Friday, December 30, 2016

Top 16 of 2016

TOP 16 OF 2016

I always do a Top pick of the books I have read throughout the year to match the year. The further we get into the century though I may have to change that. Maybe I'll change it up once it is 2021. That way I can get to the Top 20 of 2020! So here you go, my Top 16 picks of 2016:
The last book in this series. I was sad to see it end, but the wrap-up was great!
I thought this was a return to the "old Dee Henderson" way of writing. Looking forward to the next book in the series.
I really liked the beginning of this new series. 
Irene Hannon always writes great novels and I definitely enjoyed this Men of Valor series.
I loved this series! It took me long enough to get to it, but once I started reading I read the whole series!

I love anything written by Karen Witemeyer
I love this series and this was a great finale!
Susan Sleeman is definitely one of my favorite authors. And really how can I not love her since she quotes me on the cover of this book! 
I got to meet Keli Gwyn on my vacation out in CA this year. She is a delight! I love her books!
The sequel to Haunting Joy was wonderful! If Lena writes it, I'm going to read it!
This one hit close to home as it is about a group of senior citizens. I'm getting closer to that age! I loved this story and it introduces us to the town of Finley which is featured in the Forever Finley series(see # 3)
I love the First Responders series and the Love Inspired Suspense line is one of my favorites. And of course Susan Sleeman!
I loved this story! It was heart-wrenching, it made me cry and it made me laugh. An excellent YA novel
This came out in monthly installments and I absolutely loved the town of Finley and all of the things about the Amos and Finley legend. Each monthly installment had it's own cover, and this is the whole compilation all in one book.
Julie Lessman y'all! She absolutely has to be on my list every year and she didn't disappoint with this novel!
The first in the River of Time California du-ology. I loved it!

The final book in The River of Time series? Maybe? Love, love loved it!

Yes, I have 2 number 1 picks! I loved them both equally and so I couldn't choose which one I wanted as number 1. I highly recommend all of the authors on my list. I loved every one of the books that I read on my 2016 list. This is why it is hard for me to narrow my choice down to Top 10. I didn't make my 2016 reading goal on Goodreads this year, but I sure enjoyed all of the books that I read. Looking forward to see what the world of reading brings me this coming year of 2017.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

For Fun: My Life According to Literature 2016

Kara over at Flowers of Quiet Happiness posted this on her blog and I thought it looked fun so I'm going to try it. My post for Top 16 of 2016 comes out tomorrow so I thought this was a good wrap up for the year. Using the books that I have read in 2016:

Describe yourself: MILES LEFT YET(Holly Schindler)

How do you feel today: A HOME OF HER OWN(Keli Gwyn)I would love a home of my own, at the moment we are a houseful of 7 with 3 dogs and a cat. Our daughter and her family moved in in October after they sold their house. They have been waiting to close on a piece of property with a mobile home on it. That happens today. We have enjoyed this time with them and still love them!

Describe where you currently live: A CASTLE IN THE SKY(Miranda Atchley)

If you could go anywhere, you would go to: FOUR WINDS(Lisa T. Bergren)

Your favorite form of transportation: PONY EXPRESS HERO (Rhonda Gibson)

Your best friend is: NO OTHER WILL DO (Karen Witemeyer)

You and your friends are: THE NEWSMAKERS (Lis Wiehl)

What's the weather like: CHRISTMAS CONSPIRACY (Susan Sleeman) It has been unseasonably warm. But next week the big arctic blast arrives...or so they say.

You fear: THE CANDIDATE(Lis Wiehl) I guess we have picked our person and I don't really fear him, I fear for our country because we have turned our back on God.

What's the best advice you have to give: A GLIMMER OF HOPE(Julie Lessman)

Thought for the day: BREATHE(Lisa T. Bergren)

How would you like to die: ONLY THE HEART KNOWS (Lena Goldinch)

Your soul's present condition: LOVE EVERLASTING (Julie Lessman) Jesus is my love everlasting. My hope for you today is that you too will find that everlasting love that only HE can offer you.

So, how fun was that? I enjoyed reviewing all of the books I read and finding just the right one to go with each question. If you decide to do this post a comment with a link to your blog, I would love to read it! 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Only The Heart Knows by Lena Goldfinch

Mandy isn’t happy when her mother tells her that in order to find a husband she is going to need to move to Denver with her Aunt and Uncle. Mandy’s mother thinks that Mandy has belittled all of the men in Cross Creek through the years and must find new prospects out of the area.

Through the years Mandy has often felt put down by the boys she has grown up with. After all, boys don’t like a girl who is taller than them and can out-perform them.

Adam has inherited his uncle’s ranch. He’s needed a lot of advice to learn how to run the ranch since he was a banker by trade. So Adam has taken to anonymously writing to Ask Mack of the current newspaper in the area. Ask Mack is an advice column for men on ranching and nothing else.

Adam is attracted to Mandy and vice-versa, but they both have some insecurities and one is holding a secret that may not settle too well with the other. Can they set aside their misconceptions and misunderstandings and both find they were meant for each other?

Only The Heart Knows; it was a sweet romantic read. I enjoyed reading as both characters developed and matured and found their way. There were a couple of scenes that had me laughing out loud as well as more serious tones that delved deeper into insecurities that the characters had. Mandy and Adam were perfect for each other and the story had a very satisfying Happily Ever After that left me with a smile on my face.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Intermission by Serena Chase

Madeleine Faith (Faith to her family) wants to become a Broadway actress. Being a part of a family that looks down on the "artsy" is making it rather difficult for her to achieve that dream. When she meets Noah Spencer there is an instant connection between the two. Noah is 3 years older than her and set to go to London to study at The London Academy of Musical Theatre. That is, IF he gets accepted.

Faith's parents have never accepted the fact that Faith desires to study music. Faith feels that she can do no right in their eyes. Living in her two older siblings shadow Faith refuses to give up her dreams.

Playing Leisl and Rolf in a community production of The Sound of Music only brings Noah and Faith closer together. After the production they wish to date, but Faith's parents will have none of that. Especially Faith's mother. She won't even hear of meeting Noah. She does everything in her power to keep Faith and Noah apart. Will Noah and Faith be able to hold on or will they drift apart?

I absolutely loved this story! I love "young love" stories anyway, but add in all of the hurdles that Noah and Madeleine Faith had to face only added to the special-ness of this book. So many emotions were felt throughout the reading of this story. I felt like I was part of the story. Faith's heartache was so heart-wrenching and yet her ability to hold on was admirable and caused a big smile to come across this readers face. Faith's mom is totally over the top crazy! I found myself wanting to jump into the story and defend Faith! I wanted to go rescue Faith. So many things kept me turning the pages and totally engrossed in what was happening between Faith and Noah. This is the perfect YA novel that features young love, family angst, faith and triumph. At the risk of gushing, I will just say once more, I absolutely loved this story and highly recommend it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Four Winds by Lisa T. Bergren

Four Winds picks up where Three Wishes left off. It seems that Zara Ruiz is now permanently stuck in 1840 with Javier de la Ventura and his family. Just as she is becoming aware of her love for Javier she is kidnapped by pirates! Javier will stop at nothing to get Zara back and Zara will stop at nothing to become free. Will this experience show Zara and Javier that their love is not meant to be and that Zara must return to her own time?

From the very beginning of the book the reader is taken on a fast-paced adventure! I was transported to 1840 along with Zara and felt her struggles. I love her character. She is strong, young and vibrant. And Javier? Oh my! They are perfect for each other. I love the passion that they both have, not just for each other(although there is plenty of that!), but their passion for life, their passion to preserve their faith and their family and their land. It was fun to be taken to another era where danger and chivalry abounded! I'm definitely part of the River Tribe fandom!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

One Fateful Christmas Eve by Holly Schindler

Mallory is an editor for Bib Books, a metaphysical publishing house. But her dream job is working for one of the Big 5 publishing houses. This Christmas Eve she has an opportunity to land that job. It seems that fate, which Mallory doesn't believe in, has other ideas for her though.

Graham Kendall's book is the first book that Bib has had on the best-seller list. He and Mallory have worked hard to make it there. Mallory has worked at keeping their relationship professional even though there is something about Graham that seems to touch a part of her heart.

From the moment Mallory leaves work on Christmas Eve it seems that fate is against her. Or so it seems to Mallory. Through a series of mishaps and disasters Mallory finally sees what has been right in front of her all along.

One Fateful Christmas Eve was a sweet Christmas read and I enjoyed it very much. I loved the lessons that Mallory learned throughout her evening. I enjoyed her eyes slowly being opened to the idea that people are more than what they wear or what their circumstances are. If you are looking for a quick, thought provoking, sweet read for Christmas then definitely check this one out!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Forever Finley Finale by Holly Schindler

The final two stories are in this installment of the Forever Finley Short Story Cycle. The first story is Pale November. In it Patricia Steele has just found out some terrible news. It seems to Mark though that nobody is interested in what is happening to Patricia. Has all that Mark has done to help promote the legend of Amos and Finley been for nothing? Not only is Mark feeling the change that is coming to Finley, others are feeling it too. There is a sense of doom coming to the town of Finley and those that sense its coming don't know what to do about it.

So exciting to be closing in on the finale of Amos and Finley's story! I loved Pale November! It seems that the town has forgotten the hope that believing in Amos and Finley's story used to produce. Mark seems especially disgruntled by this. He is determined to revive the town spirit once again and show Patricia that people in Finley care about what happens to each other. I love that message of everyone coming together to support someone in need. Amos and Finley are still trying to unite in the afterlife, but in Pale November you can feel them coming closer together. We also see in Pale November that miracles still do happen and that Finley is still working her magic.

The last story in the series, December Bells, had so many "feels" in it for me!!! Certain people in Finley are hearing noises. For each one it is different, but the feeling that the noises bring is the same...something bad is going to happen soon! It is just a few short weeks to Natalie and Damien's wedding. Will the town be able to put everything together for their wedding? And what about Finley's lace shawl that Natalie wanted to wear for her wedding? Will it ever be found? And will Amos and Finley ever be reunited in the afterlife? We find out all of the answers by the end of the story, and believe me I sighed a happy/sappy sigh when it was all over! The perfect ending for the perfect magical couple. I absolutely loved the whole Short Story Cycle.

While I enjoyed reading one story per month throughout the year, The Forever Finley short stories now are available all in one book in either paperback or for your Kindle. You can purchase it from Amazon.

If you enjoy stories set in small towns, if you enjoy magical/mystical stories, if you enjoy a romance that goes beyond this lifetime, if you enjoy stories of people helping out their neighbors, then step into the town of Finley and be carried away by the legend of Amos and his love Finley.

Check out my reviews of the other installments of this book:

Come December
January Thaw
Forget February
Dearest March
April's Promise
Mayday Mayday Mayday
Chasing June
A Hundred Julys
Under The August Moon
Song For September
October Omen


Miles Left Yet where the town of Finley is introduced.