Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Novel Anticipation ... August Releases

For readers, there's nothing quite as exciting as having a bedstand full of books begging to be read. It's like eating supper while that piece of French silk pie calls your name from the refrigerator. You're tempted to skip supper altogether.

My bedstand is always full, but there are a handful authors who put out only one book per year, thus testing my patience.

Two of my favorite authors release their books in late August, two very different authors. Regardless of your reading tastes, I recommend both highly.

by Laura Frantz

Revell, August 2011

In 1779, when genteel Virginia spinster Roxanna Rowan arrives at the Kentucky fort commanded by Colonel Cassius McLinn, she finds that her officer father has died. Penniless and destitute, Roxanna is forced to take her father's place as scrivener. Before long, it's clear that the colonel himself is attracted to her. But she soon realizes the colonel has grave secrets of his own--some of which have to do with her father's sudden death. Can she ever truly love him?

Okay, I'm cheating a bit with this one as I've just finished reading The Colonel's Lady and no longer have to anticipate reading it, but I had to include Laura Frantz on this list. She writes historical romance, a genre I tend to stay away from, but Frantz's delivery is completely different from the majority of hist/rom writers. Her stories are neither cookie-cutter nor predicatable (elements that will often bore me) and her prose is lyrical (which I love). It's clear she spends much time listening to the cadence of her words. She also has a unique way of placing the reader in amidst the action, painting scenes in vivid color. My only disappointment, when it comes to Laura Frantz, is that I have to wait a year for her next work.

by William Kent Krueger

Atria Books, August 2011

During a houseboat vacation on the remote Lake of the Woods, a violent gale sweeps through unexpectedly, stranding Corcoran O'Connor (Cork) and his daughter, Jenny, on a devastated island where the wind has ushered in a force far darker and more deadly than any storm.

Amid the wreckage, Cork and Jenny discover an old trapper’s cabin where they find the body of a teenage girl. She wasn’t killed by the storm, however; she’d been bound and tortured before she died. Whimpering sounds coming from outside the cabin lead them to a tangle of branches toppled by the vicious winds. Underneath the debris, they find a baby boy, hungry and dehydrated, but still very much alive. Powerful forces intent on securing the child pursue them to the isolated Northwest Angle, where it’s impossible to tell who among the residents is in league with the devil. Cork understands that to save his family he must solve the puzzle of this mysterious child whom death follows like a shadow.

For those of you who haven't discovered William Kent Krueger yet, I highly encourage you to pick up one of his Corcoran O'Connor (Cork) books. Cork, part Ojibwe-part Irish, is the former sheriff of a northern Minnesota county. His heritage alone creates conflict. While this probably isn't a book you'd place in your church library, Krueger respects faith issues and often includes faith elements in his novels.

His books stand alone and don't have to be read in order, but if you're like me, you'll want to pick up the first in the Corcoran O'Connor series, Iron Lake. Then you won't want to stop until you reach Northwest Angle.

I'm curious ...

Who are your favorite authors? Which authors do you anticipate reading every year? Do you have a favorite series?


  1. I'm in the middle of The Colonel's Lady right now and am in awe of how Laura Frantz manages to weave a spellbinding tale every time.

    Anticiapting rabidly this August?

    Out of Control by Mary Connealy
    Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall
    Wings of Promise by Bonnie Leon
    Mended Hearts by Ruth Logan Herne

    I know there's more but I don't have my list with me. Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. And don't get me started on September!!!! LOL

  2. Ah, you're always good for a smile, Kav. I imagine your bedstand topples under the weight of all the books you have scheduled to read.

    Reading Laura Frantz's novels has convinced me to try more hist/rom authors. I've read some good books, but so far no one can touch Laura's work. Because she doesn't conform to formula, I believe her appeal reaches across genre boundaries.

  3. Well, too many authors wrangle a space on that elusive favorites list. I guess I could categorize them according to genres and be more successful at condensing the list so it doesn't seem like it's endless because it's not. It's specialized. I'll name a few:

    Thrillers: Robert Liparulo; Steven James

    Contemporary Romance: Kristen Heitzmann (and I know she morphs into rom/suspense at times)

    Contemporary: Lisa Samson (even though I've only read two of hers so far); Chris Fabry

    All over the map: Travis Thrasher; Tosca Lee

    Supernatural Thrillers: Frank Peretti and I can't wait for his next one.

    Horror: Mike Dellosso

    Suspense/Mystery/Police Procedurals: J. Mark Bertrand; Randy Alcorn; Mark Mynheir; some Brandilyn Collins

    Political/Military Thrillers: Vince Flynn; Don Brown

    Misc.: Tim Downs with exceptions. I love his Bug Man novels except for First the Dead, and I loved Plague Maker, but the rest I didn't care for.

    Favorite series:

    Kristen Heitzmann's Secrets; Unforgotten; Echoes (although Echoes was the weakest link for me)

    Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp series. Love him.

  4. I agree, Brenda. I finished Laura's book last week, and have read another book since, and nothing compares to it, historical or contemporary, so far. I'm anxiously awaiting Kaye Dacus' "Ransome's Quest," though!

  5. Nicole, it's so nice to have a kindred spirit when it comes to book tastes. I look forward to reading books by all the authors you've mentioned.

    Isn't it great that Frank Peretti is finally coming out with a new book? My whole family's excited about that.

  6. Regina, one aspect of The Colonel's Lady I forgot to mention was the characterization. I felt I intimately knew Cass and Roxanna--I'm so disappointed that their story is over.

  7. Re: TCL

    Sigh. I am still reading. I got to a low point (you'll likely guess which one) and I had to go weep and weed before i could continue. Now I see that the dust bunnies aren't going to get their just rewards until I finish so off I go.

  8. Priorities, right Kav? Those dust bunnies can wait. :)

  9. Brenda, I can't thank you enough for the mention here - and for the kind comments!! AND the other good book recommendations:) You've given me a true gift with these comments. As a writer, you pour your heart and countless hours in the creation of a story yet rarely get inside the reader's heart and head. I feel I have for a few blissful moments here. You'll never know how much I treasure that!!

  10. Laura, I'm more than happy to highlight The Colonel's Lady. I loved the story, the writing, the characters ... One of my goals for this blog is to spotlight excellence in writing and I'd be remiss if I didn't include you.

    You definitely touched my heart with TCL. And I'm so glad I could give you a smile today. :)