21 December 2013

Teresa S. Mathews' 2013 Favorite Books

This year has been filled with lots of amazing books; here is a list of some of my favorite ones.

A Most Peculiar Circumstance by Jen Turano

Jen Turano is a great writer with a fabulous sense of humor.
I fell in love with her books when I read the first one in this series, A Change of Fortune. These next two books in the series continue with characters we meet in the previous books. If you like Heroines that just can't seem to stay out of trouble, and of course they have to be rescued by a handsome Hero, then this is a series you MUST read! 

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A Talent for Trouble by Jen Turano

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Burning Sky by Lori Benton
In this outstanding novel by Lori Benton we are introduced to a beautiful girl named Willa Obenchain, who was captured by Indians and renamed Burning Sky. Forced by circumstances to return to her white family, will she find she no longer belongs there? This captivating story held me spellbound to the very end.

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Dance From Deep Within by Dina Sleiman
The only words I can use to describe this tremendous book is....it is a must-read.
Dina Sleiman weaves a story of three college-aged young ladies that are each searching for something deeper. One an all-american ballerina who is disillusioned by harsh religion. Another a beautiful Muslim girl that knows there has to be more than what she has been taught. The third a free-spirited "hippie" who is searching for more than the mundane life she has lived in her short years.

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Elusive Hope by MaryLu Tyndall
This is a new series by MaryLu Tyndall and what an amazing series this is! Not only did I love the characters and of course the descriptive writing MaryLu is famous for, I learned a history lesson. I have lived in South Carolina all my life and I had never heard of the exodus of hundreds of Southerners to Brazil after the Civil War. If you have or even if you haven't ever read a book by Ms. Tyndall this is the perfect series for you to read. It's like taking a mini-vacation to Brazil with a whole set of friends. The Second Book continues the story after they have established their new colony and I will tell you there is some many strange goings on in that jungle! 
You DO NOT want to miss this series!

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Forsaken Dreams by MaryLu Tyndall

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Heaven Is Not far by Marian Baay
This is our very own sweet Marian's debut novel and let me tell you I love her like a daughter and she really made "mom" proud. This is a heart stirring love story of a young couple barely married when the husband decides God has called him to fight in the Civil War. Has he made the right choice and will he survive to return to his true love that is waiting for him? 

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Love's Awakening by Laura Frantz
In this second book in the Ballantyne Series, we meet beautiful Ellie Ballantyne, youngest daughter of Silas and Eden, whom we met in book one Love's Reckoning.
Ellie leaves finishing school and is stranded by a storm with seemingly no way to get home when finds herself rescued by not none other than Jack Turlock, a member of the infamous Turlock clan! Could it be possible Jack has changed or is Ellie just dreaming of a love that can never happen? If you have ever read a book by Laura Frantz you know what a treasure it is and this one is no exception to that. I have never picked up one of Ms Frantz books and found myself bored with it after a few pages, she has a talent to bring the tale to life while you are reading it.

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Return to Shirley Plantation by Carrie Fancett Pagels
This debut story by our sweet Carrie is nothing short of fantastic!! It is the tale of a beautiful freed slave that could pass for white that has the chance to leave Shirley Plantation before the war comes to her doorstep but chooses to stay and try to free her niece and nephew so she can take them with her. After Shirley Plantation is taken over and used as a field hospital for the wounded Angelina meets Matthew Scott son of a Copperhead that was conscripted into the Confederate Army. Can they find happiness in the midst of war and will Matthew find the answers to questions he has about his family at Shirley Plantation?

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Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer
Oh my goodness what exciting books Karen Witemeyer writes! This is the sequel to Short-Straw Bride, and in it we learn more of the handsome brother Crocket, preacher man of the Archer clan! When he is kidnapped from a train by outlaws he has no idea he is to be introduced to a beautiful young lady, Joanna Robbins whose only birthday wish is a Preacher! Will Crockett be able to help make her dreams come true or will he continue on to the church interview he had been headed too?

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Strand of Deception by Robin Carrol
There is nothing I like better than a good suspense and Robin Caroll is a master of it! In this Justice Seeker book we find a prominent Tennessee politician's daughter has gone missing and later found dead. SAC Nick Hagar and Forensic Specialist in DNA; Maddie Baxter team up to find the killer. Maddie is horrified to think it could he the man that broke her heart! During the investigation Maddie finds she is being stalked by someone intent on harming and possibly killing her. Can Agent Hagar keep Maddie safe and can Maddie keep her heart safe from this handsome man?  If you need a little something to rev you up then grab this and sit back and hold on to the edge of your seat!

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Vanished by Irene Hannon
Irene Hannon is another master storyteller that will have you hanging on for dear life when reading her books and this one was no exception to that rule. Reporter Moira Harrisons is lost on a back road in the pouring rain (perfect scary beginning) when out of nowhere a woman is standing in the road in front of her. Trying to avoid hitting her Moira is forced to serve and ends up in a ditch and promptly passes out, When help arrives and she tells her story no one believes her because the young woman is no where to be found. Did Moira only think she saw someone? Moira is not convinced she imagined the woman so she hires a private investigator to help her sort out what happened. What they discover could cost Moira her life! What a wonderful story this was, Irene is a pro at snatching your attention from the first page until the very end! 

