Tag Archives: YA fiction

2019 Inspy Awards Shortlists!

4 May

A big congratulations to all the talented authors whose books are represented on the 2019 Inspy Award Shortlists! So many great books Now you have your summer reading list! ūüėČ

 

Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense

All Made Up by Kara Isaac

Falling for You by Becky Wade

The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano

Debut Fiction

Among The Poppies by J’Nell Ciesielski

Engraved on The Heart by Tara Johnson

The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

General Fiction

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

Things Left Unsaid by Courtney Walsh

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

Historical Romance

Romancing The Bride by Melissa Jagears

The Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

The Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar

Literature for Young Adults

The Edge Over There by Shawn Smucker

Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

A Worthy Rebel by Jody Hedlund

Mystery/Thriller

Delayed Justice by Cara Putman

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

Thirst of Steel by Ronie Kendig

Speculative Fiction

Fierian by Ronie Kendig

Mark of The Raven by Morgan L. Busse

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

Top 10 Tuesday — 2018 New-To-Me Authors

15 Jan

I read a number of new-to-me and debut authors in 2018. Great books all! And a promise of more great books to come! Because I am an eclectic reader, you will find romance, women’s fiction, dual-time stories, mystery, and suspense in the mix — something for just about everyone. I hope you find a new-to-you author to enjoy.

Head over to That Artsy Reader Girl for other bloggers’ new-to-them authors.

Top New-To-Me Authors

 

Lynn Blackburn — Beneath The Surface

 

Lindsey Brackett — Still Waters

 

Lisa Carter — A Vast and Gracious Tide

 

Lauren K. Denton — Hurricane Season

 

Lindsay Harrel — The Heart Between Us

 

Carla Laureano — The Saturday Night Supper Club

 

Valerie Fraser Luesse — Missing Isaac

 

Lisa McKay — My Hands Came Away Red

 

Sarah Monzon — Freedom’s Kiss

 

Jaime Jo Wright — The House on Foster Hill

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Best of 2018

1 Jan

I am bowled over by the number of excellent books I read in 2018! It was very, very, very hard to come up with a list of the best, let alone trying to limit it to just 10! So I cheated (of course) and made two Top 10 Lists — one contemporary and one historical. And before you say but, but . . . I know that three of the books on the historical list are dual timelines, but without the historical component, the book would not have existed. There is also plenty of suspense and romance — really something for everyone on this list. Those with an asterisk were book club books that got unanimous thumbs up! I hope you find one or two (or all) that will pique your interest.

Head over to That Artsy Reader Girl to discover other bloggers’ best of the best lists.

 

Top 10 Contemporary Novels of 2018

Before I Saw You by Amy K. Sorrells

Chosen People by Robert Whitlow

Falling for You by Becky Wade

Lead Me Home by Amy K. Sorrells

*The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

Miles from Where We Started by Cynthia Ruchti

Mind Games by Nancy Mehl

My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay

Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

 

Top 10 Historical Novels of 2018

Hidden Among The Stars by Melanie Dobson

*The House of Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

Lady of A Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

*Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano 

Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

Shelter of The Most High by Connilyn Cossette

When The Heart Sings by Liz Tolsma

 

What book was your favorite in 2018?

Book Review: My Hands Came Away Red

28 Nov

Right up until the day they burned the church, I thought I understood things. You know… God, people, myself. Life. Then, suddenly, I understood nothing except that we had to run. And that we might never make it home.

When eighteen-year-old Cori signed up for a mission trip to Indonesia she was mostly thinking about escaping her complicated love life, making new friends, and having fun on the beach.

She never expected a civil war to flare up on the nearby island of Ambon.

She never expected violence to find them.

And she never expected that seven teenagers would be forced to flee into the hazardous refuge of the mountains on their own.

Now, haunted by blood and fire, Cori and her teammates must rely on each other to survive.

