Gentle Reads Authors

“Gentle reads” are books containing little strong language, explicit sex or violence and tend to have happy endings:

Nancy Atherton

M.C. Beaton

Maeve Binchy

Terri Blackstock

Lilian Jackson Braun

Wanda E. Brunstetter

Elizabeth Cadell

Melody Carlson

Jennifer Chiaverini

Catherine Cookson

A.J. Cronin

Lori Copeland

Diane Mott Davidson

Ted Dekker

Clyde Edgerton

Richard Paul Evans

Fannie Flagg

JoAnne Fluke

Dorothy Gilman

Elizabeth Goudge

Philip Gulley

Cathy Marie Hake

Kristin Hannah

Robin Lee Hatcher

Beverly Jenkins

Jan Karon

Terry Kay

Garrison Keillor

Karen Kingsbury

Thomas Kinkade

Julie Klassen

Beverly Lewis

Debbie Macomber

Joan Medlicott

Janette Oke

Sharon Owens

Frank Peretti

Tracie Peterson

Rosamunde Pilcher

Miss Read

Francine Rivers

Ann B. Ross

Kim Vogel Sawyer

Lauraine Snelling

Nicholas Sparks

LaVyrie Spencer

Mary Stewart

Eudora Welty

Karen Witemeyer

P.G. Wodehouse


Can’t Get Enough of Mr. Darcy?

If Pride and Prejudice, books or movies, leaves you looking for Mr. Right, then here are some spin offs of the classic Austen book:

Pemberley Shades     by D.A. Hunt

Pemberley Chronicles   by Rebecca Ann Collins

The Darcy Connection    by Elizabeth Aston*

The Darcys & the Bingleys    by Marsha Altman

The Confessions of Fitzwilliam Darcy    by Mary Street

Duty and Desire:  A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman   by Pamela Aidan*

Darcy & Elizabeth:  Nights and Days at Pemberley    by Linda Berdoll

The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy   by Mary Slater

Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy   by Sharon Lathan*

Impulse and Initiative:  What If Mr. Darcy Didn’t Take No For an Answer?   by Abigail Reynolds

Independence of Miss Mary Bennet   by Colleen McCullough

An Unequal Marriage    by Emma Tennant 

                                                     Some Modern Spin Offs

Undressing Mr. Darcy    by Karen Doornebos*

Austenland   by Shannon Hale

Unleashing Mr. Darcy    by Teri Wilson

Me and Mr. Darcy   by Alexandra Potter

The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy    by Sara Angelini

*Author has other titles about Mr. Darcy

Game of Thrones Fans Start Cheering

The fourth season of our show will begin on Sunday, April 6th at 9 pm on HBO. Finally, I can’t wait.

The White Queen

The new Starz miniseries, The White Queen, starting Saturday, August 17th is based on Philippa Gregory’s historical novel series “The Cousins’ War.”  The titles of the novels are:

Lady of the Rivers

The White Queen

The Red Queen

The Kingmaker’s Daughter

White Princess

The Last Rose

If You Liked Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn try:

Before I Go To Sleep    by S.J. Watson

Close My Eyes    by Sophie McKenzie

The Silent Wife    by A.S.A. Harrison

The Perfect Ghost    by Linda Barnes

Defending Jacob    by William Landay

The Dinner   by Herman Koch

The Breaker    by Minette Walters

Let the Dark Flower Blossom    by Norah Labiner

Die For You    by Lisa Unger

Places in the Dark    by Thomas H. Cook

The Likeness    by Tana French

Into the Darkest Corner    by Elizabeth Haynes

The Burning Air      by Erin Kelly

Oblivion     by Peter Abrahams

The Last Child      by John Hart

The Good Wife       by Stewart O’Nan

Hades    by Russell Andrews

Bleed for Me     by Michael Robotham

Novels for New Adults

Whether they are young adult or adult fiction, these titles appeal to the 18-25 crowd:

Dangerous Angels    by Francesca Lia Black

The Life of Pi    by Yann Martel

The Perks of Being a Wallflower   by Stephen Chbosky

The Boy I Loved Before   by Jenny Colgan

Not My Daughter    by Barbara Delinsky

Pact:  A Love Story    by Jodi Picoult

The Last Song   by Nicholas Sparks

All Loves Excelling   by Josiah Bunting

Silver Star   by Jeannette Wells

Babyji    by Abha Dawesar

Birds of Paradise    by Diana Abu-Jaber

Easy    by Tammara Webber

Something Like Normal    by Trish Doller

Where She Went     by Gayle Forman

The Treachery of Beautiful Things    by Ruth Frances Long

Tempest    by Julie Cross

Ivy    by Julie Hearn

Bass Ackwards and Belly Up    by Elizabeth Craft

We’ll Always Have Summer   by Jenny Han

Midsummer’s Nightmare    by Kody Keplinger

Wanderlove    by Kristen Hubbard

The Disenchantments    by Nina LaCour

Truth About Forever   by Sarah Dessen

Two Way Street    by Lauren Barnholdt

Sorority Sisters   by Claudia Welch

All the Right Stuff    by Walter Dean Myers

Penelope    by Rebecca Harrington

Heaven Should Fall     by Rebecca Coleman

Lucky Fools    by Coert Voorhees

I Know It’s Over    by C.K. Kelly Martin

Sloppy Firsts:  A Jessica Darling Novel    by Megan McCafferty

Small Damages     by Beth Kephart

Such a Rush    by Jennifer Echols

Invincible Summer     by Hannah Moskowitz

Paper Towns    by John Green

An Off Year     by Claire Zulkey

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful For You     by Peter Cameron

Jane    by April Lindner

Cum Laude    by Cecily VonZiegesar

Racing California     by Janet Nichols Lynch

One Good Friend Deserves Another   by Lisa Verge Higgins

Saving Ruth    by Zoe Fishman

In Between Days    by Andrew Porter

One For the Money      by Janet Evanovich

Confessions of a Shopaholic      by Sophie Kinsella

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents     by Julia Alvarez

In the Band        by Jean Haus

Left Drowning     by Jessica Park

Leading Man    by Benjamin Svetkey

If You Like Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin try:

Theft of Swords   by Michael J. Sullivan

The Sworn   by Gail Martin

The Eye of the World   by Robert Jordan

The Briar King    by J. Gregory Keyes

Furies of Calderon     by Jim Butcher

The Sword of Shannara Trilogy     by Terry Brooks

The Knight    by Gene Wolfe

Gilded Chain    by Dave Duncan

Songs of the Earth   by Elspeth Cooper

Promise of Blood    by Brian McClellan

Prince of Thorns    by Mark Lawrence

A Guile of Dragons     by James Enge

The Dragon’s Path    by Daniel Abraham

Fortress Draconis    by Michael A. Stackpole

The Name of the Wind   by Patrick Rothfuss

The Poison Throne   by Celine Kiernan

Queene of Light    by Jennifer Armintrout

Dragon Champion    by E.E. Knight

The Summoner    by Gail Z. Martin

The Ten Thousand    by Paul Kearney

Dragon in Chains    by Daniel Fox

A Darkness Forged in Fire    by Christopher Evans

Bitterwood    by James Maxey

Wolfblade    by Jennifer Fallon

The Lightstone     by David Zindell

The Malloreon    by David Eddings

The One Kingdom     by Sean Russell

Winter Warriors    by David Gemmell

Tigana    by Guy Gavriel Kay

Dragon Keeper   by Robin Hobb

The Darkness That Comes Before     by R. Scott Bakker

The Dragonbone Chair   by Tad Williams

Chronicles of the Raven:  Dawnthief      by James Barclay

Gatsby-esque Novels

Opulence, social classes, 1920s, power here are some novels that have the essence of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby:

The Rules of Civility    by Amor Towles

Sister Carrie     by Theodore Dreiser

The Gods of Newport    by John Jakes

The House at Riverton     by Kate Morton

House of Mirth    by Edith Wharton

Howard’s End   by E.M. Forster

Atonement    by Ian McEwan

The Chaperone    by Laura Moriarty

The Rum Diary    by Hunter S. Thompson

Appointment in Samarra    by John O’Hara

Play It As It Lays     by Joan Didion

The Beautiful and Damned   by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A Moveable Feast   by Ernest Hemingway

