. I’m not including occasional mild profanity, but the hard-core stuff. Use of F-bombs will make me close a book.

Bad theology. Whether it is CBA or ABA, a book that promotes itself as inspirational should be consistent and accurate. I am harder on Christian fiction, because it should be especially sensitive to portraying God’s truth. If it’s not scriptural, I will probably put that book down.


What about you?

What is your book turn-off?


Top Ten Tuesday — All The Pretty Covers! (languishing on my TBR shelf)

24 Jan

A few weeks ago the Top Ten Tuesday theme was books from 2016 that should have been read. My shelves are overflowing with 2016 titles as well as those from 2015, 2014, 2013 . . . . So in an act of equal time and fairness, I wanted to showcase more books that are so pretty, yet sit forlornly on my shelves waiting for me to come and open them up. I’m an equal opportunity neglecter — you’ll find both historical and contemporary fiction on this list.

This week the folks at The Broke And The Bookish are giving bloggers a Freebie. Check out what other topics they are exploring HERE.


10 Beautiful Books Waiting Patiently on The Shelf

All Things New by Lynn Austin

Dry As Rain by Gina Holmes

Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt


Every Waking Moment by Chris Fabry

Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman

Heart Echoes by Sally John

A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander


Luther And Katharina by Jody Hedlund

Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin

The Woods Edge by Lori Benton


Which book should I read first?

Top 10 Tuesday — Bookish Gift Guide

29 Nov

What should you get a bookworm for Christmas? Books are the obvious answer, but sometimes that can be tricky. Your favorite novel might not be their cup of tea. My husband likes Louis L’Amour; me, not so much. I really don’t want him stuffing my stocking with westerns. But take heart, I have found some bookish gifts that have a wide appeal. I’ve included gifts to fit any budget. To find out what others are recommending for book lovers this year, click HERE.



Top 9 Bookish Gift Ideas


ae966c58fa1a4d14a82a01bbe55eb61aThe Once Upon A Time Book Club — A unique reading experience! Each month you’ll receive a book (can be paperback or hardcover) to read, a 5″ x 7″ quote print, along with 2-4 corresponding gifts to match a quote/item mentioned in the book. Each individually wrapped with a page number. Readers, open the gifts as they finish the corresponding page. The experience is unforgettable! It makes the reader feel as if the book is coming to life!

You’ll also find book club discussion questions in each monthly box. Each question will have a date next to it. Log onto our Instagram page on that date to discuss the book with other members of the Book Club community!

You can choose a month to month plan or a 3, 6, or 12 month plan. Price per month is less than $35!


pride_scarf_inf_serif_black_zoom_squareLitographs Scarves — For the fashion-forward bookworm on your list, these are scarves printed with the text of favorite books, or you can download your own text for personal customization. They come in a wide variety of colors too. ($39-$49)





41jvnjtatxl-_sx342_bo1204203200_The NKJV Reader’s Bible — The NKJV Reader’s Bible provides readers the perfect opportunity to read the text in its original, simplified form without the verses and chapters, allowing a fresh experience with the text.

  • Read the Bible as a story simplified, without verses and chapters to break up the text
  •  Uses bestselling KJV and NKJV translation
  •  Provides an opportunity to study the Bible in a unique way
  •  A fresh look giving readers the chance to enjoy God’s Word in a simplified format
  • ($31.41 on Amazon)


51siy3ujil-_sx339_bo1204203200_The Bard And The Bible Devotional —  The Bard And The Bible pairs 365 short passages from the King James Version of the Bible with lines from Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. The poetry of the Bard of Stratford-on-Avon and the power of God’s Word will enrich the reader’s understanding and appreciation of both, and provide new ways to encounter and respond to God through His Word. A year of daily readings in both Shakespeare and the King James Version yields intellectual stimulation and spiritual inspiration for readers, enlarging their minds as it changes their lives. ($11.17 on Amazon)


51zpwvmxqkl-_sx356_bo1204203200_The Book Lover’s Devotional — There are many moments of truth to be found in literature, and The Book Lover’s Devotional draws upon five dozen notable stories from All Quiet on the Western Front to Little House on the Prairie, from In His Steps to Pride and Prejudice, and from Christy to The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde to make engaging, contemporary spiritual points. Covering books from the 1800s to the present day, The Book Lover’s Devotional includes bonus materials such as questions for further thought. It s an entertaining and edifying book that encourages critical thinking. ($7.99 on Kindle)


27112_1_360pxLiterary Candles from Uncommon Goods — Named for the locations in literary classics, these soy candles evoke the book’s most memorable moments. ($16)

Sherlock Homes/221B Baker Street: Black currant tea and leather books
Alice in Wonderland/A Mad Tea Party: Bergamot, lavender, mandarin, thyme, and ylang ylang, with a touch of jasmine
Jane Eyre/Thornfield Garden: Roses and rain water
Pride & Prejudice/Pemberley: Lily, lilac, rose, hyacinth, and ivy



BabyLit Books — for the younger set, consider board books that feature beloved classics. ($7-9 on Amazon)


Audible Gifts — Did you know you can give an Audible membership or just gift one audiobook? Audible makes it easy to enjoy books while on the go. A 3 month membership is $45. Or you can use your credits to gift an individual book.


Gift Cards — Any book lover will appreciate a gift card to Amazon, Barnes and Noble or CBD. Also consider supporting your local bookstore by buying a gift card from them. (Price: the sky’s the limit!)

