By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer
I read a lot. No surprise, right?
Today I’m sharing some of my favorite reads from 2018. All are what I consider to be uplifting. That doesn’t mean character lives are trouble-free. Far from it! But the end results are redemptive. That’s important to me, because people renew their minds by what they read.
Most of what I read is fiction: historical, contemporary, romance, romantic-suspense, a little action/intrigue, and Westerns.
However, I’m also reading a great nonfiction book at the moment, The Good and Beautiful God, by James Bryan Smith, so I’m going to squeeze it in first and then continue with the fiction titles.
The Good and Beautiful God addresses some of our personal narratives or stories we’ve picked up about God. Not all those narratives are healthy or accurate. When we focus on the narrative of Jesus, we get a better picture and learn how to do things differently, more easily, with greater motivation and less guilt. Changes in our everyday lives follow. I’m excited about the possibilities revealed through this book, and I hope you’ll pick up a copy of your own.
The Miracle of Mercy Land, by River Jordan. The author’s storytelling was as strong as I’d heard, and I deeply enjoyed this unusual tale of origin, choices, community and love – with just a glimpse of time beyond time.
Christmas Charity, by Susan G. Mathis – Set in 1864, This sweet Christmas novella builds hope in the heart of those dealing with difficult family relations as the heroine, Susan Hawkins, discovers that unconditional love is all she can use to bring harmony to her new home and family.
Sons of Blackbird Mountain, by Joanne Bischof – Bischof does not disappoint. She sweeps the reader away to a different time and place where one can smell and see and hear everything in the setting. The three sons in this story are each flawed, but so is Aven, the delicate, strong-willed heroine. I love these characters and their struggles, and Bischof’s handling of their lives.
To Whisper Her Name, by Tamera Alexander – Alexander’s gripping characterization led me to believe she was writing about real people, and that I knew them. I am frequently caught up in her character development which deepens the story every time. I was eager to read the end of this one, yet I didn’t want it to end – a conflict nearly as piercing as conflicts in the story.
The Marshall of Medicine Lodge, by Stan Lynde – Another Merlin Fanshaw tale from a great Western writer. Racism, economic prejudice, and vigilante arrogance keep young Fanshaw on his toes. I hope this fictional cowboy character is riding the hills of heaven when I get there. There’s a lot I want to ask him.
Kevin Leman and Jeff Nesbit’s political/family trilogy, A Perfect Ambition, A Powerful Secret, and A Primary Decision. The first book snagged me enough that I had to order book two, then three. Of course Leman and Nesbit are fabulous authors when it comes to spinning a tale, but I loved the way birth order figured into the plot. Or not. No spoilers here. If you like contemporary intrigue, you’ll enjoy all three.
Warrior’s Seal, by Ronie Kendig – Special Forces, nonstop action, a presidential kidnapping, biblical artifacts, and terrorists. Yeah. Kendig’s introductory novella to the Tox Files series had me reading about this alpha hero as fast as I could.
The Wedding Shop, by Rachel Hauck – Another gripping story in “The Wedding…” group. Hauck’s ability to transport the reader from present to past and back again is unparalleled. And just when I think I have the plot figured out, she throws in a surprise that has me laughing or cheering or crying. I loved seeing the unforced, organic way the Lord worked in the lives of these characters.
Together at the Table, by Hillary Manton Lodge – This endearing search for family history and true love left me wanting to be a part of the big crazy bunch of restaurateurs and take my own trip to France.
Windswept, by Julie Carobini – Sometimes I just want to go to the beach, you know? But I live in Colorado. My solution? I read Julie Carobini and I’m never disappointed. The main characters work at overcoming incidents from their pasts that threaten to flavor their futures in negative ways. If you want to “get away” this winter, grab a copy of Windswept, feel the sea breeze and warm sun, and find out more about these intriguing people.
Enter for a chance to win a copy of my contemporary romance, The Miracle Tree, by commenting below with the title of a book you read last year and enjoyed. Contest opened until midnight (MT) Saturday, Feb. 16.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).Great reads and a giveaway! Click To Tweet
Watch for The Miracle Tree, coming soon on Audible!
(c) 2019 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved.