Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 New-To-Me Authors I Read for the First Time in 2016

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

At first consideration, I didn’t think I had read 10 NEW authors this year because I tend to gravitate to favorite authors I know I will enjoy. Upon looking through Goodreads, however, I found I had read more than 10 new authors in 2016. I’ve listed below my favorites, in alphabetical order (because who could ever rank them!!??), and my corresponding book(s) review(s).

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read for the First Time in 2016

1. Pepper D. Basham

Pepper D. BashamLet me just tell you now: you need to read Pepper’s books. As of last week, I have read all 4 of her published works and cannot wait for more. She conquers both historical and contemporary romance with the same determination to communicate messages of God’s grace and Christ’s love with her characters.

The Thorn Bearer

The Thorn Keeper

A Twist of Faith

2. Rachelle Rea Cobb

Rachelle ReaWhile I might have been a little late in discovering fellow blogger Rachelle Rea Cobb’s historical series, I hope I made up for it by devouring her series this year. I was also privileged to participate on her special launch team for book 3. This is a series not to miss if you’re a fan of history, gripping drama, fantastic romance, or stories of redemption.

The Sound of Diamonds

The Sound of Silver

The Sound of Emeralds

3. Melanie Dickerson

The Beautiful PretenderAfter hearing about Melanie’s skill at transforming fairytales into clever retelllings with an inspirational bent, I had to try one of her stories for myself. Everyone was right! I will be reading more of her books in the future.

The Beautiful Pretender

4. Ruth Logan Herne

392151Ruth seems like such a sweet person! I enjoyed one of her recent releases for the first time this year in conjunction with SLB Tours.

More Than a Promise

5. Liz Johnson

where-two-hearts-meetLiz’s contemporary romance series set on the idyllic Prince Edward Island was a treat! It’s not to be missed. I’m anxious for book 3!

The Red Door Inn

Where Two Hearts Meet

6. Jenny B. Jones

I'll Be YoursAnother author I kept hearing about in the young adult genre, one I don’t visit very often. though that might be changing with such discoveries as Jenny (and the next on the list, Amy….)

I’ll Be Yours

7. Amy Matayo

the-thirteenth-chanceAmy is such fun! I reviewed her latest release and have since added a few more of her novels to my collection to be read soon, hopefully.

The Thirteenth Chance

8. Dani Pettrey

Cold Shot by Dani PettreyI know, I know, I haven’t read anything from Dani until this year. I *need* to read her Alaskan Courage series because it is totally my type of series. I just know I need some dedicated time because I have a feeling I’ll want to binge-read it. Anyway, I really loved the start of her new action/mystery/romance series and look forward to book 2 early next year!

Cold Shot

9. Kathleen Rouser

kathy-rouserKathleen contacted me concerning her new release from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, a small-time publisher, and I’m very glad she did! She is a delightful person, as evidenced in my interview post, and her novel is equally as delightful in depth of story and character.

Rumors and Promises (and interview)

10. James L. Rubart

the-long-journey-to-jake-palmerThe synopsis of James’s newest release, combined with the stunning cover and previous praise of his novels, made me eager to read this one. I knew it would be different than the norm, and I was happily correct. Fans of contemporary drama, stories of purpose, and even slight fantasy in a C.S. Lewis-like vein will enjoy James’s latest release.

The Long Journey to Jake Palmer

 

Well, have you read any of these books or authors before? Which is your favorite? What new authors have you discovered recently? I’d love to hear your comments and recommendations!

Review: “The Long Journey to Jake Palmer” by James L. Rubart


Today’s review features a recent release from Thomas Nelson fiction, The Long Journey to Jake Palmer by James L. Rubart. As the title suggests, it is the story of one man’s journey of finding himself again after tragedy. While it is a contemporary drama, it has mysterious fantastical elements that deepen the story and have Narnian-like implications. This made it a page-turner, for sure!

What if there was a place where everything wrong in your life could be fixed?The Long Journey to Jake Palmer.jpg

Corporate trainer Jake Palmer coaches people to see deeper into themselves—yet he barely knows himself anymore. Recently divorced and weary of the business life, Jake reluctantly agrees to a lake-house vacation with friends, hoping to escape for ten days.

When he arrives, Jake hears the legend of Willow Lake—about a lost corridor that leads to a place where one’s deepest longings will be fulfilled.

Jake scoffs at the idea, but can’t shake a sliver of hope that the corridor is real. And when he meets a man who mutters cryptic speculations about the corridor, Jake is determined to find the path, find himself, and fix his crumbling life.

But the journey will become more treacherous with each step Jake takes.

Review

James L. Rubart is a master storyteller. This novel uses perhaps the most unique concept to deliver its message that I’ve read this year. At its heart is a message of HOPE. Of being enough. Finding freedom in faith and simple joy in everyday life, even when the outcome of your circumstances is not something you would have chosen for yourself. But I’m getting slightly ahead of myself here. 🙂

While our main character, Jake Palmer, spends his professional life helping other people see their true selves and the gifts they have to offer other people, he is in a season oblivious to his own talents and blessings. He also carries a bitterness and weight only revealed as the story unfolds, as we learn more of his past and personality.

It was a “journey” on my part, as the reader, to see how Jake’s time spent with his closest friends draws him out of himself as much as the mystery he’s searching for. While he resists their efforts at times, they remind him how to find joy in everyday moments. Jake had lost his own identity in a sense. This made me think about how we identify ourselves with things we do or who we’re with, when our true identity should come from God and who HE says we are: HIS, beloved, with a purpose for His glory.

With a fairytale-like otherworld promised at the end of the lake, Jake’s search for answers eventually leads him to recognize himself. Like life, it is as much about the journey as it is the destination. Tiny parallels with The Chronicles of Narnia and outright mentions of C.S. Lewis and his stories in the book will be delightful for any fan of those classics!

I could talk for paragraphs about the lake legend part of the story, but it would be full of spoilers! So, I’ll just say the revealing of this mystery is perfectly timed within the story. It is built up with a great supporting cast and foundation. If this book is anywhere on your radar, bookshelf, or TBR pile, I highly recommend you read it soon! It will bless you with its intricacies of emotion and inspiring message.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson publishers and BookLookBloggers.com for the complimentary review ecopy in exchange for my honest review.