Friday Book Round-Up Reveals Mrs. N’s Top 10 Female Authors #FridayReads #books


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. This week, the world celebrated International Women’s Day. It got me thinking about my favorite female authors. Many of these women inspired me to go after my dream of publishing and on a certain level, I consider them my mentors (even though we’ve never met). So, I wanted to honor these women here today with my very personal (feeling a little exposed here) list. The link is to their Amazon Author Page. Here is my top 10 in alphabetical order:

 

Jane Austen

My 8th grade English teacher introduced me to Jane Austen and I am forever grateful to him. Not only are Jane’s books poignant and beautifully-written, it was virtually unheard of for a woman to publish in those days. It was thanks to her brother that a publisher agreed to publish her. It was well-received and popular among the aristocrats. My favorite two novels are Pride and Prejudice as well as Emma.

 

The Bronte Sisters

Wuthering Heights was my introduction to Emily Bronte as well as her sisters. Each was gifted in their own right and like Jane Austen, they fought against societal prejudice to be published. Dark, brooding characters enduring heart-breaking tragedies is the theme of many of their stories. Romantic? Sure, if you’re not a fan of happily ever after. What makes their stories so memorable for me is that even though the sisters had a hard life, they obviously found joy in writing. It comes across is their descriptive plots and characters. My favorite novel is Wuthering Heights.

 

Candace Bushnell

I read Sex and the City when it was first published and was instantly in love with Bushnell’s honest approach to love, dating and being single in the big city. Her writing style appealed to me as a single gal trying to figure out what it meant when a guy said he would call and then didn’t. She’s one of my writing mentors because she ditched the cutesy women’s lit for brutally honest lit. I mean, it was refreshing to hear what other women think about oral sex and men who shower right after sex. Reading her books (and she has several now) is like curling up with a bunch of girlfriends and dishing the dirt. No pretense, just great storytelling. My favorite is her Sex and the City anthology.

 

Julia Cameron

The Artist’s Way caught my attention when I was working as a manager for a large bookstore. A friend of mine raved about how it helped her with her artwork. “Inspiring,” she said so I picked it up. Talk about changing my life… this book shook me with truths that were hidden deep within me. Yes, I could be the artist I craved to be; all it took was determination and not giving up. Cameron continues to inspire me on a daily basis. It’s thanks to her that I could work full-time, be a housewife and complete my first novel without losing my mind.

 

Agatha Christie Truth

 

Agatha Christie

Dame Agatha… what an inspiration! I fell in love with her mysteries at a young age, thanks to my mother. She’s an incredible woman who lived several lives in her lifetime. Independent, witty, honorable, she took ordinary people she met and incorporated them into her mysteries. A hero in my eyes because she wrote intricate mysteries with complex characters which kept the reader captivated until the last page. Both Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot are my two favorite detectives in literature and no, I can’t pick a favorite novel.

 

Jude Deveraux

When I was thirteen, I read my very first Jude Deveraux romance. I can close my eyes and remember the feeling of romance surging in my heart as I read The Black Lyon all those years ago. Being a sucker for history, her historical romances taught me what life might have been like back in the day. Sweeping romance, strong men and even stronger women filled the pages of Jude’s books. I swooned and imagined falling in love with a knight who would sweep me away from my dull and boring life. She’s the gold standard for all historical romances (in my opinion) and she taught me so much more about writing characters, tension and plot than all my teachers in school. I still idolize her and re-read The Knight in Shining Armor (my all-time favorite book) at least twice a year.

 

Syrie James

I first read Dracula, My Love and was instantly a fan of Syrie James’ writing style and ability to take a classic tale and put a new spin on it. Being a huge reader of historical fiction and historical romance, I love the way Syrie spins what’s familiar and brings new light to it. Her imagination is as big as my own and her ability to make a monster into a misunderstood lonely tragic character is uncanny. I’ve read every one of her books and while I wish I had the time to do all the research she does when writing, I’m in awe of how she makes historical figures come alive. She’s a writing mentor to me for her descriptive narration alone and I keep going back to her books to gain new insight. My favorite novel is Dracula, My Love.

