Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Steph's Favorite Books from 2010!

I just want to give a shout to Celia Yeary who inspired me to come up with a list of my favorites. From now until Christmas, I'll be sharing my favorites with you.

Most of you know I'm an avid reader. Here are some of my favorites that I've read in 2010. Enjoy! Smiles

Angeline Jellybean
By Crystalee Calderwood
5 Stars

This book is geared for 3-7 year olds. In my church, I help to teach the 3's in our Sunday Preschool program. I bought the book for the class and Angeline Jellybean is a favorite with the children!

"Angeline Jellybean" is a colorful mix of fun, jellybeans, and healthy food by Crystalee Calderwood. What happens when a girl eats too many jellybeans? Ask Angeline! "Angeline Jellybean" shows young readers the benefits of making good choices. It's a wonderful addition for any young reader's bookshelf.


Chosen Target
By Melanie Atkins
5 Stars

What I love about Atkins is how she really engages the reader. I was on the edge of my seat. I'm also a sucker for a good love scene and Atkins writes the best I've read. Here's a couple of clips from my review:

A worthy installment in the New Orleans detective series, "Chosen Target" offers excitement and fingernail biting suspense. Jadan Calloway is the 'chosen target' and it's up to detective commander Cole McAlister to keep her safe.

Atkins's love scenes are charged with electricity and passion. She'll leave the reader breathless. Chosen Target is a high-paced ride filled with excitement, danger, and love.


Claude and Camille
By Stephanie Cowell
4 stars

What I enjoyed about this story is that it really showed Monet's heart, his inspiration, his passion. Monet is one of my favorite artists and it was wonderful discovering his story under Cowell's pen. Here's a clip from my review:

Cowell pens a poignant tale full of spirit and the drive to succeed with "Claude and Camille," the story of Monet and the muse that was his wife, Camille Doncieux.

"Claude and Camille" is a fascinating read, taking a look at the roots of impressionism and the love that inspired a true artist.


French Peril
By Mona Risk
4.5 Stars

I can't gush enough about Mona's international contempories. This story had the perfect blend of suspense and romance set in the romantic French Loire valley. I was hooked!

Risk pens a thrilling romantic suspense with "French Peril." Set in the picturesque Loire Valley, Cheryl Stewart is on the hunt for a rare statue of the Madonna. Will the chateau's charming owner, Francois de Valroux, be a help or a hindrance?

This is one story that will have the reader on their toes until the very end.


Muddy Waters
By Maggie Toussaint
4.5 Stars

What I loved about Maggie's story is how the supporting cast of characters really came alive to give the story an authentic small town feel. Here's a blurb:

Toussaint crafts an edge of your seat romantic suspense with "Muddy Waters." Set in a rural, Georgia coastal town called Mossy Bog, Roxie Whitaker is a real estate agent with dreams of opening a maritime museum, only when she meets Sloan Harding, Mossy Bog's long lost son, does she realize there's more to life. Dare she take a chance on Sloan – and love?

"Muddy Waters" is a thrilling kayak ride full of suspense and romance!


By Keena Kincaid

To be honest, I haven't finished yet, but I'm ""this"" close to being done. What I love about Kincaid is that she blends magic and history flawlessly! I love history and I love magic and she's taken the two passions I love to read and brought them together in a fascinating story. Enthralled is definitely her most complex offering to date and I have loved every page of it. Ami is wild with her magic, and yet William accepts it with no reservations.


One Snowy Knight
By Deborah Macgillivray
5 Stars

What inspired me to pick up this book? The book trailer! No kidding. It has a historical setting and I LOVE reading historicals. There's also a bit of magic and wonderfully romantic characters.

"One Snowy Knight" is excellent storytelling, full of wishes, hopes, and romance. Macgillivray sets her story in 1296 against a lush Scottish yuletide. "One Snowy Knight" is book three in the "Dragons of Challon" series, but stands alone well.

The love scenes capture the rich sensually that belongs to Noel and Skena. Macgillivray has blended history, romance, and suspense effortlessly making the story a captivating read.


The Making of a Duchess
By Shana Galen
5 Stars

I discovered Galen after winning a blog contest for the book. I LOVED it. I adored the fact her hero was half French and it had a historical setting, a setting I'm a sucker for her, but what I really enjoyed was Galen's writing. It was crisp, sharp, engaging, and Sarah was a perfect heroine!

"The Making of a Duchess" is full of adventure, suspense, romance, and love. Set in London, 1801, the novel's hero is Julien Harcourt, the exiled French due de Valère. Julien is intent on going to France to look for his brother, Armand. Enter the comtesse Serafina Artois. Will the attractive comtesse prove a distraction for Julien and his plans?

The love scenes are sensual and capture the wonderment and beauty of true love. "The Making of a Duchess" is a delicious read from the first page to the last.


White Tiger
By Vijaya Schartz
5 Stars

I always wanted to read this book, but didn't get around to it until mid-summer, but when I did, I was hooked. I love Schartz's imagination and creativity.

Schartz has created a world rich in futuristic mythology with "White Tiger," Book One in the Chronicles of Kassouk. Tora is a human soldier whose loyalty to the Emperor is without question. As she follows Field Marshall Killion to war, she meets a man called Dragomir who challenges all that she knows to be true about the world.

From the first page to the last, "White Tiger" will take the reader for a breathless ride filled with action, adventure, myths, and love.


By Gail Delaney
5 Stars

I loved the love story between Victor and Beverly. Both Victor and Beverly are wounded souls. When they come together they find a comfort they wouldn't have found with each other. The love story is haunting and I'm a sucker for a haunting romance.

"Outcasts" is a stellar installment in "The Phoenix Rebellion," Delaney's sci-fi/speculative romantic fiction series. Dr. Beverly Surimoto is one of the leaders of the Rebellion, but she's also an empath. Victor is an Areth who has been in a coma since joining the Rebellion. When Victor wakes up, he displays violent tendencies, almost killing Michael before Dr. Quinn can subdue him.

Delaney's created an outstanding series with a cast of characters that resonates with readers.


  1. Steph, The Gail Delaney looks like my cup of tea, but I was disappointed to learn the series seems to be only available on Kindle :-(. I don't do ebooks.

  2. Thanks for including me in such a great group of authors, Steph. I'm honored.

  3. Hey Steph,
    What a great site you have! VERY COOL! Enjoyed reading about your fave books--gives me a few ideas of my own! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Interesting picks you have chosen. Mine would be The girl with the dragon tattoo...Russell Peters - Just call me Russell, and a book I recently finished called Carnal Weapon written by Peter Hoffmann. This one was amazing in so many ways. It was based in the 50s and that really made the setting in your mind. There was a female spy who was with an up and coming wall street attorney that could make him do anything. He realeased some names of his clients to her and ended him in prison where his life just went downhill from there. I was shocked how saucy and seductive and a real page turner.
    I can't say the same about The girl with the dragon tattoo, it was very hard to get into but well worth the read to make it to my top picks.
    Have you read any of these?

  5. What a great list! I think I would love the Angeline Jellybean story. It sounds perfect for my grandsons. I like the way the title just rolls off my tongue.

    Thanks for including Muddy Waters in your list of favs. I'm honored.

  6. What an honor! Thank you so very much.

  7. Nice list Steph. I haven't read any of those I am currently rereading the In Death Series by Nora Roberts writing as JD Robb. I did read both of Diana Cosby's first two books as well as several other books. But Nora Roberts always tops my list she writes the type of books that draw me in deep and keep me hanging on to the edge.

  8. Steph, thank you for including me in your list of favorite authors. I am really honored.

  9. How wonderful that you've been able to read so many good books--and such a variety! I'm working hard on making more time to read for pleasure. I'll keep your recommendations in mind!

  10. Vivian, nice to see you pop in. I have "Stolen" on the TBR pile!

    Maggie, eventually, the books will be going to print, don't know when. If you ever do get a Kindle or an ebook reader, I think you would the series very much.

    Cheryl, if you do a list, I'd love to see your pics!

    Mona, you are an inspiration to me, Sweetie!

    Liana, thanks for popping in. I read mostly romance, because I'm a sucker for a happy ending.

    Maggie, Angeline Jellybean is an AWESOME story and what I loved about it is that the 3s that I teach really get into it. Muddy Waters was awesome. I enjoyed it a lot.

    Shana, Thanks for popping in. :) I really enjoyed the story!
    Chrissy, thanks for popping in. My husband read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and loved it. I'm hoping for a copy in my Christmas stocking!

    Kathy, believe it or not, I haven't read Nora Roberts. I need to make the time - do you have a story to recommend?


  11. Ahhh! My TBR pile just fell over with all these new titles. I like it!