Reading for Janeites | Austen in August

Continuing the fun theme of “Austen in August”, I am sharing a list of books I would recommend to any fans of Jane Austen! For more Austen fun, check out the list of Austen-themed posts at The Book Rat.

Historical

A Heart Revealed by Josi S. Kilpack

Regency-era goodness! It’s an expertly crafted story of love and worth, drawing from the societal constraints to set up a unique situation for the heroine whose journey is even more life-changing than that of the Dashwood sisters at the start of Sense & Sensibility.

The Work of Art by Mimi Matthews

The Work of Art is a Regency masterpiece, pun intended! I can highly recommend it to fans of clean historical fiction, mystery, or stories in the vein of the classics (think Austen with a few more kissing scenes, of course).

Contemporary

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

Really, any Katherine Reay novel is a wonderful read for an Austen fan. She has books that give nods to Austen characters, too! (Lizzy & Jane, Dear Mr. Knightley, The Austen Escape) The Printed Letter Bookshop, though, is a story for true book lovers and looks at little ways reading influences our lives.

Jane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensiblity by Hillary Manton Lodge

A contemporary retelling of S&S, Jane of Austin paints a trio of sisters in Texas with a dogs, tea, and a swoony Callum (Colonel Brandon) character. It also shows fresh perspective and “what-ifs” with the “Marianne” character as the heroine.

Second Impressions and Jane By the Book by Pepper Basham

These two novellas take readers to Bath, England with endearing characters. These stories take on literary themes within themselves and tell sweet stories of romance!

The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel

Bookish characters, an idyllic setting (Cornwall!), a little mystery, and romance all combine admirably in this story of friendship and a bookstore.

More Austen fun!

Favorite Quotes from Persuasion by Jane Austen

First Line Friday: “The Austen Escape” + Austen in August



It’s time for a new edition of First Line Fridays hosted by the Hoarding Books blog!

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I’ve recently learned of a delightful thing happening on the internet called “Austen in August”! There are several blogs and social media accounts hosting themed posts, link-ups, and all around Jane Austen fun. (Shoutout to my friend Kara for bringing this to my attention!)

Over at The Book Rat, you can find more info and see all the Austen posts & love.

In honor of this theme, I’m sharing the first lines from Katherine Reay’s The Austen Escape, a contemporary favorite that pays homage to Austen in themes and characters, though it tells a story of its own.

“How can I help”?

The world stilled. It wasn’t the first time I wondered how one voice, one presence, could quicken the air and simultaneously stop all motion.

Your turn! What’s your first line?



Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

I have seen this fun mid-year tag on a few blogs, most recently on my friend Kara’s. Even though the year is more than half over (gasp!), these are fun prompts so I’m weighing in! If you’d like to participate, consider yourself tagged!

Best Book You’ve Read

How the Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim is one of my top reads of the year. It’s fresh and riveting and oh-so-original.

Best Sequel You’ve Read

Murder in the City of Liberty by Rachel McMillan. I had to pick Hamish and Reggie’s ongoing adventures!

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To

Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett. SOON, I tell you! I have loved the other two books (and featured national parks).

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of 2019

The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden, coming September 3. That COVER, y’all! Plus it’s a Camden novel, so I know it will be good!

Biggest Disappointment

I cringe to say any book is a disappointment. I like to think of books I don’t like as much as “object lessons for why Courtney does or does not like _______”. I have to go with Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter. Not my favorite from her, it just was too trope-ish. (The second book in the series, though, is a fav!)

Biggest Surprise

After the Rain by Brandy Bruce. I didn’t think I’d like the heroine of this one because she was the slightly-unliked, nemesis character to the heroine of book 1. But oh my, this story drives home the point that everyone is the hero of his or her own story.

Favorite New to You or Debut Author

Jaime Jo Wright (The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond) I listened to the audio version and I LOVED IT!

Newest Fictional Crush

Captain Arthur Heywood from The Work of Art by Mimi Matthews. An honorable gentleman who knows how to handle just about any situation.

Newest Favorite Character

Maddie from The Printed Letter Bookshop. She’s relatably flawed and trying hard, just like the rest of us.

Book That Made You Cry

Bear No Malice by Clarissa Harwood. Read it and you’ll know why.

Book(s) That Made You Happy

I couldn’t pick just one for this! Wooing Cadie McCaffrey made me happy because of all its pop culture rom-com love. Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano made me happy because BAKING and BOOKS and a #girlpower friendship group.

Favorite Book to Film Adaptation

Hopefully Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. I hope to read it before I see the movie!

Favorite Post You’ve Done This Year

My list of book quotes ABOUT books.

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

Books You Need To Read by the End of the Year

all of them?? My TBR is more like an island now. A few I want to read soon are: Tate by Susan May Warren, A Glitter of Gold by Liz Johnson, The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter by Mimi Matthews, Just One Kiss by Courtney Walsh, The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson, and Bethlehem by Karen Kelly.

Cover Reveal: “A Match for Emma” by Pepper Basham

I’m very excited to be participating the cover reveal for Pepper Basham’s third “Mitchell’s Crossroads” novel! It is a friends-to-lovers romance reminiscent of the classic Emma by Jane Austen (yay), and it releases on November 21! First , a little more about it…

About the Book

Emma Mitchell may enjoy sprinkling romance into the lives of others, but her own plans involve a single first-class ticket to culinary school in Europe.  

