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11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

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Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Showin' a Little Readerly Love

It's Top Ten Tuesday time!  Get excited!  Since Valentine's Day is in a few days, this week's prompt is a love freebie.  I don't know why freebies throw me so, but I just could not come up with anything fresh and original for this topic.  So, I'm going to highlight ten books I've read so far this year that have garnered some love from me.  I'm not saying these are perfect, favorite reads, just ones that I've enjoyed.

First, though, be sure to click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl, read a few instructions, make your own TTT list, then hope around the blogosphere showing some love to the participating blogs.  It's fun and a great way to revisit favorite sites, find new ones, and add some fabulous-sounding reads to your always-growing TBR pile mountain mountain chain.  What's not to love?

Top Ten Books That Have Earned Some of My Readerly Love So Far This Year (in no particular order):

1.  Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon (available April 28, 2020)—Maybe it's the Mormon pioneer ancestry that flows through my veins, but I love me a good wagon trail story.  Harmon's newest concerns a 20-year-old widow named Naomi May who is journeying across The Overland Trail with her family.  Trekking West is difficult enough, but when Naomi falls in love with a half-Pawnee mule skinner, things get even more complicated.  Where the Lost Wander is primarily a love story, but it also boasts plenty of adventure, humor, drama, and heartbreak.  I finished this sweeping saga last night and loved it.

2.  The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James (available February 18, 2020)—I was fortunate to snag a copy of this creepy novel, which is definitely more Halloween than Valentine's Day.  It's about an eerie little town in upstate New York where young women tend to go missing.  Our heroine, Carly Kirk, moves to Fell to investigate the disappearance of her aunt, who vanished from the motel where she worked over thirty years ago.  Soon, Carly is caught in a kind of time warp at the empty motel, which is a whole lot more occupied than anyone realizes.  If you like a good The Shining-ish story, you're definitely going to want to check out this freaky tale which had me jumping at every sound, even though I read it in the middle of the day with all the lights on ...

3.  The Wake of the Lorelei Lee by L.A. Meyer—The Bloody Jack series is one of my favorite YA series of all time.  It's fun, it's exciting, it's different, and it's just all kinds of entertaining.  Even though the tales get "saltier" and bawdier as they go, I still love these books.  Someone suggested listening to these novels on audio because the narrator—the late Katherine Kellgren—is so fabulous.  I agree.  She's excellent.  I enjoyed this one a lot, just as I have every other Bloody Jack book.

4.  Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain—I already reviewed this one, so I won't say too much about it except that I found it to be a compelling and satisfying mystery.

5.  Second Sight by Aoife Clifford—I didn't absolutely love this Australian murder mystery since it's pretty bleak and depressing, but I did find it engrossing.  The atmospheric setting and twisty plot definitely won some readerly love from me.

6.  The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron—Cambron is a new discovery for me, so I'm working on reading her whole backlist.  I enjoyed this gentle romantic suspense novel about an unconventional woman making a living as an illusionist, just like her late mentor, Henry Houdini.

7.  The Hollows by Jess Montgomery—This is the second book in Montgomery's Lily Ross mystery series about a widow who takes over after her husband, the town sheriff, dies.  I think I liked the first book better, but this one also tells an engrossing tale which kept me guessing.

8.  Wonton Terror by Vivien Chien—The Noodle Shop mysteries are all super fun.  This one, the fourth in the series, is no exception.

9.  Tweet Cute by Emma Lord—This one is getting a lot of buzz, and for good reason.  It's a sweet, upbeat romance that's light, funny, and entertaining.  Looking for the perfect Valentine's Day read?  You've found it!

10.  The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan (available April 28, 2020)—I'm cheating with this one since I haven't read it yet, but a copy of this one is on its way to me as we speak.  I love novels about sisters, family mysteries, and DNA surprises, so this book—about three close-knit sisters who find out they're not the only Sweeneys out there—sounds fun.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it.

There you go, ten books that have earned my readerly love (or at least like).  Have you read any of them?  What did you think?  What topic did you choose for your love freebie today?  I'd truly love to know.  Comment on this post and I will return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT! 


  1. The Illusionist's Apprentice sounds so good.

    My TTT .

    1. It is! It's a mystery, but it's not gory or graphic. Cambron is a great writer.

      Thanks for coming by!

  2. I've seen Tweet Cute around lately! I must need to add it to my TBR! haha. :)

    1. It's a fast, fun, easy read. I definitely recommend it!

      Thanks for stopping by, Leslie!

  3. Love your list. There are several books on it that I want to read. Especially Where the Lost Wander, Tweet Cute and The Sun Down Motel. :)

    1. WHERE THE LOST WANDER and THE SUN DOWN MOTEL are both on NetGalley. TWEET CUTE was there, but I think it's been archived.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

  4. The Sun Down Motel is one I can't wait to read, and Big Lies in a Small Town sounds good too.

    1. THE SUN DOWN MOTEL really is a fun read. It's just creepy and freaky and, even though there's nothing really original about it, it's totally entertaining. BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN is an engrossing mystery that I ended up liking more than I thought I would. If you read these, let me know what you think.