Mrs. Dalloway    by Virginia Woolf

The Custom of the Country    by Edith Wharton

Ellis Island   by Kate Kerrington

A Hope Undaunted    by Julie Lessman

Ask Alice    by D.H. Taylor

Fallen Skies    by Philippa Gregory

Hollywood:  A Novel of America in the 1920s    by Gore Vidal

Summerset Abbey    by T.J. Brown

Habits of the House    by Fay Weldon

The Woman From Paris   by Santa Montefiore

The Life of Objects    by Susanne Moore

This Vacant Paradise   by Victoria Patterson

Stephen King

I don’t usually cover music, but this news involves author Stephen King.  King, John Mellencamp and T Bone Burnett have created a musical called “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.”  It is a southern gothic supernatural musical thriller involving fraternal love, lust, jealousy and revenge.  The guest artists are Elvis Costello, Rosanne Cash, Sheryl Crow, Neko Case, Taj Mahal, Ryan Bingham and Kris Kristofferson.  The cd will be released on June 4th.

Kindle eBooks

More and more books are available exclusively as eBooks.  Even mainstream authors like Baldacci, DeMille and Picoult are joining the movement.  Here are some of my reviews for titles available for the Kindle:

Title: Stop the Wedding!  A Romantic Comedy

Author: Stephanie Bond

Annabelle Coakley’s widowed mother is getting married to Martin Castleberry. This is not good news. Castleberry is a playboy movie star. He has been married five times before and each wife is younger than her predecessor. Anna belle is a divorce lawyer, she has dealt with the pain and suffering of divorce, she does not want her mother to get hurt, so she must stop the wedding. Clay is martin’s son, he is used to cleaning up his father’s messes,he wants to end this relationship before his father makes another big mistake. They are both on the same mission but never on the same track, it is the formula for a humorous, light read.

Tags: Humor, Mistaken identity, Love, Family, Second Chances, Romance


 A Petulant French Sculptor, His Quest for Immortality and the Real Story of the Statue of Liberty

Author: Elizabeth Mitchell

Mitchell portrays French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi in an unfavorable light. She depicts him as a man obsessed with finding a venue of his colossal statue because it would be a way to immortalize him. Under the guise of a gift to the United States, he struggled for years to collect funds for the project. He travelled across America and expressed his disdain for the people, food, culture and the land. He said his statue would be “Liberty enlightening the World,” according to Mitchell’s opinions it sounds like the sculptor could have used some enlightenment.

Tags: Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, Statue of Liberty, New York City 1886, Art history


Title: Deep Down: A Jack Reacher Story

Author: Lee Child

There are four political liaison officers; one of them is a traitor. Reacher goes undercover to discover who the mole is and who she is working for. The short story format never gives the reader a chance to get to know the characters or to get involved with the plot. The resolve came about too quickly, I wish the story was longer because the premise was interesting and I liked Reacher.

Tags: Washington, D.C., Spies, Espionage, Military Secrets, Short Story, Suspense


Title: No Time Left

Author: David Baldacci

Frank Becker is just your average guy, he blends in crowd, and you don’t even notice him. The only remarkable thing about him is that he is very good at his job, he is a professional hitman. No questions asked, no remorse, he just kills his target and collects his payment. So when an old man hires him to kill a young woman, he boards a train; stabs her to death; and disappears in a very permanent way…You know what is going to happen, Baldacci gives you definite clues, but the ending still makes you think..

Tags: Hitman, Time Travel, Suspense, Short Story


Title: The 7th Woman

Author: Frederique Molay

Translated from the French by Anne Trager

Inspector Nico Sirsky is the Chief of Police, Head of the Paris Criminal Investigation Division. When Marie-Helene Jory, Assistant Professor of History at the Sorbonne, is killed in her home, Nico is called in to investigate. The homicide has sexual overtones and the victim was brutally tortured. The killer was slow, methodical and calculating, he enjoyed the kill. When similar murders occur, Nico realizes that they are dealing with a serial killer, a killer who begins leaving messages for Nico. This crime novel is not for the squeamish but the plot twists and the appealing characters will draw you in as the acts of violence repel you. Read it with the lights on and whatever you do, don’t answer your doorbell…

 Tags: Paris, Murder, Police procedurals, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller


Title: The Playground

Author: Ray Bradbury

Charles Underhill wants to protect his 3 year old son Jim from bullies in the playground. Memories of his own tortured childhood keep him awake at night and he vows that his son will not suffer the some horrors. He makes a pact with the mysterious playground manager but only after the pact is set does he discover the true nature of the deal. Sometimes the subtle horrors are the most chilling; this is the case with Bradbury’s short story.