Didn’t see anything on my list that appeals? Check out these bloggers who are suggesting bookish gifts.



Top 10 Tuesday — Giving Thanks!

22 Nov

The Top 10 Tuesday theme this week is a Thanksgiving Freebie. To find out what other bloggers are thankful for, click HERE.



Hmm . . . 10 bookish things I am thankful for. In this very busy time of the year made even busier due to the upcoming nuptials of my youngest son and his fiancé, I have to admit I have given very little thought to this topic. There is so much to be thankful for that it is hard to distill it down to a top 10 list. But here is my feeble effort.

Bookish Thankfulness


Parents Who Read To Me. Sounds simple doesn’t it? But reading to your child really makes a big impression. Not only does it instill a love of reading, it forms a bond of love and closeness. Thanks mom and daddy!


Dr. Seuss Books. The first books I ever read all by myself were Dr. Seuss books. These are classics for a very good reason. I still have a few from my childhood that my children read too.


Nancy Drew. An intrepid girl sleuth and her loyal sidekick kept me reading and reading when I graduated to chapter books. Mysteries are still my favorites.


Daphne DuMaurier. As I have said, mysteries are my favorites, and Daphne DuMaurier was my very favorite author when I was in high school. Rebecca is still on my all time favorites list.


J.R.R Tolkien. Fantasy is my second favorite genre and I stumbled onto Tolkien when I was in high school. This was in my pre-salvation days, and I think his books laid a foundation for me when I became open to God a few years later.



Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. I found this book when my husband and I were on a business trip and I was looking for something to bring home to my kids. They loved this book, mainly because it always made me cry! 😉 I love it too. And it still makes me cry! This book is perfect for family reading time.



The Bible. I began to read the Bible in earnest in my mid-twenties when I accepted Christ. I didn’t always understand what I was reading, but I persevered. I love that we have so many different translations so that God’s Word is accessible to everyone.



What are you thankful for?





Top 10 Tuedsay — New Books in The TBR Pile

8 Nov

Books, books and more books! That’s what my life looks like! I am always on the lookout for my next great read, even when I have 10s 100s 1000s waiting in the wings! This week the folks at The Broke And The Bookish have challenged us to list our most recently added books to the old TBR list. I will limit my list to just 10, although I could probably go on and on. To find out what other bloggers are looking forward to reading, click HERE.


I think I have a good mix of books to read in the upcoming weeks — history, mystery, romance, Christmas-themed and Indie-published novels. Eclectic, but that’s how I like it.

Top 10 Recently Added Books on The TBR List


Another Day, Another Dali by Sandra Orchard

A Christmas to Remember by Linda Brooks Davis

Dressed for Death by Julianna Deering


The End of The Roadie by Elizabeth Flynn

Finding Riley by Dan Walsh

Lucifer’s Harvest by Mel Starr

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year by Ace Collins


O Little Town of Bethany by Rene Guttering and Cheryl McKay

The Princes of Albion by Jon and Thomas Hopkins

Truth Be Told by J J Hemmestad


What are some of the books you are reading next?



Top 10 Tuesday — Characters and Cats

18 Oct

Do you have a favorite character you would name your dog, cat or child after? Well that’s the theme of this week’s Top 10 Tuesday! My future daughter-in-love just got a cute Boston Terrier puppy she named Yossarian — after the main character in her favorite book, Catch-22. At my house, we have named animals after TV, literary, and Biblical characters. We had a doberman named Mr. Spock (it was the ears!), a feisty Jack Russell named Higgins from Magnum PI, and a beloved cat named Jezebel who was nothing like her namesake. My sweet little orange tabby is named Stella and I have to tell you I have fun calling her! 😉

This week I decided to take character names from my most recent reads and find cats to match them, because what good is being a crazy book lady without adding a bit of cat insanity to the mix! To find out what other bloggers are naming their pets and their kids, click HERE.




Top 10 Cat Character Names

Arianna is a blue-eyed, platinum blond beauty from Cindy Woodsmall‘s The Amish of Summer Grove series. She is as sweet as she is pretty.


Brother Thomas has been a favorite character of mine throughout the 9-book series, The Hawk And The Dove, by Penelope Wilcock. You just have to name a cat after this faithful monk!


Charlie Lionheart is the name of the main character in Joanne Bischoff‘s novel, The Lady And The Lionheart. Isn’t that just the best name for a sweet orange tabby?!


Finn is the sweet and hunky former Navy SEAL in Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon. Is it too ironic to name a cat Finn?


My husband and I love listening to Agatha Christie audiobooks featuring Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. This very proper black and white kitten would be the perfect Hercule.


Inspector Jago from Mike Hollow‘s Blitz Detective series has seen a lot in his life — from the trenches of WWI to the bombing of London in WWII. Here’s a cat who has been around!


Mama Bliss is from Mike Nappa‘s novel The Raven. Mama was world weary as she sought to make up for the wrongs in her family’s life.


Nicolette (Nicki to her friends) is a fresh, young PI who speaks her mind. She is also is very curious! She is the main character in Mary Ellis‘ book, Midnight on The Mississippi.


The Raven is the title character from Mike Nappa‘s novel of the same name. He is a deception artist, but gets into lots of trouble with the Ukranian mob in Atlanta. Here’s a jet black kitten to match that name.


Last, but certainly not least there is Vandergriff from Amy Matayos‘ rom-com, The Thirteenth Chance. This cocky kitten matches the cocky baseball player he is named after.