Friday, January 8, 2010

My Must Read Historical Fiction Book List

I'm not sure if I'll be able to manage to keep up the pace with my reading level this year since I'm getting down to business with my writing.  I've already begun to see a change in my reading habits since I've been doing critques.  Yet, there a quite a few novels on my list that I've been looking forward to reading for some time. Sometimes readers have to be very patient awaiting the next book in a beloved series to come out, such has been the case for me. The 2 year wait has been agonizing.  I love the series. but I love the author more so I must forgive as she and her husband have gone into the mission field.  I'm so happy she is still writing.

So to keep me motivated I decided to join the Christian Historical Fiction Challenge.   The goal is to read at least 24 CHF novels in 2010.  Here are 8 of the 24 on my list that I plan to read.

The Courteous Cad - Catherine Palmer   (Jan.)

Book 3 in the Mrs. Pickworth series.
This is the one I've been waiting so long to read!

On her tour of the English countryside, a chance encounter in the streets alerts Miss Prudence Watson to the inhumane working conditions at the worsted mill. She learns that the owner is William Sherbourne, a Royal Naval officer just returned from sea. Following in his wake is his reputation as a cad and a secret so ghastly he’ll do anything to protect it. Even worse, he’s handsome and charming and not at all the villain Prudence expected him to be.

Sing: A Novel of Colorado - Lisa T. Bergren (March)
Book 2 of the Homeward Bound trilogy.

It’s 1886 and the St. Clairs are living out their dreams in three very separate parts of the world—Paris, Brazil and Colorado. And while each has found a measure of success and joy, each are haunted by past sins and secrets. As they face the biggest challenges of their lives—including facing off with an old enemy—each must discover the power of homecoming, and what it means to sing praises to God, even in the midst of loss.

Maid to Match - Deeanne Gist (May)

From the day she arrives at the Biltmore, Tillie Reese is dazzled--by the riches of the Vanderbilts and by Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman. When Tillie is enlisted to help tame Mack's rugged behavior by tutoring him in the ways of refined society, the resulting sparks threaten Tillie's efforts to be chosen as Edith Vanderbilt's lady's maid. But the stakes rise even higher when Mack and Tillie become entangled in a cover-up at the town orphanage. They could both lose their jobs...and their hearts.

Ransome's Crossing - Kaye Dacus (June)
Book 2 of the Ransome Trilogy

Charlotte Ransome, desperate to reach Jamaica to see her secret fiancé, disguises herself as a midshipman for a convoy led by her brother, Captain William Ransome. Meanwhile, William and his new bride, Julia, face the rough swells of the sea and of marriage as they try to adjust to life together.

When yellow fever befalls Charlotte and her identity is discovered, she begs first officer, Ned Cochran, and Julia to keep her presence and illness from her brother. But could this secret create insurmountable waves between Julia and William? And will Ned’s tender care of Charlotte change the tide of her affections forever?

Courting Morrow Little - Laura Frantz (June)
Second in this Kentucky historical series.

Morrow Little is haunted by the memory of the day her family was torn apart by raiding Shawnee warriors. Now that she is nearly a grown woman and her father is ailing, she must make difficult choices about the future. Several men--ranging from the undesired to the unthinkable--vie for her attentions, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to a forbidden love that both terrifies and intrigues her. Can she betray the memory of her lost loved ones--and garner suspicion from her friends--by pursuing a life with him? Or should she seal her own misery by marrying a man she doesn't love?

Serendipity - Cathy Marie Hake (July)

Todd Valmer should have known better. A farmer who's been through several disasters, he travels to Virginia to fetch his widowed mother to cook and help him around his Texas farm... or that was the plan until she keels over on the train and they get kicked off. Maggie Rose barters for a living and also makes soaps, lotions, and perfumes with a special rose recipe passed down from mother to daughter for generations. She hasn't wanted to marry... until that handsome Texan shows up. Her heart skips a beat, and when he proposes, a hasty marriage follows.

Surrender the Sea - M. L. Tyndall (Aug.)
Book 1 in the Surrender to Destiny series.

Set during the War of 1812, this series follows the lives of three women who are thrown in the midst of a battle for their freedom and their very survival against tyranical enemies, both physical and spiritual.

Masquerade - Nancy Moser (Aug.)