      Thanks, as always, stopping by and commenting, Greg!

  5. I've definitely seen Tweet Cute a lot lately. I've not read a lot of contemporary romance, but I may have to check that one out.

    1. I'm not a big contemporary romance reader either and I probably would not have read this one if I hadn't joined the blog tour. I did really enjoy it, though. It's fast and fun - just how I like contemporary romances to be.

      Thanks for coming by!

  6. I love the sound of Where the Lost Wander, not heard of that before, will go and look it up.

    1. The book doesn't come out until April, but you can get it on NetGalley if you have an account. It's a good one!

      Thanks, as always, for stopping by and commenting, Cath!

  7. Great list! I love to see the creativity on freebie weeks! I’m all “why can’t I be more innovative?!”

    1. Ha ha. Right? I always feel so uninspired with freebies! Anyone is more creative than I am. LOL

      Thanks for coming by!

  8. I am SOOOOO excited to see Tweet Cute on your list. That book made me so happy. I am glad I met that book. I had my eye on the Sweeney Sisters. I also love stories about siblings, especially sisters.

    1. TWEET CUTE is so fun! It's exactly what I want from contemporary fiction (especially YA romance) - light, fun, and entertaining.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

  9. Every one of those sounds awesome! Definitely adding them to my TBR pile!

    1. They are! You should definitely read them, favorite sister :) I just wish we lived closer to each other so we could share books more easily (and for lots of other reasons, too). Love you, Pee Wee!

  10. Thanks for the selection. I've not read any of them so I am interested in them all.

    1. Oh, good! I'm glad you found some titles to pique your interesting.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting!

  11. This looks like so much fun that I keep saying I'm going to start doing it - but I just can't get past the good intentions stage.

    Enjoyed the list, and picked up on a couple of new titles.

    1. Ha ha. You should! I get the most traffic on my blog on Tuesdays, so I always participate for that reason. Plus, it's just fun, even when the prompts make me think a little too hard :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

  12. Oooooo, The Hollows made the list! I think I may have to read this one since I've already read The Widows.

    1. You should! Like I said in my post, I liked it slightly less than the first book, but it's still a compelling novel. I enjoy the characters and the setting as well as the whole premise about Lily being a female sheriff in a time when that was unheard of.

      Thanks, as always, for stopping by and commenting, Helen!

  13. Tweet Cute is totally one that I've been seeing everywhere and simply must read!! I obtained it about 2 weeks ago and would like to read it soon!

    1. Fun! I think you'll really enjoy it. Everyone seems to be loving it.

      Thanks for coming by!

  14. There are a couple of these that are on my list - namely Diane Chamberlain and the Simone St James

    1. Both of these are getting a lot of buzz right now. I don't always love "buzzy" books, but I really liked both of these. I hope you enjoy them, too!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marg!

  15. What a great list Susan. Six of these are already on my TBR. I am interested in the Bloody Jack series. It sounds fun and I am going to look for the audiobooks.

    1. It's a super fun series! The books are episodic and fairly plotless, but they are just SO entertaining. They make me smile. I'm just sad that both the author of the series and the woman who narrates the audiobooks are now deceased.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carla!

  16. Fun list! I am on a mystery/thriller kick right now, so I will have to check out Big Lies In a Small Town

    Have a great week!

    tonyalee @

    1. Definitely do! It's a good one. I haven't read anything else by Chamberlain, so I'm going to be checking out her backlist now.

      Thanks for coming by!

  17. I am very excited for Where the Lost Wander and plan on starting it so. Amy Harmon has long been a favorite and I love her story telling.

    1. It's a good one! I haven't read anything else by Harmon, but I have a copy of WHAT THE WIND KNOWS that I'm hoping to get to soon.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  18. Lovely topic choice this week--so many wonderful titles on here!

    1. Thank you! I hope you've found some titles to pique your interest :)

      Thanks for coming by!

  19. excellent sharing..! Susan I've not read any of them so I am interested in Tweet Cute, title is eye catching :) Corona Virus thanks for sharing..

  20. I always have a difficult time with the freebie topics as well.
    I haven't read any of the ones on this list, but I've been so excited for Tweet Cute and I'm so glad that I keep seeing good things about it! Having you recommend it as a Valentine read makes me want to get my hands on it more, but our library doesn't have it yet. One day though.
    The Wake of the Lorelei Lee caught my eye on here. That cover is absolutely gorgeous! I'll have to look into that series!

    1. TWEET CUTE is just fun. It's got some substance to it, so it's not all fluff, but even still, it's a light, entertaining read that is sweet and upbeat. I read a lot of darker books, so I find these kinds of reads really refreshing.

      The Bloody Jack series is the same. The books are funny, entertaining, and exciting. Jacky Faber is a wonderful character. I hope you love the series if you decide to read it.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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