Lisa McKay is an author and psychologist specializing in stress, trauma, and resilience. She is currently living in Laos. You can connect with Lisa at LisaMcKayWriting, FB, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

My Impressions:

Lisa McKay’s debut novel (re-released in 2018)¬†My Hands Came Away Red, takes the reader from the highs of a mission trip to a beautiful and exotic locale to horror, fear, and anger at God. This powerful YA suspense novel is achingly beautiful in its depiction of 6 young westerners forced to rely on each other to survive a nightmare in Indonesia. The author describes her book as a work of passion, and that comes through loud and clear in the first person narrative that takes the reader on an emotional journey along with the characters. And even though I am far away from my YA years, I loved this book. It is a very highly recommended read.

Cori is confused about her life — relationships, college choices — when she embarks on a grueling mission trip to build a church in a remote part of the world. Boot camp bonds the team and prepares them for their challenging task — or so they thought. Following the victory of finishing the small village church comes the devastation of death and destruction the team could never imagine. Cori’s narrative describes the highs and lows the team faces, along with the changes in their own understanding of life and God. The characters are all well-developed and become so very real to the reader. Of course Cori is the main focus, but McKay does a great job of bringing all the characters to life. There is plenty of drama, suspense, danger, and life-and-death moments to keep the pages turning. But it is the faith journey that the characters are forced to take that spoke to my heart. As the team’s situation deteriorates through illness, fatigue, dehydration, etc., their faith in God suffers as well. It is hard to maintain thankfulness and forgiveness when faced with extreme privation. And even the return to the safety of home does not bring the healing they expect.

There is a lot to discuss in My Hands Came Away Red, making this novel a great choice for a youth group or book club. It is a great springboard for conversations about the plight of believers around the world, the real meaning of a missional life, and the faithfulness of God even when we can’t or won’t see it. And don’t let the YA label fool you, adults are going to love this one too.

Very Highly Recommended.

Audience: older teens and adults.

To purchase, click HERE. (It is currently FREE for Kindle Unlimited!)

(I purchased a copy of this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Spirit of Giving Young Reader’s Giveaway from New Growth Press

26 Nov

Last week, I shared about books from New Growth Press for the youngest members of the family. Maybe your kids have outgrown that stage and are now preteens or teens.

Books are a great gift for those members of the family who need a break from all the electronics in the house. Actually, that may apply to everyone in the house! Books are a great gift for everyone in the family, by the way!

Even if there aren’t kids in your own house, I’m sure you know some young people who would enjoy these books. Maybe you are a youth leader or teacher with young people on your Christmas list.

This week, New Growth Press is giving away THREE gift boxes of books for tweens and teens. From November 26-December 2, you can enter to win one of three gift boxes of books (retail value of $114).

 

Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/d9fd/spirit-of-giving-young-readers-package-giveaway}

 

Each gift box includes the following titles for youth:

The complete Rwendigo Tales series by J. A. Myhre:
A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest
A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue
A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star
A Fever, a Flight, and a Fight for the World

Written by J. A. Myhre, a doctor living and working in East Africa, this adventure series teaches readers of all ages important truths about justice, overcoming evil, and the courage to make a difference. The latest release is A Fever, a Flight, and a Fight for the World, a compelling African adventure story that will enthrall eight- to fourteen-year-old youth who love adventure and learning about faraway places. In the exciting fourth and final book in the Rwendigo Tales Series, readers will be inspired by ordinary people who make the extraordinary choice to stand against great evil.

Dragon Seed by Marty Machowski

An angry teen, a desperate mother, a missing father, and a shadow lurking in the background. Things were going from bad to worse for Nick and his family.¬†Tempted to run away after yet another argument with his mom, Nick receives a handwritten, leather-bound copy of an old book‚ÄĒa family legend passed down to him from his great grandfather. The book, called¬†Dragon Seed,¬†leads Nick deep into his family‚Äôs history and introduces him to another angry young man who lived in the shadows (the shadows of the tombs). Like Nick, you‚Äôll be shocked to discover where he fits in this story of epic proportions!

The Biggest Win: Pro Football Players Tackle Faith by Joshua Cooley

The Biggest Win¬†gives athletes and sports fans of all ages a unique, insider’s look into the lives and faith of six Christian NFL players from the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl team.¬†Through the ups and downs of their experiences, author Joshua Cooley shows how these high-profile athletes remain committed to God’s Word, genuine Christian discipleship, and sharing their faith. Using their voices and stories,¬†The Biggest Win¬†gives sports-minded readers hope and direction for living out their faith while competing.¬†¬†See your youth athletes’ faith grow as they hear and learn from the amazing stories of these Super Bowl Champions.

Between Us Girls: Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters by Trish Donohue

Between Us Girls was written for mothers with daughters between the ages of seven and fourteen. These twenty-six gospel-driven talks are a fun and easy guide for mothers who want to disciple their daughters but don’t know where to start. In each short chapter, moms and daughters read God’s Word, ask one another questions about their thoughts and experiences, get honest about their struggles with sin, brainstorm ways to live out their faith, and build genuine fellowship into their relationship.

(Between Us Guys for dads and sons will be available in May 2019!)

In case you don’t win the prize pack, sign-up for New Growth Press’ e-news at https://newgrowthpress.com/ to receive information about their Countdown to Christmas discounts so that you can order copies. Be sure to follow them on social media as well where they will be sharing daily deals throughout the Christmas season:

facebook.com/ngpbooks 

twitter.com/newgrowthpress 

instagram.com/newgrowthpress).

First Line Friday — My Hands Came Away Red

28 Sep

Happy Friday! I am happy to be sharing the first line from Lisa McKay‘s re-released novel, My Hands Came Away Red. I am eager to read this book in the coming weeks. The opening line of the Prologue sets the stage for a riveting read.

Please share the first line of the book nearest you and then head over to Hoarding Books for more fabulous first lines!

 

Right up until the day they burned the church, I thought I understood things. You know… God, people, myself. Life. Then, suddenly, I understood nothing except that we had to run. And that we might never make it home.

When eighteen-year-old Cori signed up for a mission trip to Indonesia she was mostly thinking about escaping her complicated love life, making new friends, and having fun on the beach.

She never expected a civil war to flare up on the nearby island of Ambon.

She never expected violence to find them.

And she never expected that seven teenagers would be forced to flee into the hazardous refuge of the mountains on their own.

Now, haunted by blood and fire, Cori and her teammates must rely on each other to survive.

Praised by Publishers Weekly as ‚Äúfast-paced,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúthought-provoking,‚ÄĚ and one of the ‚Äúbest novels of the year,‚ÄĚ My Hands Came Away Red will take you deep into the jungle with Cori as she desperately searches for answers and a safe way home.

Lisa McKay is an author and psychologist specializing in stress, trauma, and resilience. She is currently living in Laos. You can connect with Lisa at LisaMcKayWriting, FB, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Congratulations to The 2018 Christy Award Finalists!

19 Sep

Congratulations to all the talented authors who are now 2018 Christy Award Finalists. If you are on the hunt for some great books, here is an excellent place to start.

 

Contemporary Romance

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren

True to You by Becky Wade

 

First Novel

Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Turtles in The Road by Kaley Rhea and Rhonda Rhea

 

General Fiction 

A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow

Life After by Katie Ganshert

The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix

 

Historical

Catching The Wind by Melanie Dobson

Isaiah’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

 

Historical Romance

A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander

 

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Coldwater by Goldwater by Samuel Parker

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

Rule of Law by Randy Singer

 

Short Form

Guilt by Association by Heather Day Gilbert

Her Secret Daughter by Ruth Logan Herne

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

 

Visionary

Awakened by Morgan Busse

The Day The Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker

The Man He Never Was by James Rubart

 

Young Adult 

The Delusion by Laura Gallier

Last Summer at Eden by Christina Hergenrader

Unraveling by Sara Ella