Eighteen eighty-five, New York City. Charlotte Gleason, a rich heiress from London, travels to America to escape her tedious life by marrying the even wealthier Conrad Tremaine. Deciding, however, that an arranged marriage is not for her, she arranges for her maid, Maureen, to take her place. What begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl wanting adventure becomes a test of survival amid poverty beyond Charlotte's blackest nightmares. As for Maureen, she lives a fairy tale complete with a prince--yet tormented by a wicked mother-in-law-to-be. Will their masquerade be discovered? Or will one of them have second thoughts? There is no guarantee the switch will work. It's a risk. It's the chance of a lifetime.

 Do you have any books to recommend?


  1. I may be a little out of the loop of what's current, but I just read my first historical book! And I loved it!

    The House at Riverton. A must read!

  2. Well, I'm not usually a historical fiction gal, but Erica Vetsch's The Bartered Bride was very good!

  3. Oh my goodness! So much to choose from.

    What a worthy collection of recommendations. May we never forget our heritage.


  4. Some interesting finds here! I may have to select one of these books myself to read one month for my new year resolution! Thanks again for the great tips!

  5. These books look wonderful! I'm also looking forward to Liz Curtis Higgs' new book, due to release in March I think.
    Happy Weekend! :0)

  6. Carla, These look great! Thanks so much for including mine. I'm so curious about Catherine Palmer as I've heard she's terrific. Many of these books are on my list, too. So glad you've joined the CHFC! Hats off to great books!

  7. Carla,
    You're the second person I've read today about book lists for 2010! I think I'm going to start my own. Once I post a goal for all to see, it's a bit harder NOT to make it happen.

    Happy Weekend,

  8. I've enjoyed many a Catherine Palmer book, so I'm looking forward to this one. I also hadn't heard of ML Tyndall's upcoming book so thanks for sharing the info about it.

    Blessings...and happy reading!

  9. Add 'Making Waves' by Lorna Seilstad to your list, Carla. It isn't coming out until October, I think, but I've read some of Lorna's unpublished work and loved it.

    I have put the "Postcards from the Pullman" series by Judith Miller on my list of must reads this year. There are three in the series so far and I got the first one for Christmas.

    I'll have to check out Christian Historical Fiction Challenge -- it sounds like fun. But I am wondering over the sheer volume of historical fiction in the Chritstian market vs contemporary. Any idea why historical is so popular?

  10. Oh, wow! That's the first time I've seen the cover of the first in M.L. Tyndall's new series!

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  12. Kav, those look like some good reads. I had to take a peek at the author's websites and learn more about them.

    Good question, my take on it is that historical fiction is so popular because in stressful times people tend to long for times past. Historical fiction can take you far away. Anybody else?

  13. Laura Franz and Kaye Dacus! I'm pleased to include your books in my list of TBR. I'm really looking forward to reading them, as I know so many others are, too. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    Tamika and Katie, welcome to the ranks of historical fiction readers! I heard the Bartered Bride was a good book, had never heard of The House at Riverton and checked it out. It's a #1 NYT best seller by Australian author Kate Morton. Piques my interest.

    Karen, Lori B. also mentioned to me the new LC Higgs book coming up. Here Burns My Candle will be out in March.

    Isn't that good news about M. L. Tyndall's new series. And the cover is gorgeous. Shiver me timbers!

  14. Carla, I couldn't resist your and Kav's question about historicals. Don't know if this is true but I've heard that historicals have a shelf life 2-3x longer than any other genre. Not sure why that is but I can speculate:) It sure is a joy to write historical fiction and people seem to be so curious about the past, plus it's such a welcome escape from our fast-paced lives today.

  15. Hi Laura, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. That is quite interesting about the shelf life. I think there's something to what you said, at least that's what attracts me! I'm so fascinated with the past, it's just fun to learn all about and fiction provides an entertaining way to get it. A well researched historical is such a treasure!

  16. The Zion Chronicles (5 books) and The Zion Covenant series (more books in a related series) by Brock and Bodie Thoene - historical fiction set both before and during WWII. There's drama, romance, hair raising moments, humor, and a wonderful cast of characters that are SO REAL that I found myself waking up praying for them!

  17. Hi Carla -

    I'm a huge fan of Catherine Palmer and Cathy Marie Hake. Kaye Dacus' Menu for Romance was delightful. I haven't read any of the other authors' books.

    Currently, I'm reading Tamara Alexander's Fountain Creek Chronicles. Superb.

    Susan :)

  18. I don't have any to recommend but I think I am going to add "Surrender the Sea" and" "Maid to Match" to MY list.

  19. MAID TO MATCH and COURTING MORROW LITTLE are on my list as well. I hadn't heard of some of these others until now...and I'm quite interested in them!


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