I should have known by the water leak last New Year's Eve that 2022 wasn't shaping up to be an "easy" year. That leak led to a series of unfortunate events which necessitated many expensive repairs to our house, so expensive I had to go back to work. I now have a booth in Benbrook Antique Mall with a business name of "Third Time's the Charm" which has been slightly profitable this first year and more enjoyable than I anticipated. After trying unsuccessfully to sell our house (and moving out most of the stuff in the process to "show" the house) we resigned ourselves to staying in it and moved back in.
Needless to say, all those months of turmoil were not conducive to reading much fiction. Most of what I read, in fact, was for other indie authors--beta reading, proofreading, and in two cases, content editing.
I despaired of finishing my WIP, Fiona's Gift, but thankfully it came together and I managed to publish it over the summer, praise God! I have barely begun on the last in Mercy's Children series, and pray my words will return soon.
Another impediment to much reading has been failing eyesight. In the words of not one but TWO eye doctors, I have the "weirdest" eyes they've ever seen. I had to go back to the opthalmologist in our previous town to get a diagnosis of epiretinal membrane but I've decided not to do the surgery, which has extreme risks, especially since it's my only seeing eye. I'm just learning to cope with the vision I do have (it's like seeing the world through a wrinkled piece of cellophane) and be grateful.
So, I only read 25 books this year, and a good percentage of those were short ones. Thankfully there were some wonderful reads, and I can recommend these to you:
#10 War Between Worlds by Madelyn Braddock
This is a debut fantasy novel by a teen author that combines thoughtful world-building, interesting characters, and action, adventure, and a mystery. Book 2 is in the works.
#9 Fire from the Midst by Sarah Ashwood
This is book 3 of 4 in a suspenseful, gritty urban fantasy series combining a war between rival gangs of shapeshifters from Greek mythology and an unusual romance. Not my usual genre, but I've read other books by this author and got sucked into book 1 with her excellent writing skills!
#8 Fear by Corinna Turner
This is #7 in the unSPARKed dinosaur dystopian series that has become one of my all-time favorites, and not just because of the dinos! Turner's characters are unforgettable, and she makes the reader care deeply about what happens to them!
#7 In Other Words by Julie B. Cosgrove
This is book 3 in Cosgrove's fun cozy mystery series. I love her characters and the clever ways she weaves the plots around word play.
#6 All in Good Time by Carolyn Astfalk
This is a sweet contemporary romance with darker elements that bring to light current prevalent sins, but overall the story is uplifting with memorable and lovable characters.
#5 A Right Rex Rodeo by Corinna Turner
This is #6 in the dino series and is especially fascinating in its details of the hunter culture in Turner's realistic future world.
#4 Hang on Every Word by Julie B. Cosgrove
Book 4 in Cosgrove's mystery series is not quite as light as the others, and in some ways is the best so far! The MC is so human but relatable and admirable too!
#3 A Different Kind of Camouflage by Corinna Turner
A powerful episode #8 in the dino series, still suspenseful even though it takes place in the city and not outside the electrified fences where dinos are the obvious (but not the only) danger.
#2 Please Don't Feed the Dinosaurs by Corinna Turner
#1 A Different Kind of Freedom by Corinna Turner
This latest episode #9 in the dino series is so powerful, it was by far the best book I read this year (and for the past few years). Turner is a master at writing about characters of faith in mortal peril. I highly recommend this book, but it is best read as part of the series.