Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set in Kentucky

Posted August 16, 2016 by meezcarrie in Andrea Boeshaar, Ann H. Gabhart, Bill Higgs, Carrie Stuart Parks, Christian, Kentucky, Laura Frantz, Lynn Austin, Shelley Shepard Gray, Top Ten Tuesday, Virginia Smith / 59 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday Favorite

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s theme is books in a particular setting, so I chose my beautiful Kentucky home. I’ve lived here since I was a freshman in high school and I have absolutely fallen in love with its rolling hills, bluegrass, old stone fences, breathtaking sunsets, and horse farms. Anytime I find a book set in Kentucky, it piques my interest and I’m probably going to read it.

kentucky books

Technically, I only have 11 covers here…. but they represent more than 11 books. I almost behaved myself this week 😉

wonderland creekWonderland Creek by Lynn Austin (Goodreads | Amazon)

Alice Grace Ripley lives in a dream world, her nose stuck in a book. But the happily-ever-after life she’s planned on suddenly falls apart when her boyfriend breaks up with her, accusing her of living in a world of fiction instead of the real one. To top it off, Alice loses her beloved library job because of cutbacks due to the Great Depression.

Longing to run from small-town gossip, Alice flees to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to the tiny coal-mining town of Acorn, a place with no running water, no electricity, and where the librarians ride ornery horses up steep mountain passes to deliver books. When Alice is forced to stay in Acorn far longer than she planned, she discovers that real-life adventure, mystery–and especially romance–may be far better than her humble dreams could have imagined.


colonel's ladyThe Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz (Goodreads | Amazon)

In 1779, when genteel Virginia spinster Roxanna Rowan arrives at the Kentucky fort commanded by Colonel Cassius McLinn, she finds that her officer father has died. Penniless and destitute, Roxanna is forced to take her father’s place as scrivener. Before long, it’s clear that the colonel himself is attracted to her. But she soon realizes the colonel has grave secrets of his own–some of which have to do with her father’s sudden death. Can she ever truly love him?

Readers will be enchanted by this powerful story of love, faith, and forgiveness from reader favorite Laura Frantz. Her solid research and deft writing immerse readers in the world of the early frontier while her realistic characters become intimate friends.


frontiersman's daughterThe Frontiersman’s Daughter by Laura Frantz (Goodreads | Amazon)

One woman searches for love–and herself–in a wild land.

Lovely and high-spirited, Lael Click is the daughter of a celebrated frontiersman. Haunted by her father’s ties to the Shawnee Indians and her family’s past, Lael comes of age in the fragile Kentucky settlement her father founded. As she faces the many trials of life on the frontier, Lael draws strength from the rugged land. But the arrival of a handsome doctor threatens her view of her world, her God, and herself. Can the power of grace and redemption break through in this tumultuous place?

This epic novel gives you a glimpse into the simple yet daring lives of the pioneers who first crossed the Appalachians, all through the courageous eyes of a determined young woman who would not be defeated.


Courting Morrow LittleCourting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz (Goodreads | Amazon)

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?

This sweeping tale of romance and forgiveness will envelop readers as it takes them from a Kentucky fort through the vast wilderness to the west in search of true love.


murder at the courthouseHidden Springs Mysteries by A.H. Gabhart (Goodreads | Amazon)

My Review

Welcome to Hidden Springs
732 731

Michael Keane’s stressful days as a Columbus police officer are done. He’s ready to relax into his new position as deputy sheriff in his sleepy hometown. Nothing ever happens in Hidden Springs, Kentucky–and that’s just fine with Michael.

Nothing, that is, until a dead body is discovered on the courthouse steps. As Michael works to solve the case, it seems that every nosy resident in town has a theory. When the sheriff insists Michael check out one of these harebrained theories, his surprising discovery sends him on a bewildering search for a mysterious killer that has him questioning everything he has ever believed about life in Hidden Springs.


the outsiderThe Shaker Series by Ann H. Gabhart (Goodreads | Amazon)

She thought she was content–until a love from the outside world turned hers upside down.

Gabrielle Hope and her mother joined the Harmony Hill Shaker community in 1807. The community promised stability and devotion that Gabrielle wholeheartedly embraced. But when a local doctor must be brought into Harmony Hill from the outside, he sets into motion a chain of events that will challenge Gabrielle’s loyalty to the Shakers.

As she falls deeper into a forbidden love for this man of the world, Gabrielle must make a choice. Can she experience true happiness in this simple and chaste community? Or will she abandon her brothers and sisters for a life of the unknown?


secrets of crittenden county ebookThe Secrets of Crittenden County series by Shelley Shepard Gray (Goodreads | Amazon)

The Secrets of Crittenden County trilogy delivers page-turning romance and mystery involving a death from mysterious circumstances that invites the scrutiny of the outside world, all set in the quiet Amish community of Crittenden.

Missing – When the shocking death of a young man rocks a quiet Amish community, the dead man’s former girlfriend and his “Englisher” best friend find themselves murder suspects. But they are strengthened by their faith, and by an unanticipated love that awakens.

The Search – The Search continues the mystery & tells the story of a love that blossoms between a young woman who’s guarding shocking secrets about the victim, and the dedicated “Englisher” homicide detective who has arrived from the outside world to investigate.

Found – Gray’s unforgettable trilogy of what happens when a terrible crime that strikes a close knit Amish community comes full-circle, “Englisher” Detective Luke Reynolds discovers the identity of Perry Borntrager’s killer and the community must come to terms with the surprising revelation.


love finds you in miracle kentuckyLove Finds You… in Miracle, Kentucky by Andrea Boeshaar (Goodreads | Amazon)

Anything can happen when you live in a place called Miracle. Meg Jorgenson wants a fresh start, miles away from the city and a failed relationship. She takes a teaching position in the tiny town of Miracle, Kentucky, and vows to steer clear of smooth-talking men.

Before long, Meg is smitten, but its eight-year-old Cammy Bayer who wins her heart. The young girl has spent much of her life in a wheelchair but firmly believes that God will heal her someday. Cammys widowed father, Vance, has devoted his life to caring for his young daughter, and he is delighted by the attention she receives from her new teacher. But will Meg and Vance see eye-to-eye when it comes to an experimental procedure that might grant Cammy the use of her legs? Will they open their minds to the miracle of healing and their hearts to the miracle of love?


bluegrass perilBluegrass Peril by Virginia Smith (Goodreads | Amazon)


Local police had tagged single mom Becky Dennison as their prime suspect. But she’d only been in the wrong place at the wrong time… admittedly, with her boss’s lifeless body. Sure, it looked bad, but Becky had no motive for killing the man—even if she had opportunity.

Then, Scott Lewis, handsome assistant manager of a nearby horse farm, entered Becky’s life. Soon the amateur detectives were hot on the trail of the murderer…even as their feelings for each other deepened. And for Becky and Scott, this race on the Kentucky tracks had the greatest stakes of all: life or death.


eden hillEden Hill by Bill Higgs (Goodreads | Amazon)

My Review

Nothing seems to change in Eden Hill, Kentucky, and that’s just fine with Virgil T. Osgood. He’s been content to raise his family and run the only service station in town. But when a new station is set to open right across the road from Virgil’s pumps, he suddenly faces obstacles in his career, his marriage, and his self-worth that he’s never even dreamed of.

Cornelius Alexander wants his new Zipco station to succeed and help establish a strong foundation for his growing family. As long as he follows the Zipco guide, he’s sure to be a success—and prove his father wrong.

Reverend Caudill wants to be a conduit for grace in his town, but that grace is challenged by the changes sweeping through in the early 1960s. For the sake of this small town, Virgil and Cornelius must learn to get along, but how do you love your neighbor when his very presence threatens to upend everything you hold dear?


when death draws nearWhen Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks (Goodreads | Amazon)

My Review

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before Gwen can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others.

Gwen suspects a connection between the rapist and the “accidental” deaths that are happening around town, but the local sheriff has little interest in her theories. When her digitally-obsessed teenage daughter joins her, Gwen turns her attention to a second assignment: going undercover in a serpent-handling church. She could get a handsome reward for uncovering illegal activity—a reward she desperately needs, as it seems her breast cancer has returned. But snakes aren’t the only ones ready to kill. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?

In a thrilling race against time, When Death Draws Near plunges us into cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects.

What about you? What are some of your favorite books set in your home state/province/country?



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59 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set in Kentucky

  1. Great list of books. I loved, loved, loved When Death Draws Near. I didn’t want it to end. Wonderland Creek is on my TBR shelf, and I have got to find time to read it.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Rebecca Maney

    Wow! You have highlighted some titles that I need to read! “The Colonel’s Lady” might possibly be my favorite Frantz title and “Death Draws Near” is high on my reading list. I have heard so many great things about “Wonderland Creek”, but have never read it.

  3. Carrie, Thank you so much for sharing my book with your blog readers. You’ve compiled a wonderful list of books that I’ll have to save when I have more time to sit down with a good book. Have a blessed day! ~Lynn Austin

    • Carrie

      Wonderland Creek is one of my very faves of your books, and I frequently shove it at people, exclaiming “Read this. Now.” 😉 Thank you so much for commenting!! You’ve made my day.

  4. I love reading books set in my home state of Pennsylvania! I think half of the books I read are set in Texas! though! I love Texas, but variety is good, too. And while I’ve only spent a wee bit of time in Kentucky during a quick trip to Cincinnati, I’m quite happy to read about it! Maybe it was our proximity to West Virginia growing up in Pittsburgh, but I’ve always had a soft spot for anything that says “Appalachia.”

    • Carrie

      then you must read Pepper Basham’s books if you haven’t already 🙂 And yes, Texas does seem to be a rather prominent setting lol

  5. Connie Saunders

    Hi Carrie. Since I am a retired KENTUCKY librarian, I am familiar with most of your choices and we had them in our collection. I haven’t had a chance to read the newer titles by Ann, Bill and Carrie but they are on my TBR list. Kentucky Peril was an unkown to me so I will be adding it also. Great list and great choices!

    • Carrie

      LOL – i can also highly recommend Pepper Basham’s books, particularly her upcoming one The Thorn Healer which comes out in November. It’s set in NC during WW1

  6. Kav

    What a great list — I’ve read a lot of them, but not all. Loved, loved, loved Wonderland Creek. And this Canadian has noticed how only a certain few states seem to be popular settings for novels. Kentucky is definitely one of them. If you move to the west coast…Oregon seems to be winning the popularity contest. Honestly, lately nearly every single book I’ve read has been set in Oregon. What’s up with that? I don’t think I’ve read a book set in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire…what do authors have against the New England states? LOL

    • Carrie

      LOL it does seem to be inordinately skewed to NY. Maine has gotten a bit more attention lately…. but the other New England states need to demand equal time 😉

  7. Glad to see I’m not the only one who didn’t realize there were so many great stories set in Kentucky! Fun roundup, Carrie! 🙂

  8. Nice idea to list books set in your hometown! And I love that there are still so many to choose from 🙂 I don’t think I have ever read any books set in little old Belgium, except maybe childrens’ books a long time ago 😉

  9. Kentucky is clearly a great setting for books. I confess that I haven’t read any from your list but I now feel intrigued and I’m going to have to go and search my books to see if any were set in Kentucky – i feel sure that I must have a couple!
    Lynn 😀

  10. Great list! I love reading books set in my states, too (I’m from Washington, but now live in Oregon).

    I have Found, Wonderland Creek, and The Frontiersman’s Daughter waiting on my bookshelves – and every other Laura Frantz book on my TBR list 😀

  11. I love that you specifically did Kentucky! You should also read The Love That Split the World, if its genre is up your alley, because it’s set in the lovely Bluegrass State as well.

  12. Dear Carrie, Just when I think you can’t possibly get any more creative, YOU DO! And your KY graphics are amazing! Thx so much for including mine here. ? I’m thinking this is Liz’s Bill? Can’t wait to add these I’ve not read to my list. Thank you! ?

  13. What a cool topic! I had no idea so many books were set in Kentucky. Makes me curious about how many books are set in my own state now 🙂

  14. Bonnie Roof

    Love your list, Carrie, thank you!! Kentucky is blessed with numerous wonderful Christian Fiction authors. Can’t wait to read Bill Higgs 1st book, Laura’s ‘A Moonbow Night’ – also set in Ky. & releasing in Jan., and Ann’s book – which I have waiting for me now.

  15. I believe that I’ve never read anything set in Kentucky before (unfortunately) and I’m pretty certain that I’ve read less than 5 books set in my home country (Sweden). I liked all of Astrid Lindgren’s books when I was younger. I wish I could read more books from both places! Great post!

  16. I absolutely have NEVER read a book set in the same town as me. XD It’s pretty sad, right?! But then I generally live in small towns so that probably doesn’t help. haha. But I have read a few books set in Sydney, which at least is my state! WINNING! Sort of…?
    Anyway! I love some of the dresses on these covers. 😀

  17. I love how you choose the setting for this week’s TTT! I want to live out in the county one day (I live in Wi right now, so lots of county but I’m in the city) so the setting for your TTT is awesome and making me dream of a farm house! I haven’t read any of the books on your list though!

  18. I’ve heard amazing things about “Wonderland Creek” but haven’t read it. That said, I adore the cover and the story sounds like a delightful read indeed. 🙂

    (Apologies it took me so long to check out your Top 10 Tuesday, but, as always, great list!)

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