It’s the time of year when bouquets of flowers fill the stores, the gift of a box of chocolates takes on new meaning, and love songs (and movies) fill the airwaves. Swoonworthy stuff, ya’ll.
Instead of creating a post about current titles that inspire hearts to flutter, I put out an open call for men and women to name their favorite Greatest Love Stories of All Time. Thanks to Mari Barnes*, Sarah Bewley, Leah Canzoneri, Kait Carson, Peggy Clayton, Joy Ross Davis, Missy Davis, Laura Di Silverio, Saword Broyles Ellis, Terri Gault, Courtney Carter Girton, Sherry Harris, Cynthia Kuhn, Joyce Laferrera, Marj Lilley, Alice Loweecy, Gary Miller, Sylvia Nickels, Debbie York Parker, Nanci Rathbun, Jeanie Smith, Ellis Vidler, and Lynn Chandler Willis for their wonderful suggestions. *drawing winner
Books are listed in alphabetical order by title, and where available, links to the Greatest Love Stories are included. Click on the titles and read more about them.
“At Home in Mitford” by Jan Karon
“Cinderella Story” by Wendy Logia
“Come Rain or Come Shine” by Jan Karon
“Dr. Zhivago” by Boris Pasternak
“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte
“Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry
“Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon
“Persuasion” by Jane Austen
“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
“Sense and Sensibility” by Jane Austen
“Shadow of the Moon” by MM Kaye
“Somewhere in Time” by Richard Matheson
“Soulless” by Gail Carriger
“The Far Pavilions” by MM Kaye
“The Last of the Mohicans” by James Fenimore Cooper
“The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks
“The Princess Bride” by William Goldman
“The Scarlet Pimpernel” by Baroness Orczy
“The Second Coming” by Walker Percy
“The Thorn Birds” by Colleen McCullough
Are you thinking romantic, weak-at-the-knees thoughts?
Our work is done. 😉
Photo credit: Patti Phillips
Most of the winners of major book awards are selected by members of the groups that give the award – much like the film industry’s Academy Awards are selected each year. Mystery writers vote on the major mystery awards; romance writers vote on the Rita Award, etc. Goodreads, the popular readers/authors site, has a slightly different model for the Goodreads Choice Awards – 2016.
During the year, readers chat about books they’re reading and make lists of their favorites for their friends and followers to see. They also rank books they’ve read with stars, indicating how much they liked (or disliked) the titles published that year. There are thousands of books listed on the site, with thousands of comments, giving anyone who’s interested a way to see how a book (published in the U.S. in English) is viewed by the Goodreads group. Amazon acquired Goodreads, so these reviews and stars probably have an impact on book sales.
During October, the Goodreads staff looks at the stats and does the math, then nominates 15 books for each of 20 categories that have an average rating of 3.5 stars or more.
The members of the Goodreads community vote in elimination rounds. They are allowed to vote in all twenty categories, giving a broader view of a book’s popularity. If you sign up to become a member of Goodreads, you can vote as well. (It's free)
Semifinal Round now closed: Nov. 8th thru Nov. 13th (voting on the original 15 along with the top 5 write-ins in each category – voters can change their minds about the original vote)
Final Round is closed: Nov. 15th thru Nov. 27th (voting on final top 10 books in each category) Results were announced December 6th.
Here are the 2016 voting links for eight of the categories (once there, the other twelve categories are an easy click away):
The 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards went to:
Fiction: Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman”
Mystery & Thriller: Paula Hawkins’ “The Girl on the Train”
Historical Fiction: Kristin Hannah’s “The Nightingale”
Fantasy: Neil Gaiman’s “Trigger Warning”
Romance: Colleen Hoover’s “Confess”
Science Fiction: Pierce Brown’s “Golden Son”
Fourteen other categories included horror, non-fiction, memoir, humor, and more.
Did you read any of the winning choices from 2015? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comment section.
The 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards went to:
Fiction: Rainbow Rowell's "Landline"
Mystery & Thriller: Stephen King's "Mr. Mercedes"
Historical Fiction: Anthony Doerr's "All the Light We Cannot See"
History & Biography: Helen Rappaport's The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra"
Romance: Diana Gabaldon's "Written in My Own Heart's Blood"
Science Fiction: Andy Weir's "The Martian"
The 14 additional categories included cookbooks, horror, non-fiction, children’s books and more.
The 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards went to these 6 categories & more:
Fiction: Khaled Hosseini’s “And the Mountains Echoed”
Mystery & Thriller: Dan Brown’s “Inferno”
Historical Fiction: Kate Atkinson’s “Life After Life”
History & Biography: Brian Jay Jones’ “Jim Henson”
Romance: J.R. Ward’s “Lover at Last”
Science Fiction: Margaret Atwood’s “MaddAddam”
It’s interesting to note that in 2013, 1,953,770 total votes were cast for the Goodreads Choice Awards.
At the end of voting in 2014, there were 3,317,504 votes.
The final tabulation for the Goodreads Choice Awards in 2015 was 3,007,748 votes.
Votes as of 7pm EST 12/6/16? 3,564,071
Happy reading & thanks for voting!
How many of you have read about a region of the USA in a novel and wanted to travel there, in part to experience the food, in part to relax and enjoy the fabulous scenery that can only be seen in that one area of the planet? The Carolinas (both North and South) are home to fabulous shrimp & grits dishes, as well as mouth-watering other goodies. And you can’t visit either State without having a refreshing glass of world famous Sweet Tea.
