Spring 2019 New Releases: Our Editors' Must Read Lists

With a new year comes a new season brimming with new books just waiting to be read. How do you narrow down the list?? Well… you don’t. In fact, there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth when we tried (and that was just me).

But HBTB’s fearless editors (and me) finally managed to list our 10 most anticipated reads for January-April 2019…. each. Because we can only do so much narrowing down, people!! And while some lists overlap a lot, we are all different readers with different tastes, so hopefully there’s something on these lists that will appeal to you too!

ANNIE

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Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano
Weddings, Willows and Revised Expectations by V. Joy Palmer
The Memory House by Rachel Hauck
Sweet on You by Becky Wade
Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano
A Return of Devotion by Kristi Ann Hunter
The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright
Deadly Isle by Dani Pettrey
The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson
Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill

Bonus: (Carrie’s note - this is totally cheating. Just saying. LOL)

  1. Settle My Soul by Karen Ehman & Ruth Schwenk

  2. The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel

  3. A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz


BETH

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My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge by Pepper Basham (plus Finding Ever After a February novella collection by Pepper Basham, Rachel McMillan, Ashley Clark, and Betsy St. Amant)
A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz
Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano
With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander
Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron
Brunch at Bittersweet Café by Carla Laureano
Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations by V. Joy Palmer
Of Fire and Lions by Mesu Andrews
Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof
Code of Valor by Lynette Eason and The Unexpected Champion by Mary Connealy are sharing my final spot because I still need to read the previous book for each series!


CARRIE

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first … i’m going to go with ‘everything the other three said’ ;)

plus…

One thing I Know by Kara Isaac
Winning the Cowboy’s Heart by Karen Rock
A Rancher to Remember by Karen Rock
Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes
The White City by Grace Hitchcock
Cat Got Your Crown by Julie Chase
Mending Fences by Suzanne Woods Fisher
How the Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim
Fame, Fate and the First Kiss by Kasie West
Louisa on the Front Lines by Samantha Seiple


RACHEL

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Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill
Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron
In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail C. Wilson
The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright
Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green
Far Side of the Sea by Kate Breslin
The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson
Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano
Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof
The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner

ADD THESE TO YOUR TBR

Hope By the Book is now on Goodreads! Check out our 2019 Most Anticipated Reads shelf to add these titles to your TBR pile too!! And don’t forget to join us in our 2019 Reading Challenge! Click HERE to get all the deets.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT - In the Shadow of Croft Towers

Here at HBTB, we are super excited about an upcoming debut novel - In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson - which releases January 15, 2019 from Thomas Nelson. We’re also super excited because we have an EXCLUSIVE early excerpt to share with you today!

About the book

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From debut author Abigail Wilson comes a shadowy Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery. 

“Mysterious . . . Melodic . . . Thrilling and original . . . Abigail Wilson has crafted a debut that shines.”—Kristy Cambron, bestselling author of Castle on the Rise 

Croft Towers holds more than its share of secrets . . . and Sybil is determined to uncover them all.

When Sybil Delafield’s coach to Croft Towers was robbed by highwaymen, she should have realized that her new position as companion to old Mrs. Chalcroft would be no ordinary job. Upon Sybil’s arrival, Mrs. Chalcroft sneaks into her room in the dark of night, imploring her to relay messages to town that are to stay hidden from the rest of the family. Who exactly is she working for and what do the messages contain?

When fellow passengers of the robbed coach are later murdered, Sybil’s hunt for the truth takes on a new urgency. The only person she can rely on is Mr. Sinclair, Mrs. Chalcroft’s godson, but under all his charms he too leads a double life. Sybil must decide if he is the one honest voice she can trust, or if he is simply using her for his own advances.

With murderers, smugglers, and spies on the loose, nothing—and no one—in Regency England is what they claim. Can Sybil even trust what she knows about herself? 

What others are saying

“Abigail Wilson's In the Shadow of Croft Tower is the kind of novel I love to recommend. Well written, thoroughly engrossing, and perfectly inspiring. I honestly couldn't flip the pages fast enough.”—New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray

"In the Shadow of Croft Tower is beautifully written, suspenseful, and satisfyingly romantic. Abigail Wilson paints a beautiful picture of pastoral Regency England. This book will keep you riveted to the end, and you'll be rooting for the feisty heroine to get her happily ever after."—Jennifer Beckstrand, author of Home on Huckleberry Hill

“Mysterious . . . Melodic . . . Thrilling and original . . . Abigail Wilson has crafted a debut that shines.”—Kristy Cambron, bestselling author of Castle on the Rise 

"Part mystery and part romance, Abigail Wilson's debut is an atmospheric period novel that will keep readers guessing to the very end."—Amanda Flower, USA Today bestselling author of Death and Daisies

watch for our review in the Launch Issue of HBTB, shipping out later this week!

EXCERPT

The Chalcroft landau rattled to a halt. Beyond the rain-soaked window I saw little but an eerie sky. I told myself not to panic.

The carriage door screeched open to reveal a lanky footman, who stumbled backward at the sight of me. My shaky hand sought the remains of my drenched coiffure, and I forced a measured breath before grasping my reticule.

The wide-eyed young man seemed to recover and extended an umbrella over the carriage’s narrow opening. “Miss Delafield, is it?”

“Yes.” I forced a tepid smile before descending the steps, my wet frock clinging to my legs, the chill wind whipping at my skirt. I’d planned such a different arrival, one meant to impress. One I’d hoped would afford me the answers I’d come for.

