Spring reading list

Is there anything more delightful than getting a big box of books delivered to your doorstep?

Well, there are a few things, but since we’re all ardent readers and writers here, book deliveries rank pretty high on the list. I know fellow InskperKav lives for the days when the postman delivers multiple packages of books, and I can’t say I blame her. Say what you will about the convenience of e-readers, but there’s just something so satisfying about getting a physical book in the mail, versus an e-book delivered to your Kindle or Nook.

I am expecting a large delivery of books this week, thanks to the wonder of Amazon Prime and a gift card that had been burning a hole in my pocket. I was able to order eight books all for myself, all for the low, low price of $6 out of pocket (thank you, Christmas gift cards!). Since spring is just around the corner, I thought I’d share some of the books on my spring reading list, and books that I can hopefully recommend in just a few months. Enjoy!

A Note Yet UnsungA Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

A master violinist trained in Vienna, Rebekah Carrington manages to wheedle her way into an audition with the maestro at the newly-formed Nashville Philharmonic. But women are “far too fragile and frail” for the rigors of an orchestra, and Rebekah’s hopes are swiftly dashed because the conductor–determined to leave his mark on the world of classical music–bows to public opinion. To make matters worse, Adelicia Acklen Cheatham, mistress of Belmont Mansion and Rebekah’s new employer, agrees with him.
 
Nationally acclaimed conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville’s new orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant muse–and a strange buzzing and recurring pain in his head–he must finish composing his symphony before the grand opening of the city’s new opera hall. But far more pressing, he must finish it for the one who first inspired his love of music–his father, who is dying. As Tate’s ailment worsens, he believes Rebekah can help him finish his symphony. But how do you win back a woman’s trust when you’ve robbed her of her dream?

You can’t go wrong with anything by Tamera Alexander, whose stories are immersive, her research impeccable, and her writing sweeping. And since this story revolves around music and an orchestra? I can’t pass this one up! (Side note- isn’t that cover gorgeous? I’d pick this book up for the cover alone!)

DelugeDeluge by Lisa T. Bergren

It’s one thing to battle for life… WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN DEATH ITSELF COMES HUNTING? The Bettarinis and Forellis have found rich fulfillment, together in medieval Italia. But after fighting off countless enemies, they now must face the worst foe of all. As the Black Death closes in upon them, threatening everything and everyone they hold dear, Lia and Gabi–and the knights they love–must dig deep within to decide how they might remain safe…and if they need to risk it all in order to truly live as they’re called. DELUGE, the finale in the best-selling, award-winning River of Time Series: #1 WATERFALL #2 CASCADE #3 TORRENT #4 BOURNE & TRIBUTARY #5 DELUGE.

Yes, I know it’s weird to recommend Book Five in a series, but man, oh, man are these books addictive! The River of Time follows two sisters, Gabi and Lia, who fall back in time to the middle ages, fall in love with knights, and must decide whether to stay out of their own time. These YA books are fast-paced adventures, and I can’t wait to read what happens in the final book!

FirstbornFirstborn by Tosca Lee

Face-to-face with her past, Audra Ellison now knows the secret she gave up everything—including her memory—to protect. A secret made vulnerable by her rediscovery, and so powerful neither the Historian nor the traitor Prince Nikola will ever let her live to keep it.

With Luka in the Historian’s custody and the clock ticking down on his life, Audra only has one impossible chance: find and kill the Historian and end the centuries old war between the Progeny and Scions at last—all while running from the law and struggling to control her growing powers. Love, action, and stunning revelation reign in this thrilling conclusion to The Progeny.

The Progeny was another fast-paced thriller I couldn’t put down. Full of twists and turns and unforgettable characters, it tells the story of Audra, a girl with no memory of her past, who is being hunted by unknown forces as she scrambles to figure out why they want her dead. It ended on a cliffhanger, and Firstborn, out May 2, will conclude Audra’s story.

Caramel CrushCaramel Crush by Jenn McKinlay (A Cupcake Bakery Mystery)

Love is in the air at Fairy Tale Cupcakes as Angie prepares for her wedding, but co-owner, Mel, is preparing for a breakup. Her old friend, Diane Earnest, is dumping her fiancé after discovering he’s only marrying her for her money. She wants Mel to personally deliver a batch of caramel breakup cupcakes to the louse and give her a play-by-play of his reaction.
 
When Mel finally tracks the man down, the look on his face isn’t the reaction she was expecting: he’s dead. After the police arrive and see the incriminating cupcakes, Diane becomes their prime suspect. If she hopes to taste freedom again, Mel and Angie must make sure the real killer gets their just desserts…

Book 9 in the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries, these books are a lot of fun, with great characters, witty dialogue, intriguing mysteries, and cupcakes! This book comes out April 4.

So, what’s on your spring reading list?

Cover Mishmash

I am a visual person, therefore the cover art needs to help me connect with the story on some level. I don’t think there’s been a book where I haven’t stopped in the middle somewhere and flipped to the cover for a quick peek. Since I have some pretty eclectic tastes, the books I chose were a good mishmash of choices for your exploration. Please click on the titles to travel to Amazon’s website for more information on each book.

The first book that called to me from the shelves of bookstores everywhere this past year was Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. It wasn’t until the second in the series, Clockwork Prince, came out that I finally gave in and actually bought the first book so I could read the second. Talk about an author’s dream reader, huh? It’s a steampunk story where angellic Shadowhunters battle it out with faeries, vampires, werewolves, and demons along with the added bonus of a race of machines created to get the girl and eradicate the Shadowhunters. A love triangle between the shape-changing protagonist and the two opposite Shadowhunters had me choosing sides. If you’ve read Clare’s Mortal Instruments series which begins with City of Bones, this series, the Infernal Devices, is gentler to the senses. I loved it, but beware, the third in the series doesn’t come out until next year. (I hear the collective groans.)

Next is one I came across from a blog I read the other day, Alice I Have Been and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin. Now although the covers aren’t calling my name from the bookshelves, the pictures intrigued me enough to read the blurb and together it has drawn my interest. These are real life stories from interviews from the women who were Alice (Alice Liddell Hargreaves) from Alice in Wonderland and the real-life wife of Tom Thumb (Mercy Lavinia “Vinnie” Bump). I can’t wait to read them.

I searched the Christian Book website for YA covers and found many from Lisa T. Bergren that I liked. Her Waterfall book is about two sisters on a boring family trip to Italy who actually time travel back to the 14th Century and into the midst of a battle. There’s dashing knights, castles, and of course, the allure of time travel. My heart is already aquiver.

The dress on this last one drew me in, and the story sealed the deal. The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott takes on the Titanic from a dressmaker’s POV. The seamstress believes it’s luck that she lands a job with a wealthy employer which includes a trip aboard the Titanic. She survives the tragic sinking, only to be thrown into a media scandal afterwards. If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the survivors of the Titanic, this book gives you a peek into a small window history. Go to this Amazon page for the author’s research about the employer, Lucile Duff Gordon. You’ll find it as intriguing as any work of fiction.

P.S. I found this link to the ACFW Speculative loop library and thought it would be great to share with those who aren’t on the loop, but like to read speculative fiction. There are some great books highlighted. Please click here for it. Special thanks to Rebecca Luella Miller for this list!