Top Ten Tuesday: Take Two

Posted November 3, 2015 by meezcarrie in Amy Leigh Simpson, Carla Laureano, Dawn Crandall, Jody Hedlund, Julie Klassen, Kate Breslin, Kristy Cambron, Pepper Basham, Sarah Monzon, Top Ten Tuesday, Varina Denman / 44 Comments


*Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog linkup hosted by The Broke and the Bookish*

I’m excited about today’s theme – those authors whose debut novels have us itching to get our hands on their sophomore release.  One of my favorite things about blogging is introducing people to talented new authors, so this topic is right up my alley.  I’m dividing it into two categories though – sophomore novels I’m waiting for and sophomore novels that were just as good as (or better than) the debut.

are we there yet

I loved their debut novels so much – I can’t wait for these authors to release their next book!

pepper d basham


penned in time series

Pepper Basham’s debut published novel The Thorn Bearer swept me away with her poetic writing voice, her engaging characters, and (dreamy sigh) her kissing scenes! The Thorn Keeperher sophomore novel – and the sequel to The Thorn Bearer –  releases in February 2016.  I guess including Pepper on this list is cheating just a tad because I’ve already read The Thorn Keeper but oh. my. goodness. y’all.  It is AMAZING! I can’t wait to hold a copy in my hands and see the finished product.  I adore Pepper – as a friend and an author – and I’m dying for February to hurry up and get here so everyone else can fall in love with David and Catherine like I have.

Sarah Monzon

Sarah Monzon

isaac project

Sarah absolutely delighted me with her debut novel, The Isaac Project – incredibly unique plot and a hero whose purposeful wooing of the heroine had me swooning and fanning at frequent intervals!! As I said in my reviewThe Isaac Project is an incredibly charming contemporary romance between a woman at the end of her rope and a man who makes a life-changing choice.  Sarah has promised me she’s working on her sophomore novel, and so far I have refrained from impatiently pestering her for progress updates.  But I am not sure how much longer I can hold out.  Sarah, if you’re reading this, you have been duly warned 😉

julie klassen name

julie klassen

lady maybe

Now, clearly, Julie Klassen is not a debut novelist but Lady Maybe was her debut novel in the general market, rather than exclusively with a Christian publisher. I never have understood the faulty logic that some of my fellow readers maintain – that Christian authors are somehow abandoning their faith by writing for the general market.  We encourage Christian teachers to teach in public schools.  We don’t sequester Christian doctors to Christian hospitals or Christian lawyers to only Christian clients.  Why then should we be so harsh with Christian authors who choose to spread their wings a bit and write in the general market too? ANYWAY lol – I’ll get off my soapbox now 😉 and simply say that Lady Maybe was rich in drama and emotion and heart-twisting romance.  I’m excited to see what else Julie Klassen has in store for us in the general market – as well as her upcoming release The Painter’s Daughter under her familiar Bethany House Publishing umbrella.

amy leigh simpson

amy leigh simpson

when fall fades

Full of sass and spice, Amy Leigh Simpson’s debut novel When Fall Fades is a riveting mix of romance and mystery and grace.  Pepper Basham (who I’ve already mentioned today) endorsed this novel and said, “Simpson’s descriptions, emotionally-riveting details, and sometimes evocative scenes keep the reader breathless from the first page to the last. A wonderful debut!” The ebook is currently on sale for $1.99 at Amazon – perfect time for you to check it out for yourself 🙂

The next novel in the Girl Next Door series is already up on Goodreads, but no release date is listed yet.  I can promise you I will be checking back frequently for updates!!

jody hedlundjody hedlunduncertain choice series

Again, as with Julie Klassen, Jody Hedlund isn’t a debut author but An Uncertain Choice, published earlier this year, was her first YA novel. I gave An Uncertain Choice 5 stars when I reviewed it, and I called it “the certain choice for anyone – from teens to adults – looking for their next favorite read.”  Her next book in this series – A Daring Sacrifice – releases in March and I’m dying to find out how the cliffhanger at the end of book 1 is resolved!!

what sophomore slump

I loved their debut novels … and I loved their sophomore novels just as much if not more!

kate breslin

Kate breslin

kate breslin novels

Kate’s award-winning debut novel For Such a Time is by far my favorite re-imagining of the story of Esther.  Set amid the horrors of the Holocaust, it absolutely captivated me from the first page to the last – and lingered long after I closed the book.  Her second novel, Not By Sight, is completely different but oh my gracious – it’s another must read!  In my review of Not By Sight, I said, “A little bit Scarlet Pimpernel, a little bit Beauty and the Beast, and a little bit Phantom of the Opera,  Kate Breslin’s sophomore novel Not By Sight is more than a little bit perfect. Romance, espionage and friendship collide in this stunning tale set in England during the First World War.”

kristy cambron

kristy cambron

kristy cambron novels

Kristy Cambron’s Hidden Masterpiece novels both garnered a coveted Top Pick rating from RT Book Reviews Magazine, and for very good reason! Her dual timelines, exquisitely crafted plot, and compelling characters bring the history of the Holocaust vividly to life and paints the faces of its people onto the canvas of your heart.  Her upcoming third novel, The Ringmaster’s Wife, is due out in March and I cannot wait to read it too!!

dawn crandall

dawn crandall

everstone 1 and 2

I cannot say enough good things about Dawn Crandall’s Everstone Chronicles.  Her first-person narrative is spot-on, her heroes are just so incredibly *dreamysigh* wonderful, and her kissing scenes??? Oh be still my heart, don’t get me started on those! 😉 You can read my reviews of The Hesitant Heiress and The Bound Heart by clicking on those hyperlinks. Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for my review of Dawn’s third book in the series – The Captive Imposter.  As a matter of fact, TODAY is the release day for The Captive Imposter in the long-awaited paperback format!! Head on over to Dawn’s blog for your chance to win a copy!

carla laureano

carla laureano

carla laureano books

If you’ve been around this blog for longer than a millisecond, you’ve heard me championing my James – Carla’s hunky and flirtatious hero in her RITA award winning debut novel Five Days in Skye. (It’s currently on sale for $1.99 if you’d like to see what all the fuss is about, by the way.)  You can also read my review here.  As much as I adore my James and Five Days in Skye, I also thoroughly enjoyed Carla’s sophomore novel London Tides which follows James’ brother Ian. Where James is rather playful and flirtatious, Ian is a bit more brooding but no less … um… hot.  🙂  Whew… I need a fan over here!! Anyone??

varina denman

varinadenman headshot

varina books

Much like Carla Laureano and Pepper Basham, if you are a frequent reader of my blog, then Varina Denman will be another name familiar to you by now.  Her debut novel Jaded was my debut blog review too, so she and her books will always have a special place in my heart.  When Justified came out, I was even more mesmerized than I was the first time – by the characters, the setting, the unique and talented writing voice, the grace-filled reminders of broken lives who find restoration in unexpected places. (You can read my review here.)  Now I’m waiting rather impatiently (ok – no “rather” about it – VERY impatiently lol) for Jilted to arrive next summer – along with Carla Laureano’s third novel in her MacDonald Family Trilogy, both of these lovely authors writing for David C. Cook Publishers.

So… that’s my top ten list! What’s yours? 🙂


44 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Take Two

  1. All of these books look so intriguing! I’m especially interested in the books by Kristy Cambron and Varina Denman. I’ll have to check those out!

  2. pepperbasham

    YAY!!! Thanks YOU, Carrie! I’m so thankful for you!!! And…wow….sharing blog space with some of these ladies? Definitely leaving this newbie speechless 🙂

  3. I just have to say I TOTALLY agree with you about Julie Klassen’s Lady Maybe (and same for Deeanne Gist) – I was so surprised by the response – it was a fabulous novel!!

    • Yes!!! Both ladies did such amazing jobs with their general market books – I was appalled by the treatment they got among supposedly Christian reviewers

  4. Okay. You are always inspiring me with your top 10 lists! I especially love the sound of Carla Laureano. I will have to check her novels out! Thanks for stopping by my TTT earlier 🙂

  5. Literary Feline

    What a great list, Carrie! Pepper Basham’s books sound really good. Poetic writing and swoon-worthy kisses . . . I’m there. Jody Hedlund’s books look good as well. I’m in love with the covers of all the books you posted about on this list. That alone makes them worth checking out. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  6. I’ve never heard of Jody Hedlund, but I love those covers! And despite the saying, I very often judge a book by it’s cover, lol. Those might have to go on my TBR list!

  7. You’ve got several authors here that I’ve never even heard of – but I’ve been wanting to read some cute/sweet romances so I am definitely going to check out several of these. (Four of them, but I’m most interested in Five Days in Sky.) Also, I am going to give An Uncertain Choice another look because I originally passed on it and now can’t even remember why. Finally, you’ve reminded me that I need to read some more Julie Klassen. I think I’ve read two of her books and enjoyed both of them. So, this should certainly help my unusual (for me) craving for romance novels!

    • I fully support you in the books you’re most interested in 😀 Just so long as you remember that James (in Five Days in Skye) is mine 😉

  8. I must admit, I haven’t read any of these! But so many of them look REALLY interesting! The covers of the Uncertain Choice and Hidden Masterpiece are calling my name (and their descriptions sound awesome too, I am going to check them out)! Great list, thanks for sharing these 🙂

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