Guest Author Tanya Eavenson – Love is in the Air

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

tanya-eavensonTanya Eavenson is our guest author today. Tanya is a bestselling and an award-winning inspirational romance author. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Word Weavers International. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. You can find her at her website, on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google, or on Amazon.

Love is in the Air!

by Tanya Eavenson

Can you feel it? Whether it’s a romantic kind of love or the parental kind, love is in the air! Even in my fictional world from my new release To Gain a Valentine.

Last week, I released my second novella in the Gaining Love series entitled To Gain a Valentine. I had so much fun writing this story because I could relate to the hero, Patrick Reynolds, who works wonders with sick children as a pediatrician, yet when it comes to pets, he’s clueless.

That is so me! Several years ago we moved from the pastorium to the home we bought seven minutes away. Carrying all our possessions, including our cat, Woody, (he was named after Woody from Toy Story) I placed him in the garage. Little did I realize, I left the back door open.

Can you imagine my horror when I was the one who allowed my daughter’s cat, her best friend, to escape and wander around lost in a neighborhood during a rain storm? Yes, a storm! It was raining cats and dogs, pun intended. I could hardly see three feet in front of my face. I felt just awful! The way my eight-year-old cried, those tears, the words “he’s going to die out there!” just about killed me on the spot.

So me, who uses an umbrella at the first sign of rain or mist in the air, I charge out into the pelting rain in hopes of finding a cat and mending broken hearts—hers and mine. “Soaked through” wouldn’t even begin to describe my clothes, which clung to me seconds after stepping outside. Already exhausted from the move, I dragged myself through the process of combing the neighborhood.

But there, at last, was Woody, waiting under a stranger’s patio, sheltered from the storm. I still remember whispering a prayer of thanksgiving as I trespassed on this person’s yard with all intent to steal my own cat. But as I neared, he ran. And I chased.

Two blocks, yard after yard, calling his name. “Woody!”

Then, I lost him. What was I going to do now? How was I going to tell my daughter that not once but twice in one day I had lost her most beloved cat?

Heading back toward the house, I hung my sopping head and said another prayer that Woody would return, and soon.

Sloshing up the front steps, I heard my husband’s voice from the garage. It was better to tell him first, so I went to him. There, sitting in a folding chair next to our dresser, sat my daughter with a wide smile on her face, holding Woody against her chest.

Happy tears filled my eyes, but in the next breath I realized seeing him in her arms, dry, I’d been running down the streets of our new neighborhood like a crazy person, chasing after another person’s cat! Needless to say, in life, you have to learn how to laugh at yourself. This was indeed one of those moments that will forever be etched in my daughters mind and heart, as well as my own. She saw, in action, how much I loved her.

Yes, I see a lot of myself in Patrick from To Gain a Valentine, his attempts to care for animals when he has no idea what in the world he’s doing. Granted, I had one cat in my care, and he had one dog, three fish, two— Well, you’ll have to read the story, but it was also his desire to forget what was safe and love others with action and abandonment. And like my ending, Patrick’s actions will forever last in Amabelle’s heart and mind. For them, it was the day when love took flight.

togainavalentine_1400x2100To Gain a Valentine

Pediatrician Patrick Reynolds works wonders with sick children, yet when it comes to pets, he’s clueless. But caring for his sister’s menagerie while she’s on vacation is the perfect answer to working through a broken engagement. Hoping to escape the memories, he returns to his hometown, the last place he’d expect to find love.

Life as a single mom is never easy, but pet shop owner Amabelle Durand has found contentment. When an old friend returns to care for his sister’s pets, he enlists her assistance to keep the animals alive. But when Amabelle’s young daughter falls ill, she finds herself attracted to more than the handsome pediatrician’s medical skills.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, will Patrick and Amabelle miss out on the love they’ve always desired? Or will their love take flight under the stars on this very special night?

You can buy To Gain a Valentine at this link.

10 Keys to a Happy Life

Joy Key Shows Fun Or Happinessby Tamera Lynn Kraft

The Bible talks a lot about joy. You can’t read the Bible very long without realizing God wants us find our happiness in Him. John Piper says, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him. That’s the real key to a happy life, to be satisfied in God. Here are a couple of verses that show this.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Here are 10 keys to having a happy and fulfilled life. They are not the only ones. You can find the rest in the Bible.

10. Don’t worry so much. Most of what we worry about never happens.

9. Remember failure is an event, not a person.

8. Knowing Jesus is more important than knowing about Jesus.

Person Holding Sign Spreading Word of God7. Remember that the story of your life is not about you. It’s about God in you.

6. Our lives become significant by how we serve and bless others.

5. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep and gain what he can not lose.” Jim Elliot. In other words, if we don’t have anything worth dying for, we don’t have anything worth living for.

4. Stay true to the Word of God while loving others liberally. That means you love others enough to tell them the truth. The truth is that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

3. God’s opinion is the only one that counts.

2. We find our greatest joy by abiding in Christ and yielding to the will of God.

1. A life without God at the center is a miserable, wasted life.

So, can you think of any I missed. Leave a comment.

Resurrection of Hope – A Hopeful Romance

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

resurrectionofhopecoverartResurrection of Hope by Tamera Lynn Kraft is a story about two hurting people who find hope in love. That hope doesn’t only come from finding someone who will love them. It comes from finding hope that God loves them. Because of that hope, they can learn to trust love given to them by someone else. God’s love weaved in a story about two people learning how to show love to each other is the best romance of all.

She thought he was her knight in shining armor, but will a marriage of convenience prove her wrong?

After Vivian’s fiancé dies in the Great War, she thinks her life is over. But Henry, her fiancé’s best friend, comes to the rescue offering a marriage of convenience. He claims he promised his friend he would take care of her. She grows to love him, but she knows it will never work because he never shows any love for her.

Henry adores Vivian and has pledged to take care of her, but he won’t risk their friendship by letting her know. She’s still in love with the man who died in the Great War. He won’t risk heartache by revealing his true emotions.

Some Reviews of Resurrection of Hope:

“When there is heartbreak, we lose hope. When Vivian’s fiance, James, is killed in the war, Vivian feels as though God has turned His back on her. She has given up and no longer sees why she should keep on living.

Henry comes to Vivian’s rescue. Before James died, he made Henry promise he will take care of her. Even though it would be a marriage of convenience, deep down Henry has always loved Vivian.

In this sweet story, miscommunication and misunderstanding stands in the way of two people, confused about their roles. Henry is afraid to show Vivian his true feelings. Vivian begins to love Henry, but feels rejection by his cool demeanor. It takes hardship and turmoil to help them see what is really important in life.

Tamera Kraft wove a gentle story reflecting so many things that many couples battle. Husbands and wives bring old heartaches and wounds into marriage. But when placing their trust in the Lord, time and love helps them to heal. Resurrection of Hope is a lovely story that captures the heart of hope and forgiveness.”  — Jocelyn


“This is the first I have read by this author and I certainly look forward to reading more by her. This is a wonderful combination of romance, faith and historical fiction, and I thoroughly enjoyed following Vivian and Henry’s story to see if their relationship could develop from a marriage of convenience into love. It is a also a beautiful story of hope and second chances. I definitely recommend this one to the reader who enjoys good Christian historical romance. — Ann Ellison


“The message of hope for two wounded people is beautifully told in this novella set in post WWI Ohio. Vivian and Henry both have pasts that causes them to pull back from intimacy. For Henry this extends to everyone, not just his wife. Flawed as these characters are, they keep trying to trust God and listen for his direction. But just as they are about to give up on each other, tragedy hits and they finally hear God’s voice. An uplifting story that I highly recommend.” — Cindy Thomson

Today in History 2/13 – 2/19

HistoryToday in History

February 13:

  • Abraham Lincoln declared president of the United States (1861)
  • The last original Peanuts comic strip appears in newspapers one day after Charles M. Schulz dies (2000)
  • Israel acquires 4 of 7 Dead Sea scrolls (1955)
  • US Civil War: First military action to result in Congressional Medal of Honor in Arizona (1861)
  • First US surgical operation for relief of angina pectoris in Cleveland, Ohio (1935)
  • Barbie doll goes on sale (1959)
  • Dissident Nobel writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn expelled from USSR (1974)
  • WW2: Women’s Marine Corps created (1943)
  • British Parliament adopts the Bill of Rights which establishes the rights of parliament and places limits on the crown (1689)
  • Longest sentence published by New York Times-1286 words (1981)
  • Moving picture projector patented (1895)
  • The American Temperance Society, later renamed the American Temperance Union, was organized in Boston (1826)
  • Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome for trial before Inquisition for professing belief that earth revolves around the Sun (1633)
  • Johann Strauss’ “Blue Danube” waltz premieres in Vienna (1867)
  • Flemish missionary Joris van Geel departs to Congo (1651)
  • Jesse James holds up his first bank, Liberty, Missouri (1866)
  • Death of Lloyd C. Douglas, Congregational clergyman and novelist (1951)
  • The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics discovers the universe’s largest known diamond, white dwarf star BPM 37093 (2004)
  • Riot in New York due to a combination of poverty and increase in the cost of flour (1837)

February 14:

  • Valentine was martyred (269 AD)
  • Chief Justice John Marshall declares that any act of U.S. Congress that conflicts with the Constitution is void (1809)
  • First “micro on a chip” patented by Texas Instrument (1978)
  • A G Bell & Elisha Gray apply separately for telephone patents; Supreme Court eventually rules Bell rightful inventor (1876)
  • Russian-born English chemist and Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann was elected first president of the modern state of Israel (1949)
  • St Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago, 7 gangsters killed, allegedly on Al Capone’s orders (1929)
  • US President Richard Nixon installs secret taping system in White House (1971)
  • Theodore Roosevelt’s wife and mother die on the same day (1884)
  • Oregon admitted as 33rd US state (1849)
  • Arizona was admitted as the 48th US state (1912)
  • Slavic apostle, Cyril, was martyred (869 AD)
  • Bruno, missionary to Prussia, was martyred by Prussians (1009)
  • Richard Allen, the first black ordained in the Methodist Episcopal Church and founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, was born in slavery (1760)
  • James Knox Polk becomes first serving US President to have his photograph taken (1849)
  • US first lady Jacqueline Kennedy conducts White House tour on TV (1962)
  • Henry Ware was confirmed as the first Unitarian professor to teach at Harvard University causing Congregationalist teachers to withdraw (1805)
  • US Congress begins using voting machines (1899)
  • UPS forms (1919)
  • U.S. Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism announced their decision to begin accepting women as rabbis (1985)
  • First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire (1804)
  • Lt. John C. Frémont becomes first European to discover Lake Tahoe in the US (1844)
  • Galena, first US iron-clad warship for service at sea, launched (1862)
  • Morehouse College organizes (1867)
  • Venus is both a morning star & evening star (1894)
  • Release of first Dracula movie (1931)
  • $3.6 million heroin seizure in NYC (1959)

February 15:

  • Congress authorizes women lawyers to practice before Supreme Court (1879)
  • Black abolitionists invade Boston courtroom rescuing a fugitive slave (1851)
  • US Civil War: Charges of Treason against Confederate President Jefferson Davis are dropped (1869)
  • Battleship Maine explodes (1898)
  • Sarah Roberts barred from white school in Boston (1848)
  • President-elect Franklin Roosevelt survives assassination attempt (1933)
  • New Jersey becomes last northern state to abolish slavery (1804)
  • Jogaila, king of the Lithuania, the last heathen nation in Europe, was converted to Christianity and baptized as the first Lithuanian known Christian (1386)
  • St. Louis, Missouri founded as a French trading post by Pierre Laclade Ligue (1764)
  • Walt Disney’s Cinderella released (1950)
  • First Teddy Bear introduced in America named after Theodore Roosevelt (1903)
  • The Boy Scouts of America founded (1910)
  • WW2: Hitler announces building of Volkswagens (1936)
  • First adhesive postage stamps in US (1842)
  • Wheaton College was chartered in Illinois under Methodist sponsorship (1860)
  • Lewis Wallace, the author of Ben Hur, died (1905)
  • Philosopher Socrates sentenced to death by the city of Athens for corrupting the minds of the youth (399 BC)

February 16:

  • Pamphilius, church scholar who saved accurate copies of Scripture and records of church history, was beheaded for refusing to worship idols and renounce Christ (309 AD)
  • Pope Gregory the Great decrees saying “God bless You” is the correct response to a sneeze (600 AD)
  • WW1: US rejects the right of Germany and Austria-Hungary to sink armed merchant ships (1916)
  • WW1: The German ambassador in Washington announces that Germany will pay an indemnity for American lives lost on the Lusitania (1916)
  • Fidel Castro names himself Cuba’s premier after overthrowing Batista (1959)
  • American Charles Wilkes discovers Shackleton Ice Shelf, Antarctica (1840)
  • WW2: Catholic newspaper, Germania, warns against Nazis/communists (1933)
  • African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church officially separated from its parent, the Methodist Episcopal Church (1801)
  • Elvis Presley receives gold record for How Great Thou Art (1968)
  • Howard Carter opens the inner burial chamber of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb and finds the sarcophagus (1923)
  • Kentucky passes law permitting women to attend school under conditions (1838)
  • Former silver Goodyear blimps are now painted yellow & blue (1992)
  • US Civil War: Fort Donelson is captured by General Ulysses S. Grant following the surrender of around 12,000 Confederate soldiers (1862)
  • Ladies Home Journal begins publishing (1883)
  • Philip Schwarzerd, known as the brains behind the Protestant Reformation, was born (1497)
  • First patent for a tree issued to James Markham for a peach tree (1932)
  • First known cheque, £400 (1659)
  • China announces it will relocate 9,000 people in Guizhou province, before completion of world’s largest telescope – FAST, designed to look for extraterrestrial life (2016)

February 17:

  • US House of Representatives breaks electoral college tie when it chooses Thomas Jefferson president over Burr (1801)
  • Myles Standish is elected as the first commander of the Plymouth Colony (1621)
  • US Civil War: Mississippi becomes 9th Confederate state readmitted to US (1870)
  • Golda Meir, nee Mabovitch, was sworn in as Israel’s first female prime minister (1969)
  • Esther Morris appointed first female in Justice of the Peace in the United States (1870)
  • Giordano Bruno became the last heretic to be burned at the stake by the Roman Inquisition (1591)
  • Billy Sunday, baseball player-turned-preacher, made his first appearance as an evangelist in Chicago (1889)
  • The world’s first superhero, The Phantom, makes his first appearance in comics (1936)
  • Waldensians, fiercely persecuted and martyred for centuries, were  guaranteed of civil and religious rights (1858)
  • U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional an act of the Virginia Legislature which denied property rights to Protestant Episcopal churches in the state ruling that religious corporations have rights to their property (1815)
  • US Civil War: Columbia, South Carolina burns to the ground (1865)
  • 6-week study of Arctic atmosphere shows no ozone “hole” (1989)
  • Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II agrees to pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire for peace (1568)
  • British Parliament votes to join European Common Market (1972)

February 18:

  • Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, the most popular Christian book next to the Bible, was published (1678)
  • Four Quakers in Germantown, Pennsylvania wrote a protest against enslavement of blacks known as the Germantown Protest (1688)
  • US astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto (1930)
  • US Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis inaugurated at Montgomery, Alabama (1861)
  • Infamous Lincoln County War in New Mexico ignites after a murder (1874)
  • Spanish Jesuits in the Chesapeake Bay area were martyred by the Indians they had come six months earlier to convert (1571)
  • Crash during Daytona 500 race on last lap claims life of Dale Earnhardt (2001)
  • Mark Twain publishes the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)
  • Space Shuttle Enterprise above a Boeing 747 goes on its maiden flight (1977)
  • H Cecil Booth patented a dust removing suction cleaner (1901)
  • First US postage stamps in rolls issued (1908)
  • The first Academy Awards are announced (1929)
  • FBI agent Robert Hanssen is arrested for spying for the Soviet Union (2001)
  • King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia becomes first King of Italy (1861)

February 19:

  • Vice President Aaron Burr arrested in Alabama for treason, later acquitted (1807)
  • Alexander Mack, founder of the Dunkards aka German Baptists several American Brethren denominations, died (1735)
  • WW2: US 5th Fleet launches invasion of Iwo Jima against the Japanese with 30,000 US Marines (1945)
  • Tin-type camera patented by Hamilton Smith (1856)
  • Thomas Edison patents gramophone (1878)
  • Death of Miles Coverdale, translator and publisher of the first complete Bible to be printed in English (1768)
  • Donner Party rescued after practicing cannibalism to stay alive (1847)
  • US Congress votes to make Ohio 17th state (1803)
  • Texas state government formally installed in Austin (!846)
  • Kansas becomes first state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages (1881)
  • Tornadoes in Miss, Ala, NC, SC, Tenn, Ky & In kill 800 people (1884)
  • Emperor Constantius II shuts all heathen temples (356 AD)
  • An Oklahoma City bombing museum is dedicated at the Oklahoma City National Memorial (2001)
  • Congregational missionaries Adoniram and Ann Judson, first sailed from New England to Calcutta, India (1812)
  • WW2: Presidential Executive Order 9066 began placing 100,000 persons of Japanese ancestry into ten “relocation centers” (1942)
  • Typhoid Mary, Mary Mallon, is freed from her first periods of forced isolation and goes on to cause several further outbreaks of typhoid in the New York area (1910)
  • Medieval Iconoclastic Controversy ends as a council in Constantinople formally reinstated the veneration of icons in the churches (842 AD)
  • First prize inserted into a Cracker Jack box (1913)
  • Keith Kellogg and Charles D. Bolin found the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company which is now the multinational food manufacturer Kellogg’s (1906)
  • Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom (1861)

Tips to Show Your Love

by Carole Brown

february-valentines-free

February 14th is almost here, and, for most of us, the thoughts of candy, cards, flowers and other romantic items–and the ones we love–fill our hearts with warmth. Here are a few thoughts I had on some newer ways to share our love:homeless-free

 

To the Homeless:

  • Drop off a hat, scarf, coat, socks, etc., to a homeless person
  • Drop off a restaurant gift card or a home cooked meal.
  • Take five minutes to talk with one of them.

 

 

To a Child in Your Life:child-blowing-bubbles-free

  • Play with them. Pretend. Enter their imaginary world. 
  • Go on a date lunch with one. Or two. Allow them to pick the eating establishment.
  • Do something really crazy and fun that you’ve never done or it’s been a long, long time. It will be worth it all to see their faces light up!
  • Introduce them (if they don’t already know) to some intellectual amusement/learning. Art shop. Biblical place like Noah’s Ark in Cincinnati, Ohio, A decent dinner/show event, a decent concert, a wildlife hike, some cave exploring, etc. Or simple things like building with blocks, blowing bubbles, splashing through a rain puddle, building snowmen or angels, reading a book, etc. 

 

husband-n-wife2-free

To the Love of Your Life:

  • If you’re a man, prepare a meal with candles, low lights, scents and the music you love in the background. If you can’t cook, hire it done/ask a favor of a good cook. If you prefer, plan the kind of casual dinner event she would prefer. 
  • Go for a short vacation. Choose a cabin, hotel, camper, tent kind of place you both enjoy. Then make it special for your other half. Find a rock that means something special. Order a dessert he/she loves. Sit under the stars wrapped in blankets and study the stars. Talk. Relax. 
  • Give her the treat of a manicure, pedicure, or massage. If that’s out-of-your-budget, then give her/him a massage yourself. Make sure you have special oils to use and light music, low lights (or sunlight) of her/his preference.
  • Buy her a little gifts that she loves: Books, scarves, accessories, hair items, socks (fun and serious), favorite snacks, etc. 

 

To the God of Your Life:praise-n-sing-free

  • Prepare to attend your worship services with nothing in your mind but praising, serving and worshiping your God. How? Don’t plan lengthy activities for Saturday evenings. Get enough sleep the night before. Eat lightly before leaving for church. If there’s time, read a passage of scripture that can put you in the correct mood for church.
  • Give! Financially if you’re able (tithes and gifts are expected, thus saith the Bible). Volunteer for church functions. If you have a musical voice, sing solo or in a choir, or join a band. Share whatever talents you have with your church and church friends. Baking, decorating, calling on phones and in person, all these and more make a difference and take loads off others. 
  • Study the word. Make a sacrifice. Fast. Do something that is hard for you to do. Ask God to search your heart. Lean on him. Draw closer. Pray a little extra. Do a kindness when others are being ugly. Compliment. Smile. Stay true when others are disloyal or acting shamefully. Pray for the sinner, the disobedient, those straying. Do your part by being faithful. 

Love, Love, Love.  

The Bible says in Corinthians, “The greatest of these is charity.” 

 

Have a lovely month!

 

 

Guest Author Gail Kittleson – Equilibrium (Book Giveaway)

gailGail Kittleson is our guest author today. She is giving away a paperback copy of her new book, With Each New Dawn. Go to the end of this post for details.

Gail taught college expository writing and English as a Second Language. Now she writes memoir and women’s fiction, and facilitates writing workshops and women’s retreats. She makes her home in northern Iowa, where she and her husband enjoy their grandchildren and gardening. In winter, the Arizona mountains provide fresh novel fodder. You can find her online at these sites:

Equilibrium

by Gail Kittleson

Recently, some dizzy spells have challenged me. A piece fell as I removed an old card table from the closet, so I peered under the leg to see if I needed to glue it back in there, and voila! A completely uncontrollable sensation enveloped me, and I caught myself just in time.

A new online writer friend commiserated—she’d dealt with vertigo for decades before finding healing. Her “take” on this malady inspired me. She said, “I’ve also had to have my spine fused, and think I’d choose to re-experience that rather than the vertigo.”

Wow—misery loves company, for sure. It helps to have someone understand how this wooziness feels. That reminds me of how the heroine of my World War II novel must’ve felt as a stranger behind enemy lines. She’s a secret agent in constant danger of Gestapo detection. Then, her network gets betrayed to the enemy and she’s cast out to make it on her own and still hopefully contribute to the war effort.

The parallel probably falls apart at some point, but for our purposes, maybe my heroine Kate’s sense of disorientation compares with dizziness. She’d relied on her network for stability—suddenly it was gone. I felt this way again today—once again, I leaned the wrong way and whop! The floor became my friend.

Hopefully this’ll soon pass. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a question: Which sense, if temporarily removed, would be hardest for you to handle?

Contest: Leave a comment on this post answering the question above for a chance to win a paperback copy of With Each New Dawn. Drawing will be held next Thursday. The winner will be announced on this post and will be notified by email. US Only.

with-each-new-dawnWith Each New Dawn

Kate Isaac grieves her husband, awaits their child’s birth, and welcomes her best friend Addie to London. But another loss and a meeting with mysterious Monsieur le Blanc launches her into Britain’s Secret Operations Executive(SOE). In late 1943, Kate parachutes into Southern France to aid the Resistance.

Domingo, a grieving Basque mountain guide-turned-saboteur, meets her parachute drop, tends her injured ankle, and carries her to safety. Reunited a few months later, they discover the injured Monsieur le Blanc who with his dying breath, reveals his familial connection to Kate.

In the shadow of the Waffen SS, Domingo and Kate subject their mutual attraction to the whims of war.  But can mere human will and moral courage change the tide and forge a future for them?

My Favorite Top 10 Classic Romances and Love Stories

Old books on table on brown backgroundby Tamera Lynn Kraft

It’s almost Valentine’s Day when our thought turn to romance and love. There’s nothing better on Valentine’s Day than to pull out some of your favorite love stories. Here are my favorite classic romances and love stories.

10. Persuasion by Jane AustinWritten as the Napoleonic Wars were ending, the novel examines how a woman can at once remain faithful to her past and still move forward into the future. Anne Elliot seems to have given up on present happiness and has resigned herself to living off her memories. More than seven years earlier she complied with duty: persuaded to view the match as imprudent and improper, she broke off her engagement to a naval captain with neither fortune, ancestry, nor prospects. However, when peacetime arrives and brings the Navy home, and Anne encounters Captain Wentworth once more, she starts to believe in second chances.

9. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (All right. Technically it’s a play. But it’s still one of the greatest love stories of all times.)

In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare creates a violent world, in which two young people fall in love. It is not simply that their families disapprove; the Montagues and the Capulets are engaged in a blood feud.

In this death-filled setting, the movement from love at first sight to the lovers’ final union in death seems almost inevitable. And yet, this play set in an extraordinary world has become the quintessential story of young love. In part because of its exquisite language, it is easy to respond as if it were about all young lovers.

8. A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Set against the looming horrors of the battlefield—weary, demoralized men marching in the rain during the German attack on Caporetto; the profound struggle between loyalty and desertion—this gripping, semiautobiographical work captures the harsh realities of war and the pain of lovers caught in its inexorable sweep.

7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten—a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house’s current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim’s first wife—the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.

6. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Grown-up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth, and precocious Amy. The four March sisters couldn’t be more different. But with their father away at war, and their mother working to support the family, they have to rely on one another. Whether they’re putting on a play, forming a secret society, or celebrating Christmas, there’s one thing they can’t help wondering: Will Father return home safely?

5. Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

The year is 1792. The French Revolution, driven to excess by its own triumph, has turned into a reign of terror. Daily, tumbrels bearing new victims to the guillotine roll over the cobbled streets of Paris.… Thus the stage is set for one of the most enthralling novels of historical adventure ever written.

The mysterious figure known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, sworn to rescue helpless men, women, and children from their doom; his implacable foe, the French agent Chauvelin, relentlessly hunting him down; and lovely Marguerite Blakeney, a beautiful French exile married to an English lord and caught in a terrible conflict of loyalties—all play their parts in a suspenseful tale that ranges from the squalid slums of Paris to the aristocratic salons of London, from intrigue on a great English country estate to the final denouement on the cliffs of the French coast.

4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, situated on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before; of the intense relationship between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw; and how Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class. As Heathcliff’s bitterness and vengeance at his betrayal is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.

3. Jane Erye by Charlotte Bronte

A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre has dazzled generations of readers with its depiction of a woman’s quest for freedom. Having grown up an orphan in the home of her cruel aunt and at a harsh charity school, Jane Eyre becomes an independent and spirited survivor-qualities that serve her well as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. Should she stay with him whatever the consequences or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving her beloved?

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a country gentleman living near the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, near London. Page 2 of a letter from Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra (11 June 1799) in which she first mentions Pride and Prejudice, using its working title First Impressions. Set in England in the early 19th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr and Mrs Bennet’s five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr Darcy, have moved into their neighborhood. While Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, Darcy has difficulty adapting to local society and repeatedly clashes with the second-eldest Bennet daughter, Elizabeth.

1. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…’

Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities portrays a world on fire, split between Paris and London during the brutal and bloody events of the French Revolution. After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille the aging Dr Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There, two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil lanes of London, they are all drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror and soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.

Next Wednesday I’ll list my favorite contemporary love stories and romances. Which are your favorites? Would you add any? Please comment.