During these strange times of COVID-19 and social distancing, we find ourselves at home and likely with more time on our hands. Many of us have cancelled vacations to locales all over the globe. We can’t visit family, friends, amusement parks, national parks, etc. But, lucky for us…BOOKS ARE ESSENTIAL. While businesses are being labeled as essential and non-essential, books are and will always be essential methods of travel. To new places, different times, even new worlds.
Here are a few books I love that have taken me to another place! Come, go with me as we travel through the pages…
Travel to relaxing, quiet, and slow-paced Sweet Bay, Alabama in The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton.
After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed The Hideaway to her and charged her with renovating it – no small task considering her grandmother’s friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there. More than meets the eye, this split-time novel endears readers to two heroines and their heartfelt stories of love lost and found.
The Heart Between Us
Travel the world in this sweet story of sisterhood and sacrificial love by Lindsay Harrel.
Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide and living with her parents in her small Minnesota hometown, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.
When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.
As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.
Where the Fire Falls
Visit the grand and awe-inspiring Yosemite National Park in this “Vintage National Parks Novel” by Karen Barnett.
Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.
After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?
As Clark opens Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas–a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.
Of course, our travels wouldn’t be complete without me extending an invitation to you to visit Laurel Cove — a quaint town in the mountains of North Carolina — in my debut novel, Someplace Familiar!
Artist Livy Johnson needs a fresh start. That’s what a broken heart and forgotten dreams can do to a person. On little more than a whim, she reclaims her grandmother’s old home in quaint Laurel Cove, North Carolina and vows to restore its original charm. When she literally collides with childhood friend, Jack Bowdon, Livy wonders if she’s back for an entirely different reason.
Jack can’t believe his childhood crush is back. As the owner of Bowdon’s Supplies, and once again the town’s most eligible bachelor, he offers to help Livy with repairs. Together they embark on the project—and an undeniable whirlwind romance.
But it’s not all smooth sailing. Can they survive the destructive pain of their pasts to discover God’s grace waiting to renovate their hearts?
Tell us about a book you’ve read that has transported you to another place, time, or world. Where would you go if you could pack up and head out today?