 

Jennifer Weiner

Okay, here’s where this list gets personal. I’m a curvy woman and as a reader, I’ve spent most of my life reading about stick-thin heroines dealing with life. But then I read Good in Bed when it first came out. Mind Blown! Here’s a New York Bestselling Author describing in great detail the ups and down of a curvy woman’s search for love. Her writing isn’t cliché and tells it like it is. Hooray for curvy women everywhere! Jennifer taught me it’s okay to expose a part of myself in my writing. I’ve read every single book and my favorite is her latest release, Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing.

 

Laura Ingalls Wilder

I was ten years old when I got the box set of Little House books from my grandparents. I inhaled each book and as the years went by, continued to re-read them. It tells the story of her pioneer life from little girl to married and a mother. I love these books because it’s Laura sharing a part of her growing up. There’s an authenticity to these stories that makes them irresistible. I learned so much about what life was like in those days from these books. Life was hard and you found happiness and joy in the small things. As a mentor, Laura is inspiring and honest. Her stories transport the reader because she’s sharing from the heart. I strive to bring that heart quality to every book I write.

 

Marianne Williamson

I have Oprah to thank for introducing me to Marianne Williamson. I remember this clearly: I was home sick with the flu and was watching Oprah. Her guest was a beautiful woman by the name of Marianne Williamson. She spoke of inner light, spirituality, love and being at peace. It was exactly the words I needed to hear. See, I didn’t really have the flu. I was filled with anxiety due to high school female bullies and faked being sick to avoid them. They tormented me and made my life miserable. All I wanted to do was crawl into a hole and become invisible. Peace and love were the furthest from my mind at that time. Marianne spoke of taking control of your life and not allowing outside forces to steal your joy. That was exactly what I needed to hear at the time. I’ve read all her books since then but the one book that continues to speak to me is Return to Love. Love, it states, is the centre of everything and everyone. I’ve embodied that in my writing and share that message through my blog every single day. Her lyrical prose aligns with my writing style and I’m so grateful to her message of peace. It saved my life.

 

Have a favorite female author to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

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Top 10 #Medieval #HistoricalRomance Novels to Read #FridayReads #books


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round Up. It’s the middle of summer and during this time of year, I yearn to read novels that take me back into the past. Lately, I’ve been enjoying Medieval Historical Romances. It started with Jude Deveraux on Canada Day and I’ve worked my way through quite a few more as it’s almost time for my vacation. Why do I love this particular genre? I’m not sure but I think it has something to do with virile knights and the ladies who love them. Anyway, here are my must-read recommendations if you love the genre as much as I do:

 

Knight of Runes by Ruth A. Casie

England, 1605

 

When Lord Arik, a druid knight, finds Rebeka Tyler wandering his lands without protection, he swears to keep her safe. But Rebeka can take care of herself. When Arik sees her clash with a group of attackers using a strange fighting style, he’s intrigued.

 

Rebeka is no ordinary seventeenth-century woman—she’s travelled back from the year 2011, and she desperately wants to return to her own time. She poses as a scholar sent by the king to find out what’s killing Arik’s land. But as she works to decode the ancient runes that are the key to solving this mystery and sending her home, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic and powerful Arik.

 

As Arik and Rebeka fall in love, someone in Arik’s household schemes to keep them apart, and a dark druid with a grudge prepares his revenge. Soon Rebeka will have to decide whether to return to the future or trust Arik with the secret of her time travel and her heart.

 

The Conquest by Jude Deveraux

Lovely Zared Peregrine was the pride of her family, a treasure her rough-hewn brothers would strive at any cost to protect from their ancient enemies, the Howards. The Peregrines had suffered loss enough. Thus Zared’s brothers trained her in the arts of war, and dressed her in boy’s clothing. Beyond the castle walls, none knew that the youngest Peregrine was a girl….

 

Yet when the magnificent Knight Tearle Howard returned from a lengthy sojourn in France, it took him but one glance to discover that Zared was most definitely female, and beautiful. Now, as the enmity between their families raged on, Tearle would mount a bold campaign to win the ravishing spitfire’s heart — and save her from his brother’s dark and deadly obsession!

 

Lord Grayson’s Bride (Highland Regency Brides Book 1) by Tarah Scott

She can’t allow his love for her to destroy him…

 

When Nicholas Spencer, Earl of Grayson, returns to claim the woman he loves, Lady Josephine Knightly isn’t willing to forgive him for abandoning her six years ago. But neither can she resist the man he’s become.