The footman led me across a gravel drive and into the lurking shadow of my new home—Croft Towers. The aged structure rose up out of the misty twilight like an old king dressed in black, surveying his kingdom with a cautious eye. My chest tightened.

“This way, miss.” The footman shuffled forward then stopped. “We’d planned for you to come in the front, but considering your, uh, present state, perhaps it’s best—”

“Nonsense, James.” A tall man with a heavy build held the front door wide, his face weathered with age, his eyes shrewd. A smile appeared for a moment then vanished into a stern chin.

“You may address me as Hodge. I am butler here at the Towers.”

I nodded. “Pleased to meet you. Miss Delafield—Mrs. Chalcroft’s new companion.”

“I’m well aware why you are here. It was I who sent the carriage.”

He motioned me through the door. “Come inside, and I will figure out what is to be done with you.”

I crossed the threshold into a dim marble entryway. To the side, a small candelabrum winked in the wind. The wavering light did little to compete with the overwhelming gloom of thick crossbeams and paneled walls.

Hodge frowned. “Would you be so good as to wait here?”

I nodded, wrapping my arms around my middle, a terrible empty feeling settling into my stomach. Hodge ambled off at a brisk pace, and all too quickly I found myself alone. Alone with my thoughts and doubts.

Impostor. The voice whispered from the recesses of my mind, the same one I’d heard this many weeks or more. The voice was followed by the sound of a casement clock, which ticked to life from somewhere in the darkness. Wind gusts surged against the heavy door, clambering for a way in; but the air inside the house remained motionless, heavy with dust. Unable to move or sit, the nagging chill I’d endured throughout the journey returned in full force.

A door slammed in the distance. Uneven footsteps trailed down a far-off hall. I turned, but no one entered the front room, and the steps dissolved into the pervasive darkness around me. A shiver crept up my arms. Standing as still as possible, I inspected the shadows, fighting off the unnatural feeling of being watched.

Taken from “In the Shadow of Croft Towers” by Abigail Wilson. Copyright © 2018 by Abigail Wilson. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

Upcoming Historical Fiction Releases to be Thankful For

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Make sure you add these titles to your TBR

There are so many new books coming out that I am so excited for. And even the most dedicated and vigilant reader will miss when a good book is released. Until recently, I was exclusively a Historical reader. I have finally broaden my tastes, however I will always lean towards the stories set in the past. Today, I wanted to give you a few Historical Fiction titles that I am excited to see releasing soon. If you know me, you know that I have a very low level of patience. Especially when it comes to new books. When I find out my favorite author is working on a new story, it’s all I can do to wait for the book to release. The books listed below are among those books that I am LONGING to read! Thankfully, their relese dates are right around the corner now! Add them to Goodreads and/or to your Wishlist on Amazon so you don’t miss out!

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SEARCHING FOR YOU
Jody Hedlund
Series: Orphan Train #3
Release Date: December 4, 2018
BETHANY HOUSE PUBLISHERS

Despite years on the run, Sophie Neumann is determined to care for two young children. She won't abandon them the way she thinks her older sisters abandoned her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing 1850s New York is her only option.

Buy on Amazon

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A BOUND HEART
Laura Frantz
Release Date: January 1. 2019
REVELL

Though Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up on the same castle grounds, Magnus is now laird of the great house and the Isle of Kerrera. Lark is but the keeper of his bees and the woman he is hoping will provide a tincture that might help his ailing wife conceive and bear him an heir. But when his wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of accusations, expelled from their beloved island, and sold as indentured servants across the Atlantic. Yet even when all hope seems dashed against the rocky coastline of the Virginia colony, it may be that in this New World the two of them could make a new beginning--together.

Buy on Amazon

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FLIGHTS OF FANCY
Jen Turano
Series: American Heiresses #1
Release Date: January 1, 2019
BETHANY HOUSE PUBLISHERS

Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she's always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.

Buy on Amazon

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MY HEART BELONGS IN THE BLUE RIDGE: LAUREL’S DREAM
Pepper Basham
Release Date: January 1, 2019
BARBOUR BOOKS

Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?

Buy on Amazon

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WITH THIS PLEDGE
Tamera Alexander
Series: Carnton #1
Release Date: January 8, 2019
THOMAS NELSON

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Clouston's quietly held principles oppose those of the Southern Cause--but when forty thousand soldiers converge on the fields of Franklin, Tennessee, the war demands an answer. The Carnton home, where she is governess, is converted into a Confederate hospital, and Lizzie is called upon to assist the military doctor with surgeries that determine life or death. Faced with the unimaginable, she must summon fortitude, even as she fears for the life of Towny, her fiancé and lifelong friend.

Buy on Amazon

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IN THE SHADOW OF CROFT TOWERS
Abigail Wilson
Release Date: January 15, 2019
THOMAS NELSON

Croft Towers holds more than its share of secrets . . . and Sybil is determined to uncover them all.

When Sybil Delafield’s coach to Croft Towers was robbed by highwaymen, she should have realized that her new position as companion to old Mrs. Chalcroft would be no ordinary job. Upon Sybil’s arrival, Mrs. Chalcroft sneaks into her room in the dark of night, imploring her to relay messages to town that are to stay hidden from the rest of the family. Who exactly is she working for and what do the messages contain?

Buy on Amazon


Rachel enjoys reading, reviewing books, and sharing her passion for literature at www.bookwormmama.org. She's a virtual assistant and shares the small-town life with her husband and children.