Here are a few of my favorite reads from 2012.
A Thousand Sleepless Nights by Michael King. Escaping a home where he knew nothing but violence and hate, Jim finds refuge working on a beautiful horse farm in Northern Virginia. But when he falls in love with the owner’s already-engaged daughter, things get complicated! When their impulsive marriage is followed by a terrifying cancer diagnosis, will disgruntled relatives rally to their side?
Unexpected Christmas Hero by Kathi Macias. Never expecting to be homeless, Josie Meyers and her children are shocked when circumstances force them to live on the streets. Rick, a down-and-out disabled vet, shares the gospel with them, which reawakens memories of a faith Josie had in childhood. But can she reconcile her once-held beliefs with her current situation?
Five Miles South of Peculiar by Angela Hunt. Darlene Caldwell has spent a lifetime tending Sycamores, an estate located five miles south of a small town called Peculiar. She raised a family in the spacious home that was her grandfather’s legacy, and she enjoys being a pillar of the community. Sycamores is the kingdom where she reigns as queen . . . until her limelight-stealing twin sister unexpectedly returns. Can these sisters discover who they are meant to be when life takes an unforeseen detour?
Son of A Soldier by Aiken Brown. Son of a Soldier is the powerful story of how God used one unlikely, country girl to change the course of history. It seemed impossible to believe that an eighteen-year-old girl from the middle-of-nowhere, Tennessee would have any real significance in the history of our nation…that is until God chose her to make a Godly man out of a flawed, military hero’s stubborn son.
Not in The Heart by Chris Fabry. Truman Wiley used to report news stories from around the world, but now the most troubling headlines are his own. He’s out of work, out of touch with his family, out of his home. But nothing dogs him more than his son’s failing heart.
With mounting hospital bills and Truman’s penchant for gambling his savings, the situation seems hopeless . . . until his estranged wife throws him a lifeline—the chance to write the story of a death row inmate, a man convicted of murder who wants to donate his heart to Truman’s son.
As the execution clock ticks down, Truman uncovers disturbing evidence that points to a different killer. For his son to live, must an innocent man die? Truman’s investigation draws him down a path that will change his life, his family, and the destinies of two men forever.
Reclaiming Lily by Patti Lacy. A storm the size of Texas brews when Gloria Powell and Kai Chang meet in a Ft. Worth hotel. They have come to discuss the future of Lily, the daughter Gloria adopted from China and the sister Kai hopes to reclaim. Kai is a doctor who had to give up her little sister during the Cultural Revolution and has since discovered that an inherited genetic defect may be waiting to fatally strike Lily.
Gloria’s relationship with her daughter is tattered and strained, and the arrival of Kai, despite the woman’s apparent good intentions, makes Gloria fearful. Gloria longs to restore her relationship with Lily, but in the wake of this potentially devastating diagnosis, is Kai an answer to prayer–or will her arrival force Gloria to sacrifice more than she ever imagined?
Chasing The Wind by Pamela Binnings Ewen. At 8:47 A.M. on Wednesday, October 12, 1977, new-to-town businessman Bingham Murdock flew his small plane into New Orleans, banking it in such a way that a ray of sunshine shot through the city at light speed.
Amalise Catoir saw the flash from her sixteenth floor law office window. Finally feeling alive after the death of her abusive husband, she imagined seeing the plane was a fate for her eyes only; a special connection between the unknown giver and she, the recipient of light.But someone else saw it, a six-year-old Cambodian refugee in foster care for whom a sudden burst of brightness reminds him of artillery fire.
Destined to cross paths with the man and the child, Amalise doesn’t yet know the deeper spiritual lesson she will learn: that we are responsible not only for the things we do, but also for the things that we don’t.
The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck. Charlotte Malone is getting married. Yet all is not settled in the heart of Birmingham’s chic bridal boutique owner. Charlotte can dress any bride to perfection-except herself. When she discovers a vintage mint-condition wedding gown in a battered old trunk, Charlotte embarks on a passionate journey to discover the women who wore the gown before her.
Emily in 1912. Mary in 1939. And Hillary in 1968. Each woman teaches Charlotte something about love in her own unique way. Woven within the threads of the beautiful hundred-year-old gown is the truth about Charlotte’s heritage, the power of faith, and the beauty of finding true love.
The Wooing of Jane Grey by C. E. Hilbert. Jane Grey’s life is fine—fabulous career, fun friend, faithful volunteer. So why is she feeling lumpy, lonely, and lost? Could two handsome suitors be the “tonic” she needs? Successful attorney Paul Wade seems to be the perfect match. But pro hockey player Lindy Barrett might be out of her league. Only God knows the right choice!
The Anniversary Waltz by Darrel Nelson. Celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary, Adam and Elizabeth Carlson share their customary waltz—then recall how their love began. Travel back with them to 1946, when war veteran Adam returned home to Reunion, Montana. You’ll be captivated by the story of how he revived his dilapidated family farm—and wooed Elizabeth away from his high school rival!
Baroness by Susan May Warren. Lily and Rose, daughters of an empire coming of age in the roaring twenties, can have anything they want … except freedom.
Expected to marry well and to take the reins of the empire, they have their lives planned out for them. But, Lily, Esme’s daughter longs to return home to Montana, to adventure outside the confines of New York City. And Jinx’s daughter Rosie dreams of the bright lights of the newly emerging silver screen. But following their dreams – from avant garde France, to Broadway, to the skies in the world of barnstormers and wing-walkers will take all their courage.
And if they find love, will they choose freedom or happily ever after?
Gone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins. Amaryllis, Mississippi, resembles the flower for which it’s named—bright with southern hospitality. But poison lurks in its center. A serial killer is responsible for five unsolved murders. And now the blood of a sixth stains the town. Three terrified women are sure they know who the perpetrator is—but they all suspect a different man. Who’s right?
The Justice Game by Randy Singer. Bursting into a television station, the gun-toting target of an investigative report kills a co-anchor. When the gun manufacturer is sued, defense attorney Kelly Starling and prosecutor Jason Noble battle each other in court—but the real conflict lies with unseen forces bent on destroying them both. (The verdict was rendered by an actual reader poll!)
The Keeper by Suzanne Woods Fisher. Julia Lapp has planned on marrying Paul Fisher since she was a girl. Now twenty-one, she looks forward to their wedding with giddy anticipation. When Paul tells her he wants to postpone the wedding–again–she knows who is to blame. Perpetual bachelor and spreader of cold feet, Roman Troyer, the Bee Man.
Roamin’ Roman travels through the Amish communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania with his hives full of bees, renting them out to farmers in need of pollinators. He relishes his nomadic life, which keeps him from thinking about all he has lost. He especially enjoys bringing his bees to Stoney Ridge each year. But with Julia on a mission to punish him for inspiring Paul’s cold feet, the Lapp farm is looking decidedly less pleasant. Can Julia secure the future she’s always dreamed of? Or does God have something else in mind?