The authors listed below either live in North or South Carolina, grew up here, or set their books in the region. We are treated to the cuisine of the Appalachia, the Low Country boils, the scenery of the mountains, and/or the wildlife/marshes of the coast. There is a mix of historical, paranormal, happily-ever-after, outrageous comedy, dark mysteries, and cozies – something for everyone who loves thumpin’ good fiction.
Click on the website links to find out more. J
Suzanne Adair “A Hostage to Heritage” www.suzanneadair.net
JD Allen “Grasshopper” in “Murder Under the Oaks” www.jdallenbooks.com
Maria Alonso-Sierra “The Coin” www.mariaelenawrites.com
Mike Axsom “Making Memories Down South” www.mikeaxsom.com
Jodie Bailey “Breach of Trust” www.jodiebailey.com
Kaye Wilkinson Barley “Whimsey” www.kayewilkinsonbarley.com
Cindy Blackburn “Five Spot” www.cueballmysteries.com
Heather Blanton “A Promise in Defiance” www.ladiesindefiance.com
Susan Boyer “Low Country Book Club” www.susanmboyerbooks.com
Felicia Bridges “Czechmate” www.adventuresthatinspireaction.com
Antoinette Brown “One-Cat Woman” in “Carolina Crimes”
Ross Cavins “Barry vs The Apocalypse” www.rosscavins.com
Diane Chamberlain “Pretending to Dance” www.dianechamberlain.com
C. Hope Clark “Echoes of Edisto” www.chopeclark.com
J.A. Coffey "Double Dog Dare" www.jacoffey.com
Cynthia Cooke “Going All the Way” www.cynthiacooke.com
E.B. Davis “Ice Cream Allure” in “Carolina Crimes” www.ebdavismysteries.com
Saword Broyles Eller www.amazon.com/author/saywordbeller
Nora Gaskin (Esthimer) “Time of Death” www.lystrabooks.com
Normandie Fischer “From Fire into Fire” www.normandiefischer.com
Beatrice Fishback “Bethel Manor” www.beasattitudes.net
Dorothea Benton Frank “All Summer Long” www.dotfrank.com
Marni K Graff “Death Unscripted” www.auntiemwrites.com
Jordon Greene "They'll Call It Treason" www.jordongreene.com
Leigh Greenwood “Forever and Always” www.leigh-greenwood.com
Lynette Hampton “Fiona’s Journey” www.agnesalexander.com
Rick Helms “Older than Goodbye” www.richardhelms.net
Judy Hogan “Haw” www.judyhogan.home.mindspring.com
Tom Honea “A Confluence of Rivers” www.amazon.com/dp/B009LU1X8I
Ellen Hunter "Much Ado About Murder" www.ellenhunter.com
Polly Iyer “Indiscretion” www.pollyiyer.com
Regina Jeffers "Angel Comes to the Devil's Keep" www.rjeffers.com
Sabrina Jeffries “Stormswept” www.sabrinajeffries.com
Linda Johnson “Trail of Destruction” www.lindajohnson.us
Kieran Kramer “Trouble When You Walked In” www.kierankramer.com
Vicki Lane “Under the Skin” www.vickilanemysteries.com
Linda Lovely “Lies” www.lindalovely.com
Cynthia Luhrs “First Knight” www.cluhrs.com
Margaret Maron “Long Upon the Land” www.margaretmaron.com
Jamie Mason “Monday’s Lie” www.jamie-mason.com
Karen McCullough “Wired for Murder” www.kmccullough.com
Heather McGovern "A Moment of Bliss" www.heathermcgovernnovels.com
Ruth Moose “Wedding Bell Blues” www.ruthmoose.com
Katy Munger “Desolate Angel” www.katymunger.com
Nancy Naigle “Every Yesterday” www.nancynaigle.com
Heather Newton “Under the Mercy Trees” www.heathernewton.net
Kathryn O’Sullivan “Neighing with Fire” www.kathrynosullivan.com
Gail Oust “Cinnamon Toasted” www.gailoust.com
Kate Parker “Deadly Scandal” www.kateparkerbooks.com
Britni Patterson “A Thousand Deadly Kisses” www.britnipatterson.com
Leigh Perry “The Skeleton Haunts a House” www.leighperryauthor.com
Ashantay Peters “Reading Between the Lives” www.ashantay.com
Patti Phillips “Kerrian’s Notebook, Vol. 1” www.pattiphillipsbooks.com
Karen Pullen “Cold Feet” www.karenpullen.com
Kathy Reichs “Trace Evidence” www.kathyreichs.com
Jennifer Riley “Jerk Alert” available at Amazon
Sarah Shaber “Louise’s Chance” www.amazon.com/Sarah-R.-Shaber/e/B001HMPB9U
Nancy Simpson “B.O.Q.” www.authornpsimpson.com
Regina Smeltzer “Retribution” www.reginasmeltzer.net
Jennifer Hudson Taylor "For Love or Liberty" www.jenniferhudsontaylor.net
Ellis Vidler “Prime Target” www.ellisvidler.net
Kathryn R. Wall “Jordan Point” www.kathrynwall.com
Tamara Ward “Concealed Suspicions” www.authortamaraward.com
Lynn Chandler Willis “Wink of an Eye” www.lynnchandlerwillis.com
Bonnie Wisler “Count a Hundred Stars” available at Amazon
Caleb Wygal "Blackbeard's Lost Treasure" www.calebwygal.com
See any new-to-you names on the list of Authors of the Carolinas?