Are you a re-reader? Why, or why not? And if you are, what are some of the books you have read over and over?
I’m generally not a re-reader. I simply don’t have enough time to read all the books I’d like to for the first time, much less again.
When is your optimal time to read – do you prefer to read in one long block, or do you also read for five minutes here or there when you can?
I read every night before bed to unwind from my day. How much time I spend reading before bed varies depending upon how tired I am and how much the book grips me.
I’d love your thoughts on novellas. Are you thumbs up or down? Or does it depend?!
Thumbs up! I recently read To Have and To Hold: Three Autumn Love Stories(by St. Amant, Ganshert, and Wade). Novellas are like mini-cupcakes. They’re short and sweet and easily digested in bite-sizes!
Are you faithful to a genre, an author, or simply quality writing?
I read widely across different genres. I love variety, trying new authors, and discovering gems.
Which factors most influence your selection of a book?
If the book is by an author I know and love, I’m usually excitedly waiting for the next release.
If I hear buzz about an author I don’t know, then I’ll usually check out how many reviews there are. If there are a lot of negative reviews, I’ll read some of them to try to understand if the concerns are legit or merely subjective complaints.
Your fiction pet peeve?
As a romance writer as well as reader, my pet peeve is when the couple finds their happily-ever-after too early in the story. I like the romantic tension to play out as long as possible.
What book have you read this year that you could not put down, and why?
The Girl From the Train by Irma Joubert was very hard to put down, especially the second half of the book which had me in tears at times. It was a fascinating perspective of World War II as well as the difficult years afterward. The setting of the book moves from Europe to South Africa, which was interesting and new to me as well.
How do you mark your spot – folded page corner, bookmark, dollar bill, whatever is at hand?
I mark my spot mostly with homemade bookmarks that my children have made over the years.
Whose debut novel impressed you more than you anticipated?
The young adult fantasy, Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. The story world was very well crafted, the plot was riveting, and the characters well-developed.
When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you?
I need to be able to care about the characters. If that happens, I can usually finish the book even if the plot doesn’t necessarily captivate me.
What are some of your favourite CF reads from around 10 years ago, or further back?
My favorite series from about 15 years ago is Lynn Austin’s Chronicles of the Kings. It was the first series I read by her, and I was utterly delighted to have the Bible (the Old Testament!) brought to life.
Snack/drink of choice while reading?
Coffee and chocolate of course!
What book cover has really caught your eye?
I have cover envy for Susanna Kearsley books, especially The Winter Sea.
Which author makes it easy to turn off your internal editor?
My internal editor usually shuts down when I’m reading any genre other than historical fiction. For some reason, I have a difficult time reading in my own genre.
What book do you wish you had written? Why?
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Of course my version wouldn’t have included all of the bodice-ripping sex scenes or vulgar parts. But I adore time travel and love how Gabaldon made the time travel so realistic and believable.
Newton and Polly
Now remembered as the author of the world’s most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life. His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father—until the night he hears Polly Catlett’s enchanting voice, caroling. He’s immediately smitten and determined to win her affection.
An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John’s reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly. When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must choose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever. Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves?
Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe.