Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Read the Most Books From

toptentuesday

It’s time for another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish :) This week’s topic is about authors we’ve read the most books from. I have quite a varied list: some classic authors, a few YA authors, and even a children’s book author.

Top Ten Authors I’ve Read the Most Books From

Ann Brashares – I’ve read 5 of her books: the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series plus Sisterhood Everlasting.

Jane Austen – I’ve read all 6 of Austen’s completed novels: Sense and SensibilityPride and PrejudiceEmmaMansfield ParkNorthanger Abbey, and Persuasion.

Lee/Elle Strauss – I’ve read 6 of her books: ClockwisePerception, Sun & Moon, Flesh & BoneHeart & Soul, and East of the Sun.

J. K. Rowling – I’ve read (and re-read) all 7 books in the Harry Potter series.

Karen Witemeyer – I’ve read 7 of her novels: Short-Straw BrideA Tailor-Made BrideTo Win Her HeartHead in the CloudsStealing the Preacher, Full Steam Ahead, and A Cowboy Unmatched (which is really a novella).

L. M. Montgomery – I’ve read all 8 Anne of Green Gables books. I still want to read her other books as well!

Laura Ingalls Wilder – I’ve read her 9 Little House on the Prairie books.

Nicholas Sparks – Every now and then I go through a Nicholas Sparks phase ;) I’ve read 9 of his novels: Dear JohnThe Lucky OneSafe HavenThe RescueThe GuardianA Bend in the RoadThe Best of MeThe Choice, and The Longest Ride.

William Shakespeare – I’ve read 14 of his plays: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale, The Merchant of Venice, and Richard II (plus dozens of his sonnets).

Dr. Seuss – loved Dr. Seuss growing up (and I still do), and even though I couldn’t give you the exact number of books by him that I’ve read, I know it’s more than 14 :)

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Review & Giveaway: Heart & Soul by Lee Strauss

Heart and Soul

One of my favorite indie authors is Elle Strauss, who typically writes Young Adult science fiction romances. My favorite novel of hers is Clockwise, a story about a high schooler who frequently and unintentionally time travels to the Civil War era. But Elle Strauss also writes adult fiction under the pen name Lee Strauss.

Lee Strauss’s most recent series, The Minstrel Series, is a clean romance series that focuses on the lives of aspiring singer-songwriters. There are currently three novels in the Minstrel Series. The first two, Sun & Moon and Flesh & Bone, take place in Dresden, Germany and follow the lives of German twenty-somethings whose paths intertwine.

sun and moon
Sun & Moon: She has a past. He has a secret.
Katja’s a risk-taking singer-songwriter hoping to make it in the indie music scene in Dresden, Germany. Micah’s a brooding uptown banker on a quest.
There’s an undeniable attraction between them, a gravitational pull they both struggle to resist. Katja knows she mustn’t fall in love with this handsome enigma. There’s something dark lurking beneath the surface. He could be dangerous.
And even if her life isn’t on the line, her heart most definitely is.
flesh and bone
Flesh & Bone: She can’t remember. He can’t forget.
Eva Baumann is invisible. Sebastian Weiss is famous. In a perfect world Eva would be fearless and Sebastian would be guiltless.
It’s not a perfect world.
Singer-songwriter Eva Baumann has a celebrity crush on Sebastian Weiss. He’s perfect to love because there is no way they could ever be a thing. She’s a nobody. He’s a heart-throb. Hiding an infatuation is easy for her because, since her accident, hiding is what she does best.
Sebastian Weiss’s band climbed the charts, seemingly overnight, and he’s finally living the dream. All he has to do is write enough songs to produce a second album. The bad news is he hasn’t written a song in over a year…
But then Sebastian stumbles into the Blue Note Pub in time to hear Eva Baumann perform a hauntingly beautiful song. Could this girl be the answer to defeating his writer’s block?
Eva and Sebastian begin a complicated writing relationship that leads to more. But Sebastian has a secret that will devastate them both.

Flesh & Bone has been my favorite installment so far in this series. I had a hard time putting it down! I loved the characters and the story line was very moving. I loved the way it dealt with forgiveness and redemption, and I also really enjoyed how the main characters grew and changed during the novel.

The third Minstrel novel, Heart & Soul was released yesterday, and I volunteered to receive a free copy in exchange for a review. Heart & Soul is a spin-off of Flesh & Bone and it follows the life of the main character’s sister, Gabriele. That being said, I felt that this novel could stand-alone (but definitely read Flesh & Bone, either before or after!).

Heart and Soul Heart & Soul: She’s heartbroken. He’s heartless.
Gabriele Baumann-Smith is deliriously in love with her young husband Lennon. Except, it turns out that Lennon Smith isn’t his real name. In fact, he’s full of secrets: a cottage on the southern British coast, an old girlfriend and…an identical twin brother.
Callum Jones—not his real name—can’t believe his brother’s widow came to England. He’d warned Mick—Lennon—that an inheritance could put the girl’s life in danger, and he was right.
“Mrs. Smith” is the last thing Callum needs to worry about right now. She’s beautiful, sure, takes his breath away at times. But when she looks at him, who does she see?
Gabriele’s heart is battered and bruised. Can one brother fix what the other left behind? And will they live long enough to find out?

This novel was much more suspenseful than the previous two, which I enjoyed because it changed things up a bit. Heart & Soul, like its predecessors, has lots of descriptive imagery. The first two novels take place in Germany, and you can easily imagine the European architecture and city-life. Heart & Soul is set in England, in a small seaside village where everyone knows everyone else. The minstrel/singer-songwriter motif isn’t so much in the spotlight, but there are still a few songs included. Now normally I don’t enjoy reading through song lyrics in a novel, but this series has been different for me; I really like the lyrics and I even take my time reading through them :)

If you are looking for heartwarming novels to read this summer, I recommend you grab one of the Minstrel Series installments to take with you to the beach or the pool! And I’ll even make it easy on you by offering a giveaway of the entire series! The giveaway also includes the original mp3s that go along with the series, as well as a $25 Amazon gift card. (Scroll to the bottom for the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway)
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Introducing 



Heart & Soul


Heart & Soul is the third book in The Minstrel Series 
 

(This is a connected book series – while each book can stand alone, they are best enjoyed in sequence.)


ROMANCE. SUSPENSE. MUSIC. DANGER. HOT BRITISH GUY
She’s heartbroken. He’s heartless.
 
Gabriele Baumann-Smith is deliriously in love with her young husband Lennon.
Except, it turns out that Lennon Smith isn’t his real name. In fact, he’s full of secrets: a cottage on the southern British coast, an old girlfriend and… an identical twin brother.
 
Callum Jones—not his real name—can’t believe his brother’s widow came to England. He’d warned Mick—Lennon—that an inheritance could put the girl’s life in danger, and he was right.
 
“Mrs. Smith” is the last thing Callum needs to worry about right now. She’s beautiful, sure, takes his breath away at times. But when she looks at him, who does she see?
 
Gabriele’s heart is battered and bruised. Can one brother fix what the other left behind? And will they live long enough to find out?
 
 

BUZZ for Heart & Soul


“…this took a turn for the spy/thriller genre, which surprised me, but still carried the strong romantic flavor and wonderful accompanying music, like the first two books. I think this is a great series and would recommend it to contemporary romance fans.” Denise Jaden, author of Foreign Exchange

Another great book by Lee! This one had action, wit and a forbidden love! Love the characters and their interaction with each other! Can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next!” Tressa Sager, Amazon reviewer

I don’t want to give away what the danger is, but suffice it to say, it’s a real and plausible threat. Gabrielle is a good leading lady. She doesn’t back down from anything or anyone in this book, but she’s still vulnerable, making her well-rounded and likable.” J Harrell, Amazon reviewer
 
AMAZON | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | itunes | Google Play
 
 
Heart & Soul in Print
 
 
The Music fromThe Minstrel Series Volume 3 Heart & Soul
 
 
Featuring the author’s daughter, Tasia Strauss!
 


Lee Strauss’ thoughts on The Minstrel Series and Heart & Soul:
 
My musician husband and I just randomly started talking about the idea of working on a project together – wouldn’t it be great if we could collaborate and merge our two artistic worlds? Writing and Music? That was the seed that started the muse talking, and soon afterward The Minstrel Series was born!
 
For Heart & Soul, I knew I wanted to move the series from Germany to England (next to Ireland and Boston!) and that I needed a small coastal town not far from London. I used Google Earth to examine the British coastline to search for the perfect town and found it in Emsworth. Living in Germany part-time has its advantages and one of them is its proximity to England. My husband and I did a quick five day research trip. (It also came in handy for the next book, a Christmas novella set in London – stay tuned!)
 
Because of the musical aspect of this series, I’m always on the prowl for songs and singers. My connection to the singer-songwriter world via my musical husband has been a big advantage. My husband’s musical genes have also been down to our kids, so it’s exciting to involve my daughter Tasia in the project to be the singing voice of Gabriele.”
 
Click HERE to read the first chapter of Heart & Soul. 
 
**One of the entry options will ask a question from the above chapter.
 
 
About The Minstrel Series:
 
The Minstrel Series is a collection of contemporary romance novels set in the singer/songwriter world. The books are companion novels, with shared settings and characters, but each is a complete stand-alone story with a HEA (happily ever after) and no cliffhangers!
 
The books include MP3 links to original music by talented Indie Artists, so you can hear the characters sing!
 
#1     Sun & Moon
#2     Flesh & Bone 
#3     Heart & Soul 

#3.5  Peace & Goodwill (Christmas Novella coming Fall 2014)



It also has its own FACEBOOK (link) page and its own BANDCAMP (link) page where you can listen to the original music associated with the books. Albums are also available on AMAZON.

