Friday Fiction Reading Recommendations

Friday Fiction Cover 6-28-2021

Happy Friday, readers! Here are my reading favorites from July through September.

The Good German Girl by Erica Marie Hogan

World War II Historical Fiction

The Good German Girl“We sometimes forget there can be a difference between a German and a Nazi. When it comes to life and death, a gray veil falls across our view of the world. Even our view of people. You reminded me that no matter what country may have fallen under tyranny, there are a courageous few who will fight back if they must.”

Even though it takes place in 1944, I found The Good German Girl to be an incredibly relatable novel. Even today, our world feels like chaos, pitting friends against friends and entire groups denied our love and compassion simply because they do not hold the same beliefs. We’ve been told to reject anything that does not simply fall in line and anyone who questions why should immediately be silenced. But life is more complex than that. There are good people everywhere, those willing to stand up for the truth and protect their fellow man, even in places as horrible as Nazi Germany. We can have a love for our country and a loyalty to its founding principles even when we do not agree with what is going on inside of it. The Good German Girl dives into these aspects of our humanity, what loyalty truly means, and the lengths one person will go to save another, even when that person isn’t like themselves. This was a gritty and emotional read, bringing me to tears at several points, and so beautiful to experience. For more information, visit: Erica Marie Hogan

To Stand in the Breach by Danielle Grandinetti

Great Depression Historical Fiction

Inheritance battles, labor strikes, and a sweet Irish romance to root for ... To Stand in the Breach is the Depression-era tale you won't want to end.New Release October 12!

To Stand in the Breach is a quick read, but packed with action, well-rounded characters, and memorable moments. The story follows Dr. Katy Wells, one of the first female veterinarians in the small town of Eagle, Wisconsin who, although highly intelligent and able to stand with the best in her field, is often underestimated by the dairy farming community. Her best efforts to prove her worth are met with one roadblock after another through labor strikes, an inheritance battle, and navigating her blossoming romance with police officer, Joey Moore. Danielle Grandinetti gives us an introduction to Irish culture in the 1930’s and what it meant to be a female Irish immigrant during that time. Unfortunately, we really only start digging into the depth of these characters when the novella ends, and I’m looking forward to finding out more in the next novel, available April 12, 2022.

Thank you to the author for an advance copy. I was not required to provide a positive review in exchange for a free copy. All opinions expressed are my own. For more information, visit: Danielle Grandinetti

Secrets in the Mist by Morgan L. Busse

Dystopian Steampunk

IMG_4054“We live in a broken world, but we are not overcome by it.”

While I enjoy steampunk and science fiction, I typically prefer to watch rather than read stories about zombies (or the Turned as they are called here). Thankfully, Secrets in the Mist pleasantly surprised me. With its zipper flyers, metal men, and corsets on the outside, it feels like a steampunk novel which met I am Legend combined with a less graphic version of The Walking Dead’s early years. (You know, when the walkers were scary and it wasn’t just about living people brutally killing each other.) I enjoyed that there was a legitimate-and frighteningly relatable-reason for the existence of the Turned and that even in this fantasy world, Morgan L. Busse isn’t afraid to approach real-world topics like the effects of biowarfare, retaining faith in God even in a less than perfect world, and the value of human life in an overpopulated society. The author literally leaves us hanging in mid-air at the end and all I want is to read the next one…right…now. For more information, visit: Morgan L Busse

You Belong with Me and Until I Met You by Tari Faris

Contemporary Romance

Screenshot 2021-09-24 083901Every contemporary romance reader needs to have Tari Faris on your bookshelf. I picked her books up at the library one day, expecting a quick light romance, but they were so much more than I expected. They also contain deeply moving stories about personal wounds, fractured faith, and forgiveness. All of the characters are intertwined in some way whether through family or friendship, but the books can also stand on their own. These are steamy yet Christian romances (yep, it’s a thing) with swoon-worthy yet imperfect couples and happy endings. I don’t read a lot of contemporary romance, but Tari Faris is one of my new favorite authors! The third book in the series, Since You’ve Been Gone, recently released and I have it on my to-read list for next quarter. For more information, visit: Tari Faris

The Rejected King by Kortney Keisel

Dystopian with a Historical Feel

Untitled design (1)If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I am a huge fan of Kortney Keisel. She published four books this year which is amazing in itself, but all of her books are beautifully written as well.

