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
Jen, a T-Rex and the center of the controversy in “Dry Bones,” is the largest specimen of its type ever found and it shows up in Sheriff Walt Longmire’s county. Longmire deals with all kinds of victims, but a dinosaur? That’s a new kind of cold case.
A skeleton of this importance would be a windfall for the local museum, but first Longmire must figure out if the High Plains Dinosaur Museum has the right to claim Jen as its own. When the Cheyenne owner of the ranch where Jen was found turns up dead, things get complicated. It’s possible that the T-Rex belongs to the Cheyenne Nation…or the federal government…or the family of the guy who died.
Tribal rights, family inheritance, federal property or just a really nice set of bones to display? An acting Deputy Attorney is out to make a name for himself and seems to feel that photo ops are more important than catching the bad guys or finding kidnap victims. But, he’s not the only one with priorities a tad off center in "Dry Bones." More people are interested in who gets the dinosaur than the circumstances behind the death of Danny Lone Elk.
With Jen crowding Walt’s holding cells while ownership is being determined, and the interested parties holding Walt’s office hostage, the Sheriff realizes that the only way he can get back to the business for which he was elected is to solve the mystery of Danny Lone Elk’s death and find the gal (also Jen) who discovered the T-Rex to begin with.
It’s a circus.
There are helicopter forays into the back country, harrowing visits to an old mine, entertaining interactions with ever wise-cracking Lucien, Henry Standing Bear saving the day as only he can, and more near misses for Walt than our hearts can stand. Did I mention bullets flying? And the terrifying prospect of Walt taking care of his grand-daughter? He’s not afraid of many bad guys, but the little one? Waaay too funny.
We are treated to Craig Johnson’s dry wit, in several LOL scenes, with Walt’s delivery always perfectly timed. A man of few words, but good ones.
In real life, that entire region of the country is an active dinosaur bone recovery area with several universities and museums conducting legitimate digs. People love a cool dinosaur, so finding the big ones can cement the reputation – and therefore the funding – of an institution for many years.
In “Dry Bones,” Johnson explores the ethics of taking artifacts away from the people upon whose land they were found. It’s not just dino bones that are being removed from their place of origin. World-wide, governments are seeking to recover long lost treasures robbed from centuries old graves, temples, and ruins. Find the treasures? Great. Remove them from the place of origin without permission or proper compensation? These days, that’s a long jail term in the making.
Read Craig Allen Johnson’s Author Profile here.
Read the review of “The Cold Dish” here.
Read the review of “Kindness Goes Unpunished” here.
Please visit www.craigallenjohnson.com for lots of information about Mr. Johnson and his work, his future appearances, and his online store.
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?
“Trapline” is the third book in Mark Stevens’ series featuring Allison Coil, a hunting guide with a talent for looking beyond the obvious in order to solve crimes in her beloved Colorado mountains. With a past that still haunts her, she is happiest away from crowds of people, following the trails into the hills on her horse, or guiding hunting parties to bag big game. Her boyfriend, Colin, a hunk that also works for her, is making serious inroads into her heart. Who can resist a guy that knows how to use an atlatl and understands without asking, what she needs?
A mangled body is found near a campsite, and Allison’s investigation leads to a horrifying discovery. A Senatorial candidate is shot during an outdoor speech in a nearby town, but why? And does the shooting have anything to do with the body in the mountains? As the parallel storylines sizzle and explode in “Trapline,” Stevens reveals a lot about the depths to which humans will go when greed is involved. We learn more about one of this country’s hot button topics: undocumented workers. Problems with the border, people who seek to exploit the undocumented and/or transient workers, the impact on the economy, and the scandal of private prisons, are all explored from several sides of the complex issues.
Allison’s best friend, Trudy, the pesto queen and kitchen cook delivering to local stores in book #2, has grown into a full fledged regional farmer and business woman who supplies assorted organic, locally sourced goodies throughout the region. This character is so well-developed that I felt compelled to search for pesto recipes while reading “Buried by the Roan.” A vegan pal shared a great one.
The survival of Trudy’s business may be at stake in “Trapline,” because Trudy hired workers that she thought were legal, but may not all be. She has a few that she knows very well, but as in any growing organization that hires temporary farm workers, it’s practically impossible to know everyone’s story and how they came to work there. Her boyfriend has been in charge of managing the company and she has happily given him more and more control. Can a couple survive when linked together in both business and love?
The unspoiled mountains of Colorado take center stage again, with discussions about the tugs of war between commercial development and a wish to keep the wild safe and protected from greedy businessmen – businessmen who seem ignorant of the fact that destroying the very wilderness that provides their livelihood gets them to sum zero. Nobody wins.
Readers of “Buried by the Roan” will recognize the central characters in “Trapline,” with Duncan Bloom taking a greater role this time, and others changing/growing as the books continue. Allison is tenacious about her love of the high country and fights to keep its reputation and glory intact, despite several threats to her own safety. She is tenacious about maintaining her privacy as well, but a few edges have softened since her arrival in the first book, and Stevens lets us see more of the vulnerabilities and strengths of this very human lead character.
Stevens is adept at weaving the majesty of the Colorado terrain with the serious societal and political topics he brings to each book. With layers of compelling story and a solid group of friends in Allison, Trudy and the rest of the tight-knit crew, he creates page-turners that linger with us long after the books have ended.
“Trapline” won the 2015 Colorado Book Award for Mystery, and the 2015 Colorado Authors League Award for Genre Fiction. Deservedly so.
Read the review of “Buried by the Roan,” here.
“Lake of Fire,” the fourth in the series, will be available on September 8, 2015.
For more about Mark Stevens and his work, please visit www.writermarkstevens.com