Friday, December 13, 2013

**TOP 20 + 1 NOVELS OF 2013**

Welcome to my annual post to celebrate the best of the novels I've read during the year. This year you'll notice some returning authors and some brand new to the list.
Any of these novels would make a great holiday gift for readers on your shopping list.
So without further ado I present

          THE TOP 20 NOVELS


MY 20 TOP NOVELS Plus Top Pick FOR 2013
Click the links for my review of the novel

Top pick this year goes to a Science Fiction by J. Barton Mitchell the second in his The Conquered Earth Trilogy-

**The Severed Tower
Book two is a dark, delicious adventure as our heroes Holt & Mira try to defeat the undefeatable alien enemies known as The Assembly and take back the earth all while trying to protect Zoey their otherworldly ward. To achieve this they must make it to The Severed Tower if they survive that long.

The rest of the novels are in alphabetical order, not order of importance.

**A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
This Historical Masterpiece falls right after the crash of 29 and right before WWII it's an epic against all odds love story and at it's centerpiece is a natural disaster. It's a wonderful twist of fate with a mystery and stars Nick and Lily and tells of their ill-fated, ill-timed love, it's touching and heart-breaking with an edge of your seat storm sequence that will make you just a little sea-sick.

A Man of His Own by Susan Wilson
Susan has outdone herself in this incredible tale of Pax a dog and the people who loved him, who he loved and how he changed their lives. It’s heart warming, heartbreaking and hopeful. Set during the WWII era with a cameo of the near present at the end.

Countdown City by Ben H Winters
Book two in Ben’s The Last Policeman trilogy puts readers 77 days from when Maia the meteor will hit the earth, where civilization is imploding, where Hank Palace is still serving long after he’s no longer a policeman.  It’s more intense than book one and it’s gutsy and dark and fabulous. And book three is definitely on my Have to read list.

**Declan’s Cross by Carla Neggers
Carla brings us book three in her Sharpe and Donovan series where her sweethearts/FBI agents find themselves in Ireland and in the middle of another art mystery which is right up these agents alley. It’s beautifully penned and the Irish landscape will come to life from her words.

**Emperor Of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
This is the end of Mark’s epic fantasy trilogy starring the oh so love to hate him Jorg whose bloody reign continues where his heroes are just as villainous as his evil doers. He’ll give us a deeper insight into this enigmatic empire and it’s mysterious emperor.
I have so enjoyed this trilogy and can’t wait to see where Mark takes us next.

Exposed by Laura Griffin
Exposed is Book 7 of Laura’s Tracer series where Delphi lab forensic photographer Maddie Callahan and FBI agent Brian Beckman fight unspeakable crimes and fall in love. Laura is one of those few authors who really rock at mixing a pulse-pounding thriller with a heart pounding romance and bring both to the ending fans love. And she’s a definite fan favorite of mine.

Friendship Makes The Heart Grow Fonder  by Lisa Verge Higgins
The latest friendship novel by Lisa brings three friends front and center each dealing with her own demons, their European vacation will bring them closer and tell them things they didn’t know about each other and their selves too. As always Lisa’s novels will bring tears and laughter as there’s no better author who can spin a tale of friendship.

Journey From Darkness by GarethCrocker
Journey From Darkness is a passionate novel set in the WWI era where orphaned twin brothers follow in the footsteps of their father and discover unspeakable horrors and unbelievable beauty and fall in love with the elephants in the raw landscape of South Africa. Gareth collaborated with his father Llewellyn in writing this wonderful novel.

Lover at Last-Black Dagger Brotherhood #11 by JR Ward
JR Ward’s latest vampire romance is one that we fans have been waiting for, the romance between Blay and Qhuinn a love story that’s been years in the making and one that almost didn’t come true. Leave it to JR to push the envelope on not just romance, not just vampire romance but a romance between two vampire men. It’s done with panache, with taste and with a whole lotta vampire sheet shedding.

**Sleigh Bells In The Snow by SarahMorgan
Sarah is an all time favorite Harlequin series author who has penned her first full-length novel. Sleigh Bells in The Snow is the first of a three part Holiday series staring the O’Neil brothers and set in a charming bucolic Vermont. This stars Jackson O’Neil and Kayla Green, and it’s funny, it’s witty, it’s heart warming and all I’ve learned to expect from this remarkable author.

**Somewhere Between Luck and Trust- Goddess Anonymous #2 by EmilieRichards I didn’t think Emilie could outdo the first in the series after One Mountain Away, but she did. Somewhere Between Luck and Trust is about trusting enough to let go of the past and brave enough to embrace the mysteries of the future staring Christy Haviland who the Goddesses have brought under their wings. This series is a must read for me.

**The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs
The Apple Orchard stars sisters who until now were unaware of each other, it’s about love and about family and apples and wine. Set in the Sonoma Valley it will fill all your senses. Susan is another of those go-to authors for me no matter if it’s her iconic Lakeshore Chronicle novel or a stand alone like The Apple Orchard she’s always a must read.

The Concealers by James J Kaufman
This is the second in Jim’s trilogy that started as a single novel. In this novel we reunite with characters from The Collectibles and we meet an enterprising and wonderful young woman Katherine Kelly whose about to learn a secret and whose life is about to change irrevocably. Jim’s narrative will pull readers right into his world and he won’t let you go until the very end.

The Final Cut by JT Ellison & Catherine Coulter
This was one heck of a twist of Coulter’s FBI series spin off where she collaborates with one of my go-to thriller authors the fantabulous JT Ellison that made it to the NYT bestseller list right off the bat. When the Koh-I-Noor diamond is stolen from the Queen Mother’s crown while on display at the NY Metropolitan Art Museum it takes agent from Mike Caine from the FBI and Nicholas Drummond from New Scotland Yard to find answers and the rock.

The Perfect Match by KristanHiggins
Kristan is known for her sizzling love scenes, her quirky characters, her laugh-out-loud scenes and her animals and in The Perfect Match we get them all in one marvelous, hilarious and heartwarming tale. She takes us back to her upstate NY rustic wine country and the Holland family. This stars oldest daughter Honor Grace and a Brit who needs help with his green card to stay in the states.

The Pieces We Keep by KristinaMcMorris
Kristina’s love affair with the WWII era keeps on going in this novel about a present day small boy with nightmares that are linked to real events that happened during WWII and his mother who is already struggling with the recent death of her husband. What a journey this was.

The Road to You by Marilyn Brant
I’ve been in awe of Marilyn’s novels before but she out does herself in this one. It’s darker, it’s a dangerous mystery, it’s set in the 1970s, it’s fabulous and it’s YA. When a mysterious clue shows up two years after Aurora Gray’s brother and his best friend disappear she knows she must follow it and she knows the only person to help her is the brother of the other boy who vanished.

The Tulip Eaters by Antoinettevan Heugten
Antoinette takes us from autistic boys in Saving Max to WWII, the Nazis and the Dutch resistance in this edge of your seat fantastic read.
Dr. Nora de Jong comes home to find her mother murdered, a dead man in her home and her baby kidnapped, refusing to be helpless she follows clues that take her back to the Netherlands, back to WWII and secrets about her family that she never knew.

The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston
This timeless tale showcases both the beauty and the wildness of Wales in the early 1800s where Paula’s passion for witches is once again showcased wonderfully and preternaturally as she spins her woeful tale of widower Cai Jenkins and Morgana Pritchard. There’s evil spirits, there’s good and there’s bad and it’s all wonderful.

The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillipi Ryan
When they say write what you know they’re talking about Hank, her day job as an investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate keeps her plenty busy and gives her ideas about plots and murders and story-lines too. Jane Ryland is still getting used to newspaper reporting when her cubical/mate Tuck comes to her with a personal false identity adoption story and hoping for a scoop Jane jumps on the orphan bandwagon to help. What she finds out could kill someone, maybe her.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, a Happy New Year, a bookcase full of must reads and enough time in your day to enjoy them all.
Stay tuned to The Reading Frenzy for all your interview, review and giveaway fixes!!

** are my editorial reviews and the link will take you to the magazine site USA, LLC


  1. How wonderful! Wow! Thank thrilled you enjoyed it. Aww. This is just--lovely. And a wonderful holiday gift to your readers..and to me!

  2. Wow thanks Debbie! So thrilled to have made your list. That's a great end to the year!
    Happy Holidays

    1. Sarah, thanks for the great holiday novel. Can't wait to see what the rest of the O'Neils are up to ;)

  3. Deb,
    I'm so honored my new novel made your list!!
    Thank you, thank you!
    Your kindness and supportiveness to all of us is such a blessing...
    I feel so lucky to know you ;).

  4. I am in such good company. Thank you Deb!
    Having your advocacy is so important to me and, I know, to my
    fellow authors who have made your list. Cheers, Susan Wilson

  5. Wow, echoing what other authors have posted above..... I feel so honored to be on this list and among such amazing company. Thank you for all you do to support writers! I'm so grateful.

    1. It was my pleasure Kristina, the novel was wonderful

  6. Love your list, and while I only do a top 10, Sleigh Bells in the Snow got an honorable mention..LOL I still have to read The Final Cut and hope to start it after the holidays.

    1. Kim, I know how full your bookcases are and I respect your choices too! I can't wait to see what you think of The Final Cut!
      thanks for the comment and for your continuous support of my blog :)
      Merry Christmas!

  7. I still need to read Countdown City

    1. Ryan, how's the weather in Kansas?
      We're getting dumped on today big time
      I think Countdown City is better than The Last Policeman ;)
      Merry Christmas to you!!

  8. Replies
    1. Hi Anna, thanks for the comment I think one of my recipients told his fans it was an eclectic list just like my taste in reading is :)

  9. Love your list, Deb! Eclectic so works for me. XOXO!

  10. Debbie, I feel really bad that I'm late to the party here, but thank you so much for your selection. It means a great deal to me, coming from such an avid reader. For the record, no bribes were solicited. Congrats to the other writers as well, honored to be in such company.

    1. Not to worry. Thanks for your comments and I cannot wait to see where you take me in book three :)
      Happy New Year!!

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