The Rejected King is the first in her Desolation series, but it can be read at any point. I actually read it after finishing Book 2 and 3. Like her other novels, this one contains all the romance and witty banter we’ve come to know and love with a great introduction to the Desolation world. This book can best be summed up as a royalty version of The Bachelor (but so much better) with 50 ladies all vying for the king’s hand and of course, the king falling for his assistant and the one girl he can’t have. For more information, visit: Kortney Keisel

The Book Shop

Need a copy of my books? All four can be read on their own or in order of publication. Click the covers below to purchase! Available online in ebook and paperback or by request from your favorite indie bookseller or local library. For book club appearances, contact me here.

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Due to variability in social media algorithms, the best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Contact page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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Title Reveal!

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Happy September, readers!

First, I would like to thank all of you who cast your vote on book titles and covers for my next series, Larksong Legacy. Some of the ones your chose were those at the top of my list, while a few others surprised me. I really appreciate all the feedback and especially the personal notes I received with your thoughts.

Before we get to the title reveal, let’s look at cover preference. As shown below, my readers overwhelmingly prefer covers where the character’s face isn’t showing. This is a very popular trend in historical fiction right now and it seems that there is indeed a demand for it. I am currently in the process of creating a cover design for Book 1 that includes this exact theme. More details to come!

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Now for the moment you’ve been waiting for – title reveal time! Thanks to your feedback, I’ve chosen not only the title for Book 1, but the titles for all 5 Larksong Legacy novels. I really like how well these match up with the current themes for each novel and hopefully that won’t change as I get into the drafting process. Speaking of which, I have officially finished initial edits for the first 30,000 words. Only 60-70,000 to go! Cheers!

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The Book Shop

Need a copy of my books? All four can be read on their own or in order of publication. Click the covers below to purchase! Available online in ebook and paperback or by request from your favorite indie bookseller or local library. For book club appearances, contact me here.

Unsettled Shores Cover - Front     Broken Lines Cover - Final 4-25-2020 small     Across Oceans Cover - 2.27 small     Twisted River Cover Final - 2-27-2020

Due to variability in social media algorithms, the best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Contact page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2021

Want to Help me Choose a Title?

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Happy August, readers!

Last month, I announced that the outline for my 1850’s series, Larksong Legacy, is now complete! I’m now jumping into the meat and potatoes of Book 1 and am pleased to say that the writing process is going very well. I’ve completed over 25,000 words and like all my other novels, it has already taken a few steps away from the original outline. Thankfully, so far, I’ve been able to keep my characters from wandering too far off the trail on their journey west.

In between discussions with my characters, I am also working on titles and cover options. The marketing aspect is one of the most difficult parts of being an indie author and good marketing always begins with what your readers see first – the title and cover. Whether they want to admit it or not, all readers to some level judge a book by these two things. You have to make your book stand out from the millions with one picture and usually five words or less. I think we would all agree that there’s a big difference between the title, Dogs Running Outside and Call of the Wild.

How would you like the opportunity to help choose the titles for Larksong Legacy? If so, I’ve created a 4-question survey that lets you do exactly that. It takes less than five minutes and is completely anonymous. Who knows, you just may see your chosen title on the cover of my next book. Thank you in advance! Link is below.

Vote on a Title!

 

The Book Shop

Need a copy of my books? All four can be read on their own or in order of publication. Click the covers below to purchase! Available online in ebook and paperback or by request from your favorite indie bookseller or local library. For book club appearances, contact me here.

Unsettled Shores Cover - Front     Broken Lines Cover - Final 4-25-2020 small     Across Oceans Cover - 2.27 small     Twisted River Cover Final - 2-27-2020

Due to variability in social media algorithms, the best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Contact page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2021

New Series Outline Complete!

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Happy July, readers! Let’s jump right in!

Writing Updates

I’m happy to announce that the outline for my 1850’s series, Larksong Legacy, is now complete! I don’t like to give too much away too soon unless plot points change, but here’s what I can tell you:

Book 1 follows the descendants of two very different plantation families, Tobias Lark and Sarah Walcott, who each possess special “Gifts.” Apart, their talents lead to isolation; however, together, they may be exactly the answer the other one most needs. Along with numerous secondary characters, Tobias and Sarah head west towards Washington in search of an escape, a community of acceptance, and a place to call home. Unfortunately, who you are isn’t always something you can simply leave behind.

Each book in the planned five-book series will focus on a different one of the Lark brothers – Daniel, Tobias, Garrett, Jamison, and Cade – alongside a strong female lead, weaving their individual stories into the overall tale of their family’s unusual legacy.