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Widow of Gettysburg by Jocelyn Green

Jocelyn Green certainly knows how to write a heart-wrenching book. This story will take you through the horrors of the Battle of Gettysburg and the days that followed as seen through the eyes of a young Union widow, Liberty Holloway. When the first shots of that horrific battle started Liberty had no clue before the day was over she would find herself caring for the wounded and dying Confederate Soldiers. Jocelyn's descriptions were so intense it was like you could almost hear the sounds of the gunfire and smell the smoke, it was a hard book to put down. If you like Civil War tales, then you shouldn't miss this one!

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Love at Any Cost by Julie Lessman
The amazing Julie Lessman once again has swept me off my feet with a brand new series set in San Francisco. I was so sad to tell the O'Connors goodbye but I knew Julie would make the transition to a new family I would fall in love with an easy one. Cassidy McClare trying to get over being jilted by a no-good fortune hunter, heads west to visit with family in California. As soon as she gets there she runs into Jamie McKenna, another man seeking to marry well but little does he know she is as poor as he is!! What a great tale this was...Julie had my heart pumping on more than one occasion, as only Julie can do!! The Second book in this series Dare to Love Again, is scheduled to release in January and I can't wait to get my hands on it!! 

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The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson
If you love fairy tales and happy-ever-afters then you have to read Melanie's books. The Captive Maiden is Melanie's spin on Cinderella. What an amazing story it is; Gisela's life hasn't been the same since her dear father died and left her in the care of her wicked step-mother. Gisela has daydreamed since a little girl of being rescued by the handsome Lord Valten. After a chance meeting in the marketplace could it be possible Valten could care for her, or will the plans of her step-mother forever ruin her chances for happy-ever-after?
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GIVEAWAY: We are giving away a paperback copy of Karen Witemeyer's Stealing the Preacher to one lucky person who tells me THEIR favorite book for 2013. (US Residents Only). Don't forget to include your email address! 

44 comments:

  1. I have some of the same books on my list and some different as well! Great choices, T! What a year it has been for fantastic books, huh?

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  2. DIANA you are so right!! So many books and so little time! If only I lived on a quiet tropical island where all I had to do was read! :-)

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  3. What a wonderful books on your list, T. And what an honor to see my humble story among all those great names!!! :)
    Thank you! Love you!!

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    1. MARIAN I couldn't leave out my daughter's book! I loved it and you know mom loves you!! :-)

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  4. Wow, what did I deserve to have two spots in your list, Teresa?? And I haven't heard of some of those other ones! My goodness... they look great! I feel like you and Diana... I need more TIME for reading!! Have a wonderful Christmas, Ladies!!!

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    1. MARYLU I am so delighted I was able to read BOTH of your absolutely marvelous books this year! I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for us when the next book in this series comes out.

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    2. We love you, MaryLu! Merry Christmas!

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    3. I love you ladies too!!! Merry Christmas!

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  5. thank you for a chance to win one of theses books i do love to read and review
    Shirley B jcisforme@aol.com

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    1. Hi Shirley thanks for coming by! Do you have a favorite book you read this year?

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  6. Dear Teresa, You've given me an early Christmas gift with your list - so many fine authors represented! Thanks from the bottom of my heart for your faithful support and the gift of encouragement you have - not to mention the lovely way you craft your reviews!!

    Praying this is the best Christmas ever for you and your loved ones and everyone here. Thank you.
    In Him,
    Laura

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    1. Oh LAURA! What a blessing you are to me! I am humbled to be able to read your books and write a review for them! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and an incredibly Happy New Year!

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  7. Great list! I'm falling behind-have a few of these to catch up on!
    thanks Teresa!

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    1. Hi DEBRA I know exactly what you mean! lol

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  8. Thanks so much, Teresa :) I'm honored to be on your list with such wonderful writers.

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    1. DINA I was so touched by Dance From Deep Within I HAD to include it! Thank you so much for letting me be a beta reader for it! :-)

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  9. I love your list, Teresa, and will be adding some of your favorites to my TBR list. I have read so many wonderful books; how can I possibly choose a favorite! I will say that MY HOPE IS FOUND by Joanne Bischof was one of my very favorites this year. The Cadence of Grace series is extraordinary and I loved all three books!!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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    1. BRITTNEY I'm so glad to hear you will be adding some of these to your TBR list. Joanne's books sound so wonderful I am going to have to get to them really soon! Thanks for sharing with us!! Merry Christmas!!

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  10. Return to shirley plantation ~ Carrie Fancett Pagals
    Linda Finn
    faithfulacresbooks@gmail.com

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    1. LINDA So glad you loved Carrie's book! :-) Thanks for sharing with us!