 
 
About Lee Strauss:
 
Lee Strauss is the author of The Minstrel Series (contemporary romance), The Perception Series (young adult dystopian) and young adult historical fiction. She is the married mother of four grown children, three boys and a girl, and divides her time between British Columbia, Canada and Dresden, Germany. When she’s not writing or reading she likes to cycle, hike and do yoga. She enjoys traveling (but not jet lag >:0), soy lattes, red wine and dark chocolate.
 






EASY TWEETS:




 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Top Ten (Thurs)day: Summer Reads

toptentuesdayThis post was meant for Tuesday, but I have been pretty busy this week between my job wrapping up, taking a day trip to Lyon (fun!), and watching 3 matches of the World Cup every night, so Top Ten Tuesday has become Top Ten Thursday for me this week :)

Top Ten Books on my Summer TBR List:

 Here are the books that I’ve already started and hope to finish this summer :)

robinhoodThe Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle – I have always been a big Robin Hood fan, I even dressed up as Robin Hood once for a British-themed costume party, and last month we went and saw a Robin Hood musical that’s touring France at the moment (it was really cool!). So since then I’ve been on a bit of a Robin Hood kick and I’m in the process of reading Howard Pyle’s version of my favorite legend :)

littlemenLittle Men by Louisa May Alcott – I read Little Women last month (review still on the way) and loved it! I knew the story since I grew up watching the 1994 film version, but the book was so much better. So after I finished it I started reading the sequel, Little Men, but I’m still in the beginning chapters. The reason for that is because I started the book below…

lesmisLes Misérables by Victor Hugo – About a month and a half ago I posted on Twitter about how Les Misérables was a book that had been on my TBR/Classics Club list for a while, but because it intimidated me so much I had been procrastinating on reading it. Well, someone else had been feeling a little similar to me, and so we decided to read it together this month :) I really had been wanting to read it in French, but this book is massive, and I am maybe 2% finished with it right now. We’ll see if I can persevere in le français, or if I’ll have to switch to English.

Books I want to start this summer! (Click on the titles for the Goodreads links)

heartandsoulHeart & Soul by Lee Strauss – Lee Strauss (sometimes Elle Strauss) is one of my favorite contemporary YA authors. I’ve read two of her other series, Clockwise (a YA time traveling series) and Perception (a YA futuristic sci-fi series), and loved them both. So last week when I saw she was giving out ARC copies of her new novel, Heart & Soul, in exchange for reviews, I jumped on board :) I hope to be reading this one within the next couple of days so check back for my thoughts!

ifistayIf I Stay by Gayle Forman – I recently saw the trailer for this upcoming book-made-film and instantly became intrigued. It looks like a major tear jerker, but I love stories that make me cry (it’s a powerful emotion) so I can’t wait to delve into this one.

secondchancesummerSecond Chance Summer by Morgan Matson – I’m in an online book club, and last week we read Morgan Matson’s most recent book Since You’ve Been Gone, and I fell in love with her writing style. That book had me laughing, sighing, and even holding back tears. So now her other novels Second Chance Summer and Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour are now on my TBR list, SCS being a hopeful summer read since, you know, summer is in the title ;)

openroadsummerOpen Road Summer by Emery Lord – Another book with the word summer in the title, this book seems similar to Since You’ve Been Gone, and I’ve heard some good things about it, so I’m excited about reading it for myself. I’m thinking a Kindle download to keep me occupied on our 8 hour drive to the west of France next month.

journeyJourney to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne – Two French novels on my Summer TBR list! I plan on reading this one next month. For those of you who actually know me, you know that I have a lot of national pride for my two countries. I am glued to the television watching the Olympics and now the World Cup, cheering on the U.S. and France, and for both national holidays I like to celebrate by doing American and French things. Last year for Bastille Day I read Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days to celebrate. This year, my husband and I are going to read Journey to the Center of the Earth (hopefully in French!). We both love Verne’s novels, and the fact that my husband likes to read his books really says something since Matt doesn’t really like to read anything ;)

senseandsensibilitySense and Sensibility by Jane Austen –  I put this book on my previous Top Ten Tuesday post about Spring Reads, but I didn’t get a chance to read it. I read Northanger Abbey instead, since that was the only Austen novel I still hadn’t read. I haven’t picked up Sense and Sensibility since high school, though, so I think I’ll be reading it later this month when all the Austen in August events reappear :) In any case, every season is a good season to read Jane Austen.

northandsouthNorth and South by Elizabeth Gaskell – I read this book for my Victorian Lit class in college, but after watching the miniseries a couple of years ago, I’ve been wanting to reread it (and then rewatch the miniseries because it’s so good). Also, knowing me, if I read any Jane Austen novel, I’ll immediately be stuck in a Regency/Victorian reading pit (a pit of lace and ribbons and chivalry, that is), and I’ll be looking for some more classic female masterpieces to read.

What are some books on your Summer To-Be-Read list? Do you have any other suggestions for my list?