01 January 2015

Noela's 2014 Favorites!


Here are some of my FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2014!! Click on the Title of the book if you would like to purchase any of these amazing books! They are listed in order of publication. Enjoy!

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Here you have a woman who aims to keep herself invisible by disguising herself as a man, and a man on the political trail who really should be distancing himself from this intriguing woman! Before they know it, both their lives are turned upside down and find their faith truly tested. The unpredictability throughout this entertaining novel will keep you reading as you revel in watching this couple find each other, God, and their life's purpose.
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At a time of great unrest a few years prior to the American Revolution, one woman captures the hearts of two men on opposing sides. This is a thoroughly engaging, romantic, and dramatic novel that also demonstrates how we can all make a difference in this world.
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Jocelyn expressively pens an emotive journey into the Civil War era that encompasses families torn apart; terrifying riots; gnawing hunger; and other sorrows. But mostly it is an entrancing story of hope and achingly beautiful love amidst such destruction, and the survival and victory of the battle-worn yet courageous heart and spirit.
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Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer
‘Full Steam Ahead’ ploughs through the stream of historical novels, delivering a story loaded with fascinating history about the devastating steamboat disasters in the mid 1800’s due to boiler explosions, and a romance with intoxicating love that leaves Mr. Darcy in its wake!
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Spurred by mounting curiosity, Iris Moon rows out to the lighthouse to meet the mysterious Keeper under the guise of delivering a Christmas basket from some of the local community. Upon doing so, she finds he remains an even greater enigma but one that now haunts her thoughts and dreams. This beautiful and highly memorable story exudes atmosphere and mystery, while touching your heart and spirit.
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The tensions and danger on Michilimackinac Island gradually escalate after the British took control, with food becoming scarce and loyalties divided. The dashing and humorously egotistical voyager Pierre Durant returns home to his island to find his mother in need, and feelings arising for his childhood friend – now grown up and beautiful but betrothed to his brother. This is an intriguing read with with heart-in-throat danger, a breathtaking romance, enjoyable dialogue and uplifting messages!
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 Something very sinister lurks in the lush jungle of Brazil where the colonists have made their home, and it is up to them to face and conquer this evil before it unleashes upon the world. This jungle paradise hosts an adventure and characters so rich, intriguing, and powerful, that this will be forever imprinted in your mind. The descriptions, suspense, and romance are second to none!
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 The Ballantyne’s most valued river pilot, James Sackett, develops a secret affection for the Ballantyne’s heir, the enchanting Wren. Given the responsibility of being her escort at her coming out in society, proves tougher than he ever imagined. But his questionable heritage and the grim danger that pursues him, leaves James no choice. Mesmerizing, breathtaking, and sublime!
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 Invigorating, passionate, and dramatic, ‘Hearts in Defiance’ is a compulsive page-turning adventure of love and danger in the old west. Author Heather Blanton has masterfully penned a novel that comprises the horrors of Indian savagery, along with a breathtaking romance charged with an electrifying chemistry, and glued together with the message that God has made us a new creation and overcomers no matter our past! An epic tale that has 3 romances in the one story!
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Finding Mercy (MercyMedallion Trilogy, Book 2) by Michael Landon Jr. & Cindy Kelley
‘Finding Mercy’ was the perfect sequel to ‘Traces of Mercy’ in maintaining a fresh and original plot with eye-popping surprises and memorable characters. These outstanding stories unfold to be an epic not-to-be missed account of a woman that served in the war as a man and subsequently lost her memory, but ultimately finds herself. These movie-script calibre novels seize your attention immediately with thrilling suspense and drama, followed closely by generous doses of intrigue, danger, and romance. Masterful story-telling!
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This was a WOW book for me this year! Rippling with passions, drama, and evolving faith, this exquisite novel delivers two agonizing romances that will take your breath away. One is a fractured couple that have a substantial barrier of broken trust between them. And the other features a young woman that has gone through an amazing physical transformation and meets up with her closest childhood friend whom she cares deeply for, but soon discovers that he only thinks of her as a little sister. Or does he? Read this book, and series, if you love irresistible and wise-cracking characters, masterful levels of prose, and a fun, deeply inspiring and touching story.
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Tears of the Sea by MaryLu Tyndall
‘Tears of the Sea’ is a spell-binding fantasy tale containing a powerful allegory of the gospel. A woman cursed to live as a mermaid forever except for one month every decade, seeks the only thing that can break her torment. A man that will love her enough to die for her. Could she have possibly found that man with Savion Ryne? But what happens when she actually falls in love with this enigma of a man… Will she allow her only true love to give his life for her? Even if you don’t normally read fantasy, you will love this incredibly stirring and thrilling story, exquisitely written with sublime descriptions and heart-rending passion! Look for clever anagrams and cryptic names throughout!
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‘The Petticoat Detective’ shoots with a heartrending reality as Amy, the female Pinkerton detective finds herself working undercover in a bordello while trying to crack the case she’s working on. Enter a former Texas Ranger by the name of Tom, who’s also looking for clues and enlists Amy’s help while unaware of her true identity. Fantastic secondary characters, a plot that keeps you guessing, inspiring messages, and brilliant humour threaded throughout… are just a few of the reasons why this book is a winner!

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A few of my FAVORITE NOVELLA'S of 2014!


A must-read; this modern-day retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast, was intensely heart-stirring and inspiring! It features a man suffering from PTSD whose story is both raw and heart-rending. Can he ever become a whole person again though he is missing limbs? Can such a damaged man find love and peace in his pain?










Londonderry Dreaming is an enjoyable and sweet tale of friendship and forgiveness, of the rekindling of love, and of the importance of communication. It is a journey that takes the reader to both Ireland and the US to rediscover faith in God and in the power of love. An engaging and enchanting Irish love story!










We know war is brutal and often void of hope and life. But Marian Baay’s Civil War romance, ‘The Officer’s Daughter’, brings a burst of light to the dark ugliness of the Civil War. In this highly engaging novella, we read of a sweet and unexpected romance found on the battlefield – the last place one would ever imagine to find love!







A well-educated and cocky lumberjack, a pretty camp cook who wants to leave, a spicy romance, and a nourishing spiritual message are just a handful of the ingredients making up this mouth-watering and engaging novella. Yum! You’ll find the rich historical insights permeating this story, fascinating and well-researched, bringing the yesteryear setting alive. And enriching this cozy Christmas tale that’s full of surprises is a reassuring message that reminds us to never give up, because God has a plan for us all! 


I always know I’m going to thoroughly enjoy a story when it’s written by Margaret Brownley, and whether it’s a short story like this or a full-length novel, I’m truly never disappointed! While definitely a sweet, heart-warming romance, ‘The Nutcracker Bride’ is also generously sprinkled with laugh-out-loud humor, and served with morsels of fascinating history and traditions of nutcrackers, creatively dispersed throughout this gift of a story!

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Other special mentions: The Ransom by MaryLu Tyndall; The Wyoming Heir by Naomi Rawlings; A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander; What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer; Fair Play by Deeanne Gist; Butterfly Palace by Colleen Coble; A Bride In Store by Melissa Jagears;  The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall, and Veiled at Midnight by Christine Lindsay!


36 comments:

  1. What a wonderfully exciting list, NOELA! And it's so beautifully posted! Some on your list I have read, others I probably won't ever have the time to get to (unfortunately), and still others are on my TBR in the not-too-distant future! Thank you for your always fantastic reviews and great book recommendations!

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    1. Thank you and bless you Diana!! Don't you just wish we both could read ALL the books on each other's list? ;) Oh for more reading time!!

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  2. Great list, Noela! Again, some of these I have read and others are on my TBR stack/list. The OWG ladies always have great suggestions on books to read and I find that I have a lot in common with all of you as far as favorite authors. So thank you for the great suggestions. Will have to check some of these out! :)

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    1. Angi, you are such a blessing, I hope you know you are truly appreciated and loved by our little OWG family!! Happy reading Angi, you will LOVE all these books! :-)

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  3. Noela, I've only read two of the novels and one of the novellas on your list! Love that I now have even more good books to hopefully read someday. Happy Reading in 2015!!!