When her best friend, Jon Noble, suddenly moves back to Ransom, Emma’s fairly certain her life can’t get any better…until her matchmaking schemes nosedive, her culinary future falls flat, and a life-long friendship begins to teeter on the brink of something unexpected.

With a little inspiration from Jane Austen’s classic and a touch of Blue Ridge charm, will Jon and Emma discover that what they need the most may be the last thing they’re trying to find?

About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes historical and contemporary romance novels with grace, humor, and culture clashes. She’s a Blue Ridge Mountain native and an anglophile who enjoys combining her two loves to create memorable stories of hope. You can connect with Pepper over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, her websiteFacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter.

Top Ten Tuesday: Character Freebie ~ 10 Matching Names

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl!

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

Today’s official topic: Character Freebie

With a freebie topic comes all sorts of fun! I have been keeping part of this list for a while now, since I noticed some favorite characters who happen to share names. Some of these are more “classic” names like Jane, others more innovative like the name Willow, but these characters ALL stand out in my mind for their names and personalities on the page. Plus, some of the names indicate a little of the spunk, fun, or determination the heroes and heroines have in finding their purposes or happy endings.

While we’re on the subject of names, here are some of the most unique of my favorites: Eisley, Tamsen, Aven, Sloane, Red Shirt, Jasper, and Griffin.

Character Freebie ~ 10 Matching Names

Quinn

Quinn Collins from Just Let Go by Courtney Walsh and Quinn Reilly from The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzmann

Willow

Willow Bradford from Falling For You by Becky Wade and Willow from Rescue Me by Susan May Warren

Eden

Eden Martelli from Falling Like Snowflakes by Denise Hunter and Eden Christiansen from When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren

Jane

Jane Woodward from Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge and Jane from Jane by the Book by Pepper Basham

Evelyn

Evelyn Marche from High as the Heavens and Evelyn Wyatt from Love in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan

Paul

Paul Rustin from Reclaimed by Jennifer Rodewald and Paul Harris from Impossible Saints by Clarissa Harwood

Devin

Devon “Dirk” Godfrey from The Sound of Diamonds by Rachelle Rea Cobb and Devin Bressard from Told You So by Kristen Heitzmann

Seth

Seth Sloane from The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson and Seth Walker from Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg

Alex

Alex Kanin from The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano and Alex Murdock from Charming the Troublemaker by Pepper Basham

Ben

Ben Delaney from The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner and Ben Price from After the Rain by Brandy Bruce

Your turn! Did you participate in Top Ten Tuesday? Have you read any of these books? What are some of your favorite heroes and heroines who share names? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 (More) Favorite Book Quotes About Books

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl!

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

Today’s official topic: Inspirational/Thought Provoking Book Quotes

A while back, I used a freebie TTT topic to share 10 favorite book quotes about books. With so many bookish characters out there, I wanted to share more of my favorites. I have discovered most of these since making that initial list. 😉 (book titles linked to my reviews!)

10 (More) Favorite Book Quotes About Books

“A plate of apples, an open fire, and ‘a jolly goode booke’ are a fair substitute for heaven.” –The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery

“Something about the books, the stories – they spoke to her, whether they were nearly two centuries old or brand new. Each one had something to say, and she longed to absorb the wisdom held in the secret places of each page. The ink soaked from the pages into her soul.” –The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel

“It was one of the virtues of having lived in a book for so long: his imagination painted its perimeters everywhere.” –Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan

“…I like reading books that relate to my own struggles and how people overcome them with their faith.” -Titus in Jane By the Book by Pepper Basham

“P.S. I’ve been sitting in my living room organizing my books. It’s so quiet and dark, but I don’t feel lonely. I feel safe. How could I not? All my friends are here. You should see them lined up.” – Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

“Forget diamonds. Books are this girl’s best friend.” – Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano

“This was not a book that called into question whether or not our lovebirds would end up together. Of course they would. From the opening line, through all of the ups and downs, there could never be any doubt that there would be a happily ever after. But what sort of people would they become before they reached the finish line? Some scars would be healed, sure, but some new injuries were just as certain. It was all about the journey, not the inevitable outcome.” –The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

“Millie read the last four pages of the hardback in her hands one more time. …she needed this. Just a moment with her book.” –A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson

“…there’s nothin’ quite like fallin’ into the world of a good book.” –My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream by Pepper Basham

“Fiction is a way to express mankind’s deepest heart. His fears. His hopes. His failings. His successes. Fiction is truth… in a pretty wrapping.” –A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

Your turn!!! What kind of book quotes did you share for TTT? Do you have any favorites to add to my list?

First Line Friday #25 :”The Blue Castle” + Readalong fun!

It’s time for a new edition of First Line Fridays hosted by the Hoarding Books blog!

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Today is a day for classic literature! I’m sharing the first line of The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery because I’m about to read it (for the first time) for a readalong! Author Rachel McMillan is hosting/moderating a Facebook group to discuss as we read through it during the month of April.

If you are interested or you’d like to join, head over Rachel’s page or to the group here!

Rachel is also lending her experience and knowledge of L.M. Montgomery to add context to the story and setting as we go! Basically, it will be an in-depth look at the book and its world (published in 1926), plus an all around fangirling session over the story, Valancy, Barney, and the cats. (Rachel tells me there are 2 adorable fictional felines! Yay!)

Of all the covers I’ve seen, this is my favorite!

First Line:

If it had not rained on a certain May morning Valancy Stirling’s whole life would have been entirely different.

Your turn! Find the book closest to you and share your first line in the comments! Then, head over to Hoarding Books for the linky and visit other FLF posts!