 

Two days after Josephine signs the marriage contract she discovers a nasty secret that will destroy her family. The only way to protect them—to protect the only man she’s ever loved—is to disappear…or die.

 

Nicholas won’t make the same mistake twice and let Josephine Knightly go. She loves him. He felt it in their one kiss before he left, and in the single kiss she allowed since his return. But she’s doing everything in her power to sabotage the marriage even before it’s begun. Nicholas doesn’t care. If Hell is where he must live to have her, then she must stand by his side in the fire.

 

 

His Stolen Bride (Stolen Brides Series Book 0) by Shelly Thacker

She’s kidnapped on the morning of her royal wedding–by her groom’s most dangerous enemy.

 

Treachery leads battle-hardened Highland lord Darach of Glenshiel to abduct an innocent: wealthy Lady Laurien d’Amboise, betrothed to the knave who betrayed Darach and his men. Stealing the delicate beauty from the steps of Chartres Cathedral on her wedding day, he vows to keep her safe–and untouched–for she is a hostage to be bartered for the freedom of his beloved Scotland.

 

But soon he discovers that his lovely captive has unexpected strength, fire–and plans of her own. From a besieged French castle to the untamed Scottish Highlands, Darach and Laurien are swept up in wild adventure, dangerous secrets… and forbidden love that puts their honor and their lives at risk.

 

An RWA Golden Heart Award Finalist: Best Historical Romance of the Year

 

“Fast-paced action, a very likeable heroine, and a story that keeps you enthralled from page one.” -Rendezvous

 

“A compelling, memorable romance. HIS STOLEN BRIDE joins the ranks of the finest medieval captive/captor stories along with those by Elizabeth Stuart and Johanna Lindsey. 4 1/2 stars (highest rating).” -RT Book Reviews

 

A full-length novel of 100,000 words

Adult content: steamy love scenes

An earlier edition of this novel was originally published by Avon Books under the title Falcon on the Wind

 

This extensively revised Author’s Preferred Edition ebook includes new scenes never before published. Also includes a link to exclusive, multi-media bonus content: “The Making of His Stolen Bride: The Story Behind the Story.”

 

Must Love Kilts: A Time Travel Romance (Must Love Series Book 3) by Angela Quarles

The Jacobite Rebellion–not the best time to get drunk, hook up with a guy, and lose your sister.

 

A drunken bet…

 

When computer game designer Traci Campbell gets too close and personal with a bottle of Glenfiddich while vacationing in Scotland, she whisks her kilt-obsessed sister back to 1689 to prove hot guys in kilts are a myth. Hello, hundred bucks! But all bets are off when she meets Iain, the charming playboy in a to-die-for kilt.

 

Wrong place, wrong time, wrong name…

 

Iain MacCowan regularly falls in love at the drop of his kilt. The mysterious red-haired lass with the odd accent is no different. But when his new love is discovered to be a Campbell, the most distrusted name in the Highlands, his dalliance endangers his clan’s rebellion against King William.

 

It’s all hijinks in the Highlands until your sister disappears…

 

Traci thinks men are only good for one thing–thank you, Iain!–but when she awakens once again in Ye Olde Scotland and her sister is gone, she must depend on the last person she wants to spend more time with. He wants to win a heart, she wants to keep hers, but can these two realize they’re meant for each other before the Jacobite rebellion pulls them apart?

 

White Lion’s Lady (Warrior Trilogy Book 1) by Lara Adrian

The Warrior Trilogy: Book 1

 

She was promised to another, but her heart belonged to him alone . . .

 

Abducted on the way to her wedding, heiress Isabel de Lamere is unaware that the scoundrel planning to use her for his own gain is the cherished champion of her childhood: Griffin, the White Lion. Yet even as she discovers his treachery, Isabel cannot deny that Griffin lingers in her dreams, awakening the passion in her steadfast heart.

 

Then a twist of fate puts a price on both their heads, embroiling them in a life-and-death chase that will force Griffin to choose between his own freedom and his fierce desire for the woman who would redeem his noble spirit. But to reclaim his lost honor, the White Lion could lose Isabel forever. . . .

 

The Warrior Trilogy reading order:

White Lion’s Lady

Black Lion’s Bride

Lady of Valor

 

(Complete trilogy also available in a 3-in-1 ebook boxed collection.)