Here are some of the fantastic landscapes their wagon party would have seen as they traveled the approximately 2,000 miles from Missouri to Washington:

IMG_0122
Photo by Kelsey Gietl

clear open field under blue sky

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com
pine trees by lake in forest against sky
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

The Book Shop

Need a copy of my books? All four can be read on their own or in order of publication. Click the covers below to purchase! Available online in ebook and paperback or by request from your favorite indie bookseller or local library. For book club appearances, contact me here.

Unsettled Shores Cover - Front     Broken Lines Cover - Final 4-25-2020 small     Across Oceans Cover - 2.27 small     Twisted River Cover Final - 2-27-2020

Due to variability in social media algorithms, the best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Contact page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Follow me on:

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COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2021

Author Interview with Andie Newton

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Today, I’m presenting a special post as part of the blog tour for historical fiction author, Andie Newton. I read her novel The Girl I Left Behind last year and jumped at the chance to interview Andie for her latest World War II novel, The Girls from the Beach.

Q. Andie, what inspired you to write The Girls from the Beach?

A. I was actually inspired by so many different things. This book is about four friends (battle nurses from the 45th) that are sent on a secret mission to patch up a few men across enemy lines. But it’s a lie. Their real mission is far more dangerous and will require each of them to constantly evaluate what they are prepared to risk and what they have to live for. This story is a work of fiction, but clandestine operations as wild as what happens in this book happened throughout the war. I suppose I was inspired by every true story I’ve read about bravery, daring rescues, and escapes during the occupation and after D-Day. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I was also inspired by the discovery of certain historical events that made the women’s mission possible. I’ve gone into detail in the author’s note about what those are.

Q. You’re an American author, but your novels are published under a British imprint. Does that have any impact on how you approach your writing? 

A. No. My stories are set in Europe and WWII was a shared mass event, so the subject matter appeals to readers all over. I suppose if I wanted to write a contemporary story set regionally in the US that would change things, depending on the subject matter.

Q. All of your novels so far are set during World War II. Why did you choose that time period and will any of your future novels explore another era? 

A. I think it is important to write about time periods that interest you. But also, I love spy stories with external and internal conflicts, and WWII provides the perfect backdrop. With that said, I’m open to other time periods. It would depend on the story.

Q. Of your three books, which one was your favorite to write and why? 

A. This is an interesting question. I didn’t think I could love a book more than I loved The Girl I Left Behind. Then I wrote The Girl from Vichy! Each book is different, and each book holds a special place in my heart. However, I particularly love The Girls from the Beach. I think this is because they are American characters (I adore all of them) and they are far from perfect (which means I had A LOT of fun writing them). The comradery between them, their grit, and their fierce loyalty is something I just love. So, right now out of the three, The Girls from the Beach is my favorite.

Q. Finally, just for fun, if you could have any job in the world (other than an author), what would it be and why? (In this hypothetical world, money/time/education etc. are not of concern.) 

A. Wouldn’t it be fun to be a secret vacationer? Like a secret shopper, but someone who goes on vacation every week and reports back to the resort’s corporate office about their experience. This might be everyone’s dream.

Book Synopsis

ARIA_Newton_The Girls from the Beach Final‘We’d heard stories about the nurses in tent seven. A secret mission, stolen money, and spies…’

In 1944, four American nurses disappeared for five days. No one knew what happened to them. Until now.

When Kit and Red set foot on French soil during the Normandy landings, they know they have to rely on each other. As they head for the battlefield, their aim is simple: save lives. But when they’re called away on a top-secret mission to patch up a few men behind enemy lines, everything changes.

Alongside fellow nurses, Roxy and Gail, they’re told to prepare for the worst, trading in their nurses’ fatigues for civilian clothes and hiding medical supplies under their skirts. But it’s a lie. Their real mission tasks them with the impossible – to infiltrate the Reich and steal something the Nazis desperately need to win their losing war.

In an ultimate test of courage and comradeship, each woman must decide what she is prepared to risk and what she has to live for.

Where to Purchase

The eBook is available now and the paperback will release on October 7.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3zq8oid

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3crPDjI

Google Play: https://bit.ly/30CdbwN

Apple: https://apple.co/38A7iVj

About Andie Newton

Andie NewtonAndie Newton is the USA Today bestselling author of The Girl from Vichy. All her books are fast-paced female-driven spy stories set in WWII. The Girl I Left Behind was her debut, and her forthcoming release, The Girls from the Beach, will be released in July 2021. She holds a Bachelor degree in History and a Master in Teaching. Andie would love to say she spends her free time gardening and cooking, but she’s killed everything she’s ever planted and set off more fire alarms than she cares to admit. Andie does, however, love spending time with her family, trail running, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. You can find book club discussion questions on andienewton.com.

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