Some favorite reads in 2013

I'm not sure I can recall every book I read this past year as I don't keep an official list. But I will share some of those that especially touched me, those that made me sigh in gratitude when I turned the final page. I also discovered a new favorite author this past month. You can be sure she will be on my MUST READ list for future stories. Here goes - not in any particular order:

730428_1_ftcThe Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner

This story is set in both San Diego and Florence, Italy. The author did an awesome job of helping me see both places and gave me a new appreciation for all things artistic. I became so enthralled with Florence that it is now on my "places to visit someday" list. The characterization in this story is wonderful, and Susan Meissner has a flare for the poetic that I only dream of mimicking someday. She challenges the writer in me, and when I found another book she had written buried on my bookshelf (which has too many "to-be-reads" on it), I was thrilled. I also devoured A Seahorse in the Thames a few weeks after reading The Girl in the Glass. You seriously don't want to miss this author or this book. It is not "overtly" Christian, but the author is a Christian and she wrote a great story! I hope you enjoy it too.

364476All in Good Time by Maureen Lang

Maureen has long been one of my favorite authors and a dear friend. At one time we were critique partners too, for which I am extremely grateful! In All in Good Time, Dessa Caldwell and Henry Hawkins come to life as real people with passions and secrets that could either draw them together or ruin them for good. The story is set in the gilded era, which is also just plain fun! Maureen Lang has a delightful flair for romance with depth. I look forward to more from one of my favorite authors!

The Pocket Watch by Kathleen Rouser

This story is one of a novella collection set at the turn of the 20th Century. The author is a long-time friend, so I was anxious to read her story (and skipped ahead to read it first!). It is a lovely story with memorable characters that will warm your heart. I would have liked to have seen the novella turned into a full length book because I think it would be fun to explore more of the backgrounds of these characters. I look forward to more books by Kathy in the future.

One Perfect Day by Lauraine Snelling

I mentioned this book a few months ago on my blog, but I wanted to add it here again because it was the first book I have read by this author. It will not be my last. Lauraine took a painful subject and showed it from both sides, the devastating and the miraculous and made both stories utterly believable. I love a book that challenges me to better characterization and draws me immediately into the story. You won't want to miss this one.

683769Iscariot by Tosca Lee

Iscariot is not your typical biblical novel, but then Judas Iscariot was not your typical man. Tosca Lee brings this character so to life that you will wonder, given the same situation, if you might not have been tempted to believe as he believed, to act as he acted, to force a change you thought should come. I had the privilege of endorsing this book, which does tend toward the edgy side, but not without purpose. The author gives us a glimpse of Jesus as seen through the eyes of a traitor. Evocative read.

405590Harvest of Gold by Tessa Afshar

I had the privilege of endorsing this book too! Tessa and I share the same agent and she has become an online friend, who just happens to love the Bible and biblical fiction as much as I do. This story is set in Nehemiah's day and is the second book in a series surrounding Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. The author is very familiar with Persia, so her ancient Persian depictions take you there. Her characters will linger in your mind long after the book ends.

I posted a longer list in October 2013 under "On My Bookshelf". Be sure to check out those titles as well.

A sneak peek at my current reads include:

Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

When Godly People Do UnGodly Things by Beth Moore.

Happy reading!