 

LADY AT ARMS: A Medieval Romance by Tamara Leigh

LADY AT ARMS: A “clean read” rewrite of the bestselling WARRIOR BRIDE, published by Bantam Books, 1994

 

HE WAS THE VILEST OF MEN

 

Lizanne Balmaine has spent years honing her skills at arms, determined she will never again be at the mercy of any man. When she comes face to face with the one who stole her future, she seizes the opportunity to exact revenge. Soon he is her prisoner, at her mercy. But something is different about him, something that makes her question her purpose. Is it possible a man can be so changed? More, can she right the wrong that could lay ruin to her family?

 

SHE WAS A QUESTION NEVER BEFORE ASKED OF HIM

 

Ranulf Wardieu does not seek a bride, nor a settling of scores when his mission for the king places him in the path of a beguiling, raven-haired maiden. But fascination turns to fury when she imprisons him. Accused of wrongdoing, the nature of which she refuses to reveal, he discovers the lady is as skilled at wielding a sword as she is at verbal sparring. When he bests her at her game and his jailer becomes his captive, he is determined to learn what wrong he has done her. However, as they engage in a battle of wits and wills and he glimpses her woman’s heart, he discovers Lizanne is a question never before asked of him—one his own jaded heart refuses to answer.

 

The Beautiful Pretender (A Medieval Fairy Tale Book 2) by Melanie Dickerson

After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise?

 

 

 

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king’s approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

 

 

Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn’t select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

 

 

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences.

 

 

Conquered (Thrice Blessed Book 1) by Kirsten Osbourne

This book was previously published under the pen name Morganna Mayfair.

 

Christiana and her two sisters, women of power in medieval Europe, are left alone to defend their family’s home when Duke William of Normandy invades England in 1066. When they are unable to fend off the invading army, the leader of their enemies claims Christiana was promised to him as his wife, along with her home and her family’s lands. Betrothed to another, she fights him, but finds herself married quickly.

 

Roland joined William of Normandy for the potential to become a land owner. A second son, he knows the only way he will ever own anything is by joining forces with the powerful ruler. He’s told there are three sister witches defending their home and the oldest is his promised bride. Both Christiana and Roland are used to being in charge. Will the sisters be able to fight off the coming evil to fulfill their destiny? Is it possible for two headstrong people from different cultures to find a way to live as husband and wife?

 

Lady of the Eternal Hearth by Sandi Murtland

In the spirit of the Mists of Avalon, Lady of the Eternal Hearth presents the epic love story and courageous adventures of Nora, a healer with power far beyond human abilities, and Gawaine of Lothian, King Arthur’s captain of field and most loyal knight.

 

Set in 6th century post-Roman Britain and Scotland, Nora’s tale begins with the disappearance of her beloved kinsman, Gildas, archdruid of Britain and apprentice to the famed Merlyn. Her quest to find him leads her to legendary Camelot where she meets Gawaine. But, secrets of her sordid past with King Arthur’s bastard son and apparent heir, Mordred, and his mad mother, Morgaine, loom over her shoulder. She desperately tries to conceal her identity by working in the kitchens of Camelot and befriending head cook and would-be spy, Lorelei.

 

However, the undeniable attraction between Nora and Gawaine turns to love, and he vows to help her find her kinsman. As their search for Gildas unfolds across the hills and moors of southern Britain, they discover a conspiracy to usurp King Arthur’s throne and a vengeful curse that’s destroying the lands. Meanwhile, Nora learns of her powerful past life, an uncontrollable dark side to her Goddess-given gifts, and her place in a sacred order of the Goddess amongst the Priestesses of Elemental Power. This legacy includes the Lady of the Lake, who has control over water, as well as other lady priestesses who possess power over fire, air, and earth.

 

As the pieces fall into place, will Nora and Gawaine find Gildas? Can they and their allies save ancient Britain from the curse, the conspirators, and especially the ruthless and maniacal Mordred? Is Nora strong enough to control her unbelievable power and claim her legacy? Does she even want to?

 

Lady of the Eternal Hearth stretches across genres. Historical figures mixed with those of Arthurian legend and a host of new characters give this novel a truly historical/fantasy/Arthurian romance vibe.

 

Author’s Note: This novel contains content that may be inappropriate for individuals under age 18.

 

 

Have any medieval historical romance book(s) to recommend? Share in the comments below.

 

Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict