Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Read for the First Time in 2021

Posted January 25, 2022 by meezcarrie in Amish, children, Christian, contemporary, cozy mystery, historical, mystery/suspense, romance, Top Ten Tuesday / 47 Comments

Happy Tuesday! Today’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday is authors I read for the first time in 2021 and I’m actually following it this week! Wonders never cease, right? 😉  Some of these were debut authors but others were authors whose books I sadly hadn’t had time to read yet. One common denominator for all the authors on this list – my first experience with their books was a delightful one & they will definitely be on my ‘auto-read’ list from now on!

sorted alphabetically by author


Crime Scene Connection
by Deena Alexander
(Romantic Suspense)

“Wow! What a fabulous debut! Intense, fast-paced suspense with layered characters and a multidimensional plot too. I was completely engaged from beginning to end, and you won’t be able to put it down either. The romance is sweet & swoony, too, but Phoenix the dog stole my heart even more. This is definitely a must read for fans of Lynette Eason, Jessica Patch…”


Jane and the Year Without a Summer
by Stephanie Barron
(Historical/Regency Mystery)

Jane and the Year Without a Summer by Stephanie Barron is everything lovely about a historical British cozy, with little touches that take it from a good book to a great one. Charming and witty, despite the bittersweet foreshadowing, the story is full of eccentric supporting characters and a clever mystery.


Every Word Unsaid
by Kimberly Duffy
(Historical Fiction/Romance)

“Every word in Every Word Unsaid is pitch perfect, evoking a wide range of emotions from readers and taking us on an unforgettable journey. The nineteenth century comes alive under the author’s masterful pen, from the familiar to the exotic and particularly Gussie’s adventures in India. The sights, smells, sounds, and tastes of that country are so vivid that I nearly forgot I wasn’t right there with her.”


Jack vs. The Tornado
by Amanda Cleary Eastep
(Middle Grade Fiction)

“The little touches in Jack vs the Tornado and The Hunt for Fang make the Tree Street Kids series exceptional. Warmth, authenticity, and a child’s sense of curiosity grace each page of these books, and the cute illustrations & fun, quick ‘story breaks’ (like glimpses at other middle grade novels through the eyes of Ellison, or biology facts from Jack’s Ramona-esque sister Midge… and more) keep the entertainment level high. Relatable, diverse characters and simple but sincere messages of faith remind us that God is with us, even when we have to go through tough times.”


A Lady in Attendance
by Rachel Fordham
(Historical Romance)

“A dentist’s office might not seem like the most romantic place to fall in love, but maybe it’s just because you haven’t met Gilbert & Hazel yet. I can’t imagine this story in any other setting, and I’m still smiling at how sweet their romance is. The mutual respect and affection, the championing of each other, and the friendship that under-girds it is so tender, even though it’s happening against the backdrop of some difficult obstacles.”


The Rock
by Cara Grandle
(Historical Romance)

The Rock by Cara Grandle is a sweet debut novel that embodies all that is lovely about historical romance. Rebecca is instantly a character readers will sympathize with and welcome into their hearts as a friend. I enjoyed making her acquaintance on the pages of this novel, and I held my breath along her journey to unravel some long-held family secrets. Not to mention holding my breath during some suspenseful parts of her story…. and the romantical ones.”


Georgana’s Secret
by Arlem Hawks
(Regency Romance)

“Set sail for a grand adventure on the high seas with a dashing hero, a brave heroine and the power of love. From dangerous sea battles to heart-in-your-throat scenes of life and death, you won’t be able to stop reading Georgana’s Secret until you’ve reached the last word. This was my first read by author Arlem Hawks but it won’t be my last! I’m already making plans to binge read her backlist of novellas. This was a beautifully written story with layered characters, daring action, and swoony romance. Highly recommended!”


Celebration at Christmas Cove
by Carrie Jansen
(Contemporary Romance)

“Sweet and heartwarming with well-timed wit, this novel solidly kicks off a new series full of characters that readers will care about. Celeste & Nathan are layered and relatable protagonists, and I was cheering for their individual growth and their happily ever after. The gentle pace adds to the overall cozy vibes of the story, ideal for the busy holiday season.”


The Barrister and the Letter of Marque
by Todd M. Johnson
(Historical/Regency Legal Thriller)

The Barrister and the Letter of Marque by Todd M. Johnson is a riveting story that would do the great British mystery masters proud. The Regency setting contributes greatly to the suspenseful tone of the novel, as do the moments when we experience the story through a character other than our main hero, Barrister William Snopes. Johnson skillfully allows the tenets of the case to unfold with few hints as to how it will all play out, and in so doing he creates a handful of key players that we become deeply invested in.”


Murder by Page One
by Olivia Matthews
(Cozy Mystery)

“Small town Georgia, New York transplant, an OwnVoices author, and a librarian amateur sleuth? Sign me up! A cute setting and quirky drama-prone characters keep the book engaging from beginning to end & the dash of romance potential made me a happy reader. “


Beneath the Seams
by Peyton H. Roberts
Contemporary Fiction

“From the busy affluence of shopping malls & morning shows stateside to the unsafe conditions & human rights violations of garment factories across the globe, Peyton Roberts’s debut novel gives you a heartfelt look at the fashion industry – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Along the way you’ll also meet a handful of engaging characters you’re not likely to forget anytime soon. More than just an entertaining story, this is the kind of book that opens our eyes and hearts, changing us for the better in the process.”


The Broken Spine
by Dorothy St. James
(Cozy Mystery)

The Broken Spine by Dorothy St. James is more than just a cozy mystery – it’s a love letter to libraries and bookworms alike. Tru is a fabulous heroine whom readers will instantly rally behind & cheer for, and even though I’m not a cat fan I can truly say that Dewey steals the show! Quirky supporting characters will leave you chuckling and caring about them at the same time, and a dash of romance was icing on the cake for me.”


An Amish Flower Farm
by Mindy Steele
(Contemporary/Amish Romance)

An Amish Flower Farm by Mindy Steele is a sweet romance with a heartwarming story and engaging characters. Belinda and Adam’s character growth throughout this story is a pleasure to watch, and their romance will leave you smiling. The setting from Belinda’s flower garden to Adam’s bee hives acts as a supporting character in this delightful novel, and the actual people supporting characters are fun to meet as well.”


A Most Clever Girl
by Jasmine A. Stirling
(Picture Book)

A Most Clever Girl by Jasmine A. Stirling is a book that will delight and inspire young and not-as-young readers alike. Austen’s life is presented with smile-inducing illustrations that accompany the sweet text, both of which paint a beautiful picture of a beloved author with more to be seen beneath the surface (the author & the book) as further reflection allows. Highly recommended for little dreamers, kiddos going through tough situations, young aspiring authors, and any adult who loves Jane Austen (whether they know it yet or not).”


Forbidden Gift
by Debra Torres

Forbidden Gift is a charming debut novel perfect for fans of Shelley Shepard Gray & Rachel J. Good. Part Amish fiction, part mystery/suspense, part light romance – it all adds up to a book full of wonderful & layered characters who draw you in to the outcome of their joined stories. The gospel is clearly but gently & naturally presented, and I never felt like we stopped the story for a sermon. I’m eager to read the next book to see where the mystery/suspense & romance threads go from here!”

Roots of Wood and Stone
by Amanda Wen
(Dual Timeline Fiction)

“Oh y’all. This book. I smiled. i laughed. I swooned. I cried (even sweet-reason ugly-cried at one point). I actually gasped out loud a time or two. It gently embraced some sore places in my heart and healed them a little too. And I drank in every word from beginning to end in one sitting, unable to put it down until the end – and then immediately regretted that my time with these characters & this story was finished for now.”

What about you? Who were some authors you read for the first time – and loved – in 2021?

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47 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Read for the First Time in 2021

  1. Paula Shreckhise

    Amanda Wen, too. I love her Facebook posts. She has such funny kids, her Wenlets ! Dinner conversations are a hoot! I also read Todd Johnson and loved that book.
    I can’t believe I only read Cynthia Ruchti last year. Or Susanne Meissner, Joanne Bischof, Carrie Stuart Parks or Mimi Matthews . Some debut authors that I really liked were Jenny Knipfer, Danielle Grandinetti and Jennifer Wright.

  2. I recommend you go back and read other books by Todd Johnson and Kimberly Duffy. I really enjoyed their books. A couple of new to me are Melissa Koslin and Ramona Richards.

    • yes, i fully intend to! I’ve read Ramona Richards (Burying Daisy Doe) and loved it but I haven’t read Melissa Koslin yet – on my TBR list though!

  3. Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds

    I’ve read four of these authors and loved their books. Roots of Wood and Stone was amazing.

  4. What a great list of authors and books! I did not get to Murder by Page One this past year, but I hope to read it at some point. I really enjoyed The Broken Spine. I love the cover of The Barrister and the Letter of Marque and am definitely interested in looking into that one. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Hi there Carrie! I love how you presented your post. So beautiful!

    I don’t know any of the authors or the books you’ve shared, but I think it’s worth checking out a bit!

    Thanks so much for visiting us earlier.

  6. I’m so happy you enjoyed Every Word Unsaid, Carrie! I love a few of these authors and one just put a couple others on my list. That picture book about Jane Austen looks darling.

  7. I’ve never heard of any of these authors. Are they Christian Fiction authors? I see that you’re a big fan. I’ve never really read Christian Fiction.

  8. I love your reaction to Roots of Wood and Stone. I just went and read the blurb and now I’m even more interested in it. I am going to check if my library has it!

    I’m happy you found so many new authors to rejoice in this year.

  9. Oh my.. So many new authors for me here and I am tempted to add all their books to my reading lists. I actually have only heard of Jasmine Stirling via a FB group and I love her Insta-feed ..

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