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    2. LINDA, that is SO sweet!!! I just saw this--you loved mine best. Wow. That is amazing. God bless you!!!

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  11. SO many wonderful books to choose from! Some of those on your list, are on my TBR list (& some of the books, I already have), Teresa. My most favorite, of the books I read in 2013, was published in 2012: "A Light in the Window", by Julie Lessman. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

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    1. BONTON Oh that is a wonderful book, I read it last year and was excited to find out how the O'Connors' love story began! Thanks for sharing with me your favorite book!

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  12. All right, Teresa, what a great list! The only ones I have in common with you are Jen Turano's books, Marian's debut and Carrie's book, will be posting my list next week :) MaryLu's books and Irene Hannon's book are definitely on my TBR list, soooo many great books to read and sooooo little time :) Gotta love EACH of these authors, their stories are so wonderful! Hugs and happy reading to you, Teresa!
    *not an entry*

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    1. yay you added more! I LOOOOOOVED The Captive Maiden and Julie's book is also on my TBR list, nicely done on this list Teresa :)

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    2. KARA I have been a little sleep deprived lately and when I looked back over my list last night I was smacking myself because I had left JULIE and MELANIE off my list!!! lol COULD NOT leave them off!! Thanks for coming by, it's always a joy when you drop in!!

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  13. Hmm...favorite book--usually my favorite book is the one I am currently reading or just finished. ;-) Right now I am still reading A Passion most Pure by Julie Lessman which I am enjoying--just seems to be taking me too long, because I keep getting interrupted. I hope to finish it up in the next day or so. Put me into the drawing please.
    Vicki

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    1. VICKI you made me giggle with that first sentence...spoken by a true book lover! I absolutely adore JULIE's books and APMP was the first one I read and when I discovered them at the library the first three were already out so I grabbed them up and devoured them!!! :-) Thanks for sharing with us!!

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  14. Hey TERESA - some great books there! I've read 10 out of your 15 which means there are 5 I will want to read!! Plus the hundred or so on my TBR list... Can I join you on that deserted island please?? :)

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    1. HI SISSY!! I would LOVE for you to join me and what fun we would have...we would have to compare our TBR lists first so we wouldn't bring all the same books then we could swap them out and have twice as many to read! Sounds like a plan to me!!! lol :-P

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  15. I think MaryLu's newest one is my top favorite this year, but most of the others come pretty close! What a great list you have. I am happy to say I have most of them! Don't enter me - I already have that fabulous book. :)

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    1. SUSAN thanks so much for coming by and sharing your favorite. I have to agree that MARYLU's ELUSIVE HOPE was out-of-this-world good!!! I don't know how I can wait for the next one...I may have to start over reading her books until then, especially her Pirate Series! ~swoon~ lol Boy does she know how to write a Pirate Book....her men make me say Cap'n Jack Sparrow...WHO???? lol

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  16. Merry Christmas, TERESA! Thanks so much for including my books - I'm delighted you enjoyed them:) Wishing you and yours a very joyful Christmas and peace for the New Year.

    All the very best,

    ~ Jen ~

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    1. HI JEN I hope you have the best CHRISTMAS ever and a fabulous NEW YEAR with lots of new books for me to read! :-)

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  17. It is so difficult to pick one. All are great books. I am reading Jocelyn's book now so I will choose that one; I still have 4 left on my reading list., the rest I have read and loved them. Thank you
    mcnuttjem0(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. JACKIE thanks for sharing your favorites with us...Widow of Gettysburg was so good, I had a hard time putting it down.

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  18. My favorite books for the year are:

    “Courage to Change” by Elizabeth Maddrey

    “Harriet Beamer Strikes Gold” by Joyce Magnin

    “Critical Reaction” by Todd M. Johnson

    ischu9(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. TICKMENOT thanks for sharing those great books. I haven't read either of them, I'll have to check them out.

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  19. Burning Sky was my favorite followed by A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. PATTY great choices in books! I loved Burning Sky and A Noble Groom! Thanks for sharing! :-)

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  20. TERESA, WHEW!! SOOOOO glad I'm on this list, my friend, but close call!! ;) I have to laugh at how similar our tastes are because we ALWAYS agree on so many of the same books!!

    GREAT LIST and THANK YOU!!!
    Julie

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  21. Thanks you so much for including Book 1 in my Private Justice series, "Vanished," on your list, Teresa. What a nice Christmas present!

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  22. Oh, that is a difficult question! I just finished "Finally a Bride" by Renee Ryan (very good!) and am currently reading MaryLu Tyndall's "Elusive Hope" (also very good!). I also enjoyed "The Measure of Katie Calloway" by Serena Miller and Julie Klassen's and Jody Hedlund's books.

    chillirosen@hotmail.com

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  23. Teresa, I am so honored to be on your list. You are such a blessing to me and I am so glad my novella blessed you! It is wonderful to be in such esteemed company including so many of my favorite authors and their books!!! Wowee wow wow!!!! XOXOXOXO Carrie

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