Top Ten Tuesday: Tell Me Again (or… My Favorite Retellings)

Posted September 13, 2016 by meezcarrie in Jen Turano, Joanne Bischof, Kate Breslin, Melanie Dickerson, Pepper Basham, Regina Jennings, Sarah Monzon, Terri Blackstock, Top Ten Tuesday / 68 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday Favorite

This week on Top Ten Tuesday, we are asked to give our Top Ten ALL TIME FAVORITE books of _____ genre.  Ok…so… my head exploded when I first read that topic and I went into what is commonly known as the book blogger fetal position. This occurs whenever someone asks you for your favorite author …. or favorite book … or favorite genre … or favorite book within a genre. Your brain goes into overdrive and all you can do is whimper until the person asking walks away in befuddlement.

Unfortunately, Top Ten Tuesday isn’t a person and it isn’t walking away… sooooo… I rebelled compromised again. I decided to talk about my favorite RETELLINGS which isn’t a genre, per se, but it didn’t send me into apoplexy so I’m sticking with it.


But… in an effort to redeem myself (lol) … I’m not limiting myself to only fairy tales. Any classic or musical or Biblical story is eligible 😀  So…  in no particular order … here are my favorite retellings –

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a twist of faith revised

A Twist of Faith by Pepper Basham

(a modern retelling of Pygmalion/My Fair Lady)

Dr. Adelina Roseland has worked ten years in research as an accent reduction specialist to attain her dream job. But a secret wager to transform Appalachian cattle farmer Reese Mitchell into corporate material challenges Adelina in ways she never expected, threatening her new position.

For one, Adelina didn’t plan for the faith and friction of Reese, or the unexpected influence of his chaotic family. Now, drawn into a culture she’d tried to forget, Adelina finds the warmth of family, the hope of faith, and the joy of love melting away the deep wounds of her past.

But when Reese discovers that he’s a pawn in her climb up the academic ladder, will he forgive Adelina’s deceit or will their miscommunication end in two broken lives?

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in good companyIn Good Company by Jen Turano

(a Gilded Age retelling-of-sorts of The Sound of Music)

After growing up as an orphan, Millie Longfellow is determined to become the best nanny the East Coast has ever seen. Unfortunately, her playfulness and enthusiasm aren’t always well received and she finds herself dismissed from yet another position.

Everett Mulberry has quite unexpectedly become guardian to three children that scare off every nanny he hires. About to depart for Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, he’s desperate for competent childcare.

At wit’s end with both Millie and Everett, the employment agency gives them one last chance–with each other. As Millie falls in love with her mischievous charges, Everett focuses on achieving the coveted societal status of the upper echelons. But as he investigates the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the children’s parents, will it take the loss of those he loves to learn whose company he truly wants for the rest of his life?

The other books in this series are also loosely based on popular musicals – After A Fashion (based on My Fair Lady) & Playing the Part (based on Phantom of the Opera)

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sixty acres and a brideSixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings

(a Western retelling of the Biblical story of Ruth)

With nothing to their names, young widow Rosa Garner and her mother-in-law return to Texas and the family ranch. Only now the county is demanding back taxes and the women have only three months to pay.

Though facing eviction, Rosa falls in love with the countryside and the wonderful extended family who want only her best. They welcome her vivacious spirit and try to help her navigate puzzling American customs. She can’t help but stand out, though, and her beauty captures attention. Where some offer help with dangerous strings attached, only one man seems honorable. But when Weston Garner, still grieving his own lost love, is unprepared to give his heart, Rosa must decide to what lengths she will go to save her future.

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for such a timeFor Such a Time by Kate Breslin

(a WW2 retelling of the Biblical book of Esther)

In 1944, Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, to maintain her cover as von Schmidt’s secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz.

Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths, Stella appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric’s indulgence gives her hope even as she risks discovery with every attempt to help the prisoners. When her bravery brings her to the point of ultimate sacrifice, she faces an excruciating choice. God may have brought her to the camp for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she cannot save herself?

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The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne BischofThe Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

(a 1890s-Virginia retelling-of-sorts of Les Mis/Beauty & The Beast)

Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.

As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.

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Merchant daughterThe Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson

(a medieval retelling of Beauty & The Beast)

An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf s bailiff a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.

Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff’s vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger.

Ranulf’s future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

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the beautiful pretenderThe Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

(a medieval retelling of The Princess and the Pea/Beauty & The Beast)

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave’s bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

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healers apprenticeThe Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson

(a medieval retelling of Sleeping Beauty)

Rose has been appointed as a healer’s apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter’s daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.

When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she’s never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose’s life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

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shadow-in-serenityShadow in Serenity by Terri Blackstock

(a modern retelling of The Music Man)

Carny Sullivan grew up in the zany world of a traveling carnival. Quaint and peaceful Serenity, Texas, has given her a home, a life, and a child.

Logan Brisco is the smoothest, slickest, handsomest man Serenity, Texas has ever seen. But Carny Sullivan knows a con artist when she sees one—and she’s seen plenty, starting with her father. As far as Carny Sullivan can tell, she’s the only one in town who has his number. Because from his Italian shoes to his movie-actor smile, Logan has the rest of the town snowed.

Carny is determined to reveal Brisco’s selfish intentions before his promise to the townspeople for a cut in a giant amusement park sucks Serenity dry. Yet, as much as she hates his winning ways, there is a man behind that suave smile, a man who may win her heart against her will.

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isaac projectThe Isaac Project by Sarah Monzon

(a modern retelling-of-sorts of the Biblical story of Isaac and Rebekah)

Becky Sawyer’s life unravels in a single day. Not only does she catch her boyfriend, the man she hoped to marry, lip-locked with another woman, she also receives the gut-wrenching news that her grandfather, the man who raised her, is dying. His last wish? To see her happily married. Heartbroken, Becky seeks inspiration in the pages of the Holy Scriptures. And finds it in the story of Isaac and Rebekah.

If love couldn’t keep his parents together, Luke Masterson wonders what will make a marriage last. He decides to steer clear of all women—especially crazy ones like Becky Sawyer, who employs a friend to find her a husband. But when he feels the dogged promptings of the Holy Spirit to move across the country and marry a complete stranger, it seems love has little to do with it anyway.

With commitment their only foundation, and love constantly thwarted, can an arranged marriage find happiness in the twenty-first century?

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What about you? What are some of your favorite retellings?

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68 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Tell Me Again (or… My Favorite Retellings)

  1. HOW FUN! I didn’t know any of Jen’s novels were re-tellings. Love that. Also, three cheers for Joanne Bischof’s novel. That is one story that deserves lots of mentions. 🙂

  2. M

    I really want to give retellings a go – so your list is awesome for future reference 😀 I also haven’t heard of most of these, so that’s great as well 🙂

    • Carrie

      I don’t either, honestly – and I really enjoyed it! This gave me the perfect opportunity to spotlight it 🙂

  3. Rebecca Maney

    Fun topic! I think you picked the ones that I would have thought of. . . . .or might not have known.

    I LOVED “Sixty Acres and a Bride”, have even re-read it and “A Twist of Faith”. And, “For Such a Time” is beautifully done. And who doesn’t like Melanie Dickerson?

    • Carrie

      I am definitely due for a reread of Sixty Acres – it’s been too long 🙂 Thanks, Rebecca! This ended up being a pretty easy topic for me, unlike some lol

  4. Fabulous! Thanks for the recommendations, my tbr was getting a little bit low XD Hahaha! Lies! That will never happen as long as I have you, dear friend! Thank you for book pushing, I love it!

    • Carrie

      hahahaha!!! I really need to add that to my business card “Book Pusher” 😀 Thanks for the smile, my friend!

  5. Tracey H

    My all time favorite would have to be Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, the retelling of the biblical story of Hosea and Gomer. I read it in 1997 when it first came out and reread it again last year. Such an amazing inspirational story, that closing chapter still gets me every time I think about it.

  6. Tracey H

    Oh and yes, you can be my “book pusher” anytime! You have great lists that have helped me find the cream of the crop, thanks for that. I’ve read 3 on this list, especially loving Sarah’s, The Isaac Project.

    I have three of Melanie’s book and haven’t gotten to them yet, but I keep seeing them on your lists and others, must get to one this month! so many books and not enough time!

  7. I think that ‘retellings’ could be its own genre! There’s so many out there 🙂

    Great list! Thanks for visiting my post earlier 🙂

    • Carrie

      oh Jennifer! You MUST!!! Start with The Healer’s Apprentice or The Merchant’s Daughter – they are still my faves.

  8. Valerie S.

    Love this list! I was aware of most of these titles but didn’t have them connected to retelling in my mind. Moving them up in Mount TBR! :o)

  9. I love how you twisted this one! Retellings are always fun. I haven’t read any of these, so I’ll have to keep them in mind. My favorite retellings are from Lauren Layne’s NA Redemption series.
    My TTT.

  10. Thank you for including For Such A Time in this marvelous list of books, Carrie!! I have several of these titles on my TBR pile and can’t wait to read them!

  11. Andrea Stephens

    Awesome list Carrie! I have some of these, even read a couple. As usual, my wishlist is growing thanks to your superpowers!

  12. Oh! I’ve never considered retellings in general! You always see this done as fairytale retellings. Love the sound of Shadow in Serenity! Fun topic. 🙂

    (and yes, I know about that OMG WHAT’S MY FAVORITE panic!)

  13. This is a brilliant choice of topic! I didn’t know any of these books were retellings (apart from ‘The Isaac Project’, which I saw you recommend a few months back). It must have been difficult to cut it down to just ten.

  14. I’m sure retellings counts as a genre! ILOVE RETELLINGS. I have a whole goodreads shelf dedicated to it (there must be like 50+ on there now?!) and some of my favourites are Splintered, Cinder, and Every Breath!!?

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    • Carrie

      Cinder is a mustreadsoon for me! It’s really just all kinds of shameful that I haven’t read that series yet!

  15. Wow! What a great list! I have only read one of Melanie Dickerson’s books: The Golden Braid, but I plan to read more in the future. I am also a Terri Blackstock fan but have never heard of Shadow in Serenity. The rest of the authors on this list I am unfamiliar with, but these stories sound so interesting. Most of them have now been added to my ever-growing TBR. 🙂

    • Carrie

      i looooove The Golden Braid!! And I stumbled across Shadow in Serenity a couple of years ago, even though like you I thought I’d read all of Terri’s books already lol.

  16. Hallie

    I almost did retellings for my TTT – but I didn’t realize Jen Turano’s series fell into this category. Great list!

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