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    1. Oh wow, well you have sooo much great reading to look forward to Anne!! :-) All are absolutely top books, have fun Anne! Thanks for coming by to read the list too, you are such a huge blessing to us all!!

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  4. Thanks for the mention, Noela!!! I'm very grateful for your support of my debut novella. It's been a godsend. I recognized a few other wonderful authors on this list. Wonderful company. I'm humbled!

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    1. It's my pleasure Connie! What an amazing debut novella it was too!! God bless you!

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  5. I have read most of these. The ones I have read are wonderful books. I will have to add the other ones to my Amazon wish list. Thanks for the list! Here is to all the wonderful books out there and the new 2015 books to come out this year!

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    1. By the way, I love your heading picture!!

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    2. You're so welcome Regina and yes, how exciting thinking about all the great books set to be released in 2015! Haha I'm glad you enjoyed that picture - that's me in that pic with all of these books! ;) Blessings!

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  6. Noela - thank you for that exquisite list of masterful authors and decadent array of novels and novellas to entertain, educate and inspire!! As with Diane's list - included are books from some of my very fave authors, others I have purchased and are awaiting my time to read them, still others for which my appetite has been whet and are being added to my TBR list. I always love your elegant descriptions/reviews and I love these authors and books!!

    Shared post!!

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    1. Thank you Bonnie! I'm always glad to help whet someones appetite for some great reading material from these amazing authors! ;) You're spot on about these stories inspiring, entertaining, and educating readers. They are a real blessing in so many lives!

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  7. Oh my.. my my.. I'm ecstatic at having two books on your list, Noela! What did I do to deserve such an honor? I'm truly thrilled and humbled and just love you to pieces. (I would love you anyway, even if I wasn't on your list) :-) I do enjoy these end of the year lists because I get some great reading recommendations! And I'm in such good company! Blessings and hugs for the new year to everyone!

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    1. That's an easy question to answer MaryLu... You easily write some of the most incredibly enjoyable and inspiring books there are!! :-) I wanted to add a third, The Ransom, to the list as well, but had to leave some room for others lol. Hugs to you and a very Happy New Year from myself and OWG!

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  8. NOELA!!!! Been off the Internet for a day and a half and come back to this -- being on your list, which is SUCH an honor for me because you and OWG gals are my faves, so if you like my books, I'm grinning ear to ear!!

    And I always have to laugh because you and the OWG gals taste and mine are SO dead-on similar that it makes me smile. Usually I've read every single book on your lists except maybe one or two, so I KNOW you gals have good taste!! ;)

    Love you, my friend, and SO appreciate your support and friendship.

    Hugs and HAPPY NEW YEAR -- I hope it's your BEST ever!!

    Julie

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    1. Hey Julie, that really is such a huge compliment in having the same tastes as you wrote one of the most stand-out books that I read this year! Love you too and appreciate you and your friendship heaps. Hugs and Happy New Year from myself and OWG!!

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  9. Noela! What a fabulous way to start off the new year--this made me squeal with delight!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I'm just thrilled to know that you loved SFAL so much!! And to have my novel among so many other truly fabulous books, wow! I'm on cloud nine! God bless you and thank you again!! Many Hugs!!! Amber

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    1. Amber, you make me smile! I'm honored to have been a little part of your new year celebrations! :) Your novel was pretty fabulous itself my friend, and I'm really looking forward to your new release too!! Blessings and hugs back!!

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  10. Woweewowow!!! Thanks so much Aussie Angel for including The Fruitcake Challenge on your list of faves! It is amazing to be in such stellar company!!! What a delight to share this with my inlaws, too, as we enjoyed our busy last day of family get togethers all day long today. Off to bad a happy camper with this news! Hugs and blessings!!!

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    1. Glad to have sent you off to bed with a smile and hopefully some sweet dreams after your very busy day!! Loved your sweet novella and I'm looking forward to more tasty treats from you next year! Big hugs back Carrie!

