Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Usually when it’s old school book month at the TBR Challenge, I go waay back in time on my choices. However, as I picked through my TBR, I was astounded to realize that I had somehow missed reading the début novel from an author whose subsequent books I’ve greatly enjoyed. So – this time around we’re going back just ten years in time to Deanna Raybourn’s December 2006 novel Silent in the Grave.
This is the book that introduced readers to Lady Julia Grey. While it has its romantic moments, I wouldn’t say it’s strictly romance. It’s more a historical mystery with strong romantic elements – and rather a good one. The book opens as Lady Julia becomes a widow following events that at the time appeared to be natural, though tragic, circumstances. Fast forward a year later and we see Lady Julia […]
For this month’s challenge, we were called upon to pick a book from a series we’re behind on. One of us followed instructions and the other? Well, we at least tried to stay in the spirit of things.
Again My Lord by Katharine Ashe
I had a bit of a struggle to find a book to suit this month’s prompt to read a book in a series I’m behind on, because I’m pretty much caught up with all the ones I’m currently following. There are some I haven’t started yet, but I wanted to try to stick to the prompt and finally, I came up with Again, My Lord, the second book in Katharine Ashe’s Twist series. In the two books in the series so far, she’s taken a couple of well-known movie plots as her starting points and adapted them into historical romances which, while certainly out of the […]
A Rumored Engagement by Lily George
I’m a sucker for second-chance-at-love stories. I have autobuy authors I love and certain settings catch my eye, but when I’m taking a chance on a new author, favorite plotlines will often call my name. And second chance stories are definitely near the top of my list, with friends-to-lovers being a close second. For favorite tropes month on the TBR Challenge, I read A Rumored Engagement, a 2014 historical from Lily George. Though published as part of the Love Inspired Historical line, I suspect fans of Regency trads might like this one as well.
As the story opens, Susannah Siddons and her sisters prepare to open a millinery shop in the village of Tansley. Upon arrival, they run into a mishap with their door and when a man from the past comes to their rescue, we quickly learn about Susannah’s long-forgotten engagement to Daniel Hale of […]
Under the Lights by Shannon Stacey
Do you like small town romances set in towns that feel like they actually could exist? If so, you should try reading Shannon Stacey if you haven’t discovered her already. For this month’s multiblog TBR Challenge, I decided to read her 2015 novel, Under the Lights, first in the Boys of Fall series.
When I talk about small towns that feel real, the setup of this book hints at it. Stewart Mills is not an idyllic little town with financially secure residents shopping in cute, trendy businesses who seemingly do not need to worry about money or deal with commuting to larger cities. In fact, we learn right away that this small New England town has fallen on hard times and may need to cut one of its social staples, the high school football team, if enough money cannot be raised.
Local police officer Kelly McDonnell, the […]
Welcome to the AAR Roundtable Discussion on Inspirational Romance novels!
According to RWA these books make up 17% of print sales and 14% of e-book sales of all romance novels sold annually. Reviewers Maggie Boyd, Kristen Donnelly, Lynn Spencer and Caz Owens talk about their first experiences reading Inspirationals–often called Inspys– what draws them to this particular type of book, and how they see the stories overall.
Maggie: When I needed to find a sub-genre I typically didn’t read for a reading challenge back in 2009 I determined to suck it up and read three Inspirational books to complete the challenge. I’d had some bad experiences with a few Inspy novels before so I wasn’t expecting to enjoy them much. I was stunned. Deeanne Gist, Cathy Marie Hake and Lynn Austin penned books I completely loved. I began to expand into more authors and found that the Inspirational market of the last few decades was actually rich with fantastic authors, beautiful stories, and fabulous settings. About a third of the books I read are Inspirationals […]
In looking over the list of November releases (already?!), one thing stands out – HISTORICALS. Seriously, this looks like a big historical release month. Favorites such as Mary Balogh, Elizabeth Hoyt, Sabrina Jeffries and Meredith Duran all have new releases. There are still plenty of contemporaries and other subgenres to go around, but if you’re looking to curl up and go on a trip through time this Thanksgiving, you’ve got options.
Someone to Love by Mary Balogh
A new book from this perennially popular author is always an event worthy of a note in my diary, and I’m intrigued by the prospect of a hero who is a bit of a departure from the norm – Caz
The brilliant Ms. Balogh has a new book out in a new series! That’s all I need to know about it before I pick it up. – Keira
This is being described as ‘typical Balogh’ and I can only imagine that’s a good thing! Anna Snow learns she’s […]
Fried green tomatoes have been a favorite summer treat of mine since I was small. I learned how to make them from my grandmother and like pretty much everyone I know, I have my own particular way of making them. Some folks bread theirs only with flour, others mix in cornmeal and still others use breadcrumbs or panko. And then there are the spice mixtures and dipping sauces!
Personally, I lean toward simpler ways of making these. I’ve enjoyed the heavily breaded panko versions in trendy restaurants but the fried green tomatoes you get out of my kitchen are much more traditional (and easy to make!), and this is how it’s done:
1 green tomato
milk or buttermilk (optional)
cajun-style seasoning (optional)
cooking oil (peanut is traditional but many use vegetable oil due to allergies)
1. Slice up the green tomato. Don’t slice too thin or the tomato will fall apart a bit in frying.
2. On a plate, mix your […]
“Hauntingly beautiful” and “banjo music” are not phrases that normally go together in my mind, but for this song by the Great Lake Swimmers, they truly do. The music, the imagery, all of it lingers in the mind long after the last note dies. Enjoy!
– Lynn Spencer
It seems like the songs which get stuck in my head rank among the world’s most annoying. So, when something as hauntingly gorgeous as this rendition of Dance Me to the End of Love lodges itself in my brain, I just have to share. I’ve heard other versions of this song, but I think I’m liking The Civil Wars’ take on it the best. Enjoy!
Christmas just isn’t the same for me without sugar cookies cut into all kinds of festive shapes. My mother has a huge old cookbook she got as a graduation gift, and she just keeps stuffing recipes written on cards and random slips of paper into it. This cookie recipe is one copied by my great-grandmother onto a faded sheet of stationery and as children we always lit up when we saw the familiar sheet of paper emerge from the big yellow cookbook. Over the years, the recipe has been updated by various family members (no more lard!!), but we still love to make and decorate these cookies. Something about them just says Christmas! […]