Tags: Bullying, Pacts, Psychological Thriller, Horror


Title: The Book Case

Author: Nelson DeMille

Otis Parker owns the Dead End Bookstore in Manhattan. An employee finds him dead in his shop. He was killed by a fallen bookcase. Was it a bizarre accident or premeditated murder? Detective John Corey must solve this puzzle. This is a clever locked room mystery, that has an unusual choice for a murder weapon.

Tags: New York City, Murder investigation, Mystery, Short Story


Title: A Leaf on the Wind Of All Hollows: An Outlander Novella

Author: Diana Gabaldon

What happened to Jerry Mackenzie and his wife, Marjorie who were mentioned in Gabaldon’s novel “An Echo in the Bone? We know that their son Roger Mackenzie is an orphan but his parent’s demise was never explained, this novella tells their story. Jerry Mackenzie was recruited to spy on the Germans by taking aerial photographs in Poland. While on a training exercise to test this new technology, he crashes in Northumbria but his body was never found. His widow, Marjorie, was killed in the London blitz but before she dies she sees Jerry again.

Tags: Time Travel, Outlander series, World War Two, Historical fiction, Romance


Title: A Lesson in Chemistry with Inspector Bruce

Author: Jullian Stone

In 1887 London, forensics is a new science being used to fight crime. Archibald Bruce is the Director of the Crime Laboratory for the Criminal Investigations Division of Scotland Yard whose typical day is spent collecting and testing evidence, dealing with explosives and creating new devices. In his spare time he is a Professor of Chemistry at the university where he meets Fiona Rose. Archie finds love, rescues Agent Phineas Gunn and becomes entangled in a mission to stop an arms dealer from supplying weapons and explosives to anarchist factions throughout Europe and the Americas. Readers familiar with the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series will be familiar with Archie who is an important character but not one of the major characters. I am glad to learn more about him and hope that he becomes the focus of a future novel. The titles in the series are: “An Affair with Mr. Kennedy” bk 1, “A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis” bk 2 and “A Private Duel with Agent Gunn” bk 3.

Tags: London 1887, Scotland Yard, forensics, Historical fiction, Adventure, Romance


Title: Extraction

Author: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

This is a fairytale gone terribly wrong. Pendergast tells his ward the story of an event that happened during his childhood in New Orlean’s French Quarter. Children in his neighborhood believed that old Maurus Dufour, who lived in a decaying mansion, was the tooth fairy. They would leave their teeth in a wooden box on his porch, even though they received no reward, so they would be safe from Dufour’s revenge. One day Pendergast stole his brother’s tooth from the box; his brother went missing for a day and their uncle Everett, who went to Dufour’s home, never returned. Pendergast and his father went to the mansion and made a gruesome discovery.

Tags: New Orleans French Quarter, tooth fairy legend, thriller, short story, Horror


Title: Racing With the Wind

Author: Regan Walker

Hugh Redgrave, Marquess of Ormond, is the only son of the Duke of Albany, he is a reputed rake and leading a secret life as a spy/thief for the Prince Regent. There is unrest in France after Napolean’s defeat, a double agent is passing along British intelligence. Hugh must uncover the agent’s identity. Lady Mary Campbell is the headstrong, rebellious, intelligent niece of Lord Baynes, who is a diplomat for the Prince Regent. She continually places herself in grave danger to thwart a Prussian plot against the king. If the enemy doesn’t kill her, Hugh might…This is the first book in the Agents of the Crown Trilogy.

Tags: London 1816, Spies, Napolean, Intrigue, Historical fiction, Romance, Adventure


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