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  11. Carrie is so right ~ Aussie Angel you are! And I must say I am SO SMITTEN with your blurb for LF. I so wish I had your fine words as back cover copy for this book! You are a blessing to so many, Noela. Thank you for taking time for my books and including me with so many fine authors here. Thrilled to ring in a New Year with you :)!

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    1. Awww thank you Laura for that blessing - what a thrill to hear you say that about the blurb I wrote for LF! Made my day!! :-) Thank you also for your kind words and sentiments. It was my absolute pleasure to bring in the New Year celebrating some of the best books of 2014!

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  12. Thank you, Noela, for mentioning The Officer's Daughter on your list. To me TOD was very special to write and it is great to see the story on your list of favorites books! Thanks so much for blessing me today. :)

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    1. That's great to hear Marian, because this story was special for me to read! I also feel so privileged to have been with you in the beginning of your amazing writing journey. God bless you, and keep on writing those wonderful stories!!

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  13. Noela, thank you, thank you! I am honored and overjoyed to know you enjoyed The Promise Keeper enough to include it in your favorites list! Wow! And to be listed among such wonderful novels and talented authors is humbling. What an awesome way to start off the New Year! I do really appreciate you reading my book and treasure your kind words. Thank you and God bless you! Happy New Year!

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    1. LIsa, you are so welcome. The Promise Keeper was such a beautiful story and so very memorable, it was a given that it was going to be on my list of 2014 Favorite's!! :-) God bless you too, and Happy New Year!

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  14. Noela,

    Thanks so much for including me in this list of wonderful books and authors! It's awesome to be in the same company as these multi-award-winning-best-selling wonder women, but also hooray for the debut authors! I love it! Thanks for all you do here at OWG to promote Christ-honoring fiction!

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you Regina, that's sweet of you to say! I love 'Christ-honoring' fiction and it really is a honor to share these uplifting and inspiring quality stories with everybody! Blessings Regina and a very Happy New Year!

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  15. Oh Noella, I am thrilled to pieces that Londonderry Dreaming made your list of 2014 favorites. Thank you so much for enjoying it and telling others. What a privilege to be on your list of favorites and Diana Flowers for two of my 2014 books. And to be listed with such wonderful authors such as Julie Lessman, my dear friend MaryLu Tyndall, and so many others just blows my mind. Thank you, thank you. You and the rest of the OWG crew are such dear, dear friends. Hugs to all.

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    1. My pleasure Christine! :-) Thank you for the enjoyment of your wonderful writing!! I wish I could have included 'Veiled at Midnight' in the list as well... It tugged at my heart so much, causing quite a few tears and smiles I have to say. God bless you and your writing, and big hugs back!!

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  16. Oh, my Noela! I feel honored and blessed that two of mine are on your list. Seeing my name listed with so many great writers is a thrill. You gave me the best New Year's of all. I can't thank you enough.

    I've read many of the other books but not all. I need to get busy! Thank you again! Hugs, hugs and more hugs!

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    1. Dear Margaret - your wonderful stories bless and entertain me to no end!! Thank you for writing the perfect stories and thank you for being so sweet!!! Happy New Year and big hugs back also!

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  17. These all sound so great! Some new names for me, mixed in with several favorite authors. I positively loved the first two books in the The Ballantyne Legacy, so I can't wait to get my hands on book 3. Aren't these wonderful covers, too? As usual, your reviews have me chomping at the bit to read every one. Well done, Noela!

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    1. Thank you SO much Marcia for your kind and encouraging words!! I can't wait for you to read Book 3 in The Ballantyne Legacy as well... And remember you'll see sweet Malachi's name as a character and also the Nancarrow name as part of Wren's heritage! And along with Laura's beautiful writing, this book is a special book in more ways than one! ;)
      You are so right about the covers... All together they are quite the array of stunning covers!! Btw, you'll have to let me know sometime which ones are hitting the top of your list. ;)

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  18. Great list of books Noela. Thanks. GOD bless. (((hugs))) Maxie

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