1.) GONE WITH THE WIND, by Margaret Mitchell
From the moment Scarlett seared Rhett with a look on the winding staircase of Twelve Oaks, I was hooked, and my “romance-writing career” began! In fact, after reading GWTW at the age of 12, I penned my own 150 single-spaced manuscript that became the basis for my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure. Clearly for me, GWTW is the greatest historical novel I’ve ever read, not only for the rich and sweeping Civil War tapestry that Margaret Mitchell created, but for the wonderful impact her haunting love story had on me at such a young age.
Regrettably for those of you reading this now, Love’s Reckoning by Laura Frantz is not out until September, but do yourself a favor—pre-order it now!! I had the privilege and honor of reading Laura’s upcoming family saga for endorsement, and I was simply blown away. Words cannot do justice in stating the impact this novel had on me, but I will let my endorsement try:
Stunning. Heart-wrenching. Breathless. Not since Gone With the Wind have I read an epic novel that has stolen my heart, my breath, my sleep to such a jolting degree. Love’s Reckoning marks Laura Frantz not only as a shining star in Christian fiction today, but a shooting star who soars skyward to the glittering heights of Rivers and Higgs.
When I finished Cathy Gohlke’s Promise Me This in the wee hours of the morning, I immediately padded downstairs in nightgown and bare feet to send Cathy (whom I never met) an e-mail, telling her that Promise Me This was simply one of the best books I’d ever read in the CBA. Cathy is a two-time Christy winner, so ‘nuff said. Here is the endorsement I wrote for Cathy’s book:
Promise Me This is a quiet masterpiece that whispers to the heart and shouts to the soul. Make no mistake—Cathy Gohlke is a New York Times Bestselling author in the making. Simply one of the best—if not most powerful—books I have ever read.
Before I read Laura’s upcoming novel, Love’s Reckoning, The Colonel’s Lady was just about my favorite novel in the CBA. Ironically when I wrote a review for it, I joked that it would continue to be until her next one came out, no doubt, and boy, was I on target!! But trust me, this is a stunner as well, so here’s my review:
It’s no secret to those who know me that Laura Frantz is hands-down one of my favorite writers IN THE WORLD, her haunting prose and rich historical setting almost second to none. And did I mention romance?? Lord, have mercy—Laura’s romantic tension has more sparks and power than a battery of muskets fired in the Kentucke Territory of 1779. The Colonel’s Lady is no exception … or maybe it is … “exceptionally” beautiful and heart-rending, and wonderfully, achingly hard on the pulse!! Just when I think I have read one of the best books ever, Laura writes a new one, so let me say it again—The Colonel’s Lady is easily one of the best books I have ever read in the Christian market—that is, until her next one comes out!
Thorn in my Heart/Fair is the Rose/Whence Comes a Prince
Oh my, what do I say about Liz Curtis Higgs??? She is top of the heap for me, along with Laura Frantz and Francine Rivers and is hands-down one of my favorite authors in the world. Since I could not just pick one of her books, I will pick my favorite series of hers, which is haunting and unforgettable. I read it years ago and STILL think about it today—that’s how good she is!!
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 13 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction.”
Chosen as #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Series of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #5 Novel of the Year and #4 Historical Fiction Author of the year. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son and daughter-in-law and is the author of “The Daughters of Boston” series, which includes A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Her “Winds of Change” includes A Hope Undaunted, which ranked #5 on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010, and her most recent release, A Heart Revealed.
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Helen is a strange combination of fiction editor and web strategist. That’s because she loves fiction and the internet – and analytics! A former business analyst and IT support manager, Helen now spends her time parenting her three children as well as running her editing and web agency businesses. As a book reviewer and fiction editor, her one true love and specialty is Christian romance fiction.