Friday, January 8, 2016

Dina's Favorite Fiction of 2015

I've made no secret of the fact that since becoming an author/editor, I have a hard time reading fiction for pleasure. But this year I read three books that not only held my interest, but also fed my soul. I love those stories that reach deep into your heart and change you, and all three of these met that very high standard.

So in no particular order, since they are each brilliant in such different ways...

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I Always Cry at Weddings

I fell in love with this debut book from the first moment it came across my editor's desk. In no time at all, I was sending excited email updates to the rest of my WhiteFire team. Not only is the book written with a lovely style, charming characters, and a winning setting, this witty, urbane fairy tale is truly unique and surprisingly heartwarming with powerful spiritual messages. 

Imagine (if you possibly can stretch your mind that far) the Christian version of Sex in the City with a missional theme, and you will begin to get a feel for this wonderful romantic comedy. You won't want the amazing ride to come to an end. I'll mention that this book might be too mature for some teen readers since the main character is not walking with Christ in the beginning of the book and she takes a long journey to get to that point. But I think adults will find it both real and delightful.

Read a full description here.

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A Soft Breath of Wind

This Biblical novel is my favorite book by my favorite author, Roseanna White, which I suppose puts it in a class of it's own. Set during the New Testament Era, this book simply has it all: adventure, romance, suspense, deep spiritual content, incredible history, and intelligent insights into the human condition. For this one you're going to need to imagine Frank Peretti meets Francine Rivers, and oh, what an idyllic meeting it is! You'll see the New Testament church brought to stunning light at a time when it was persecuted yet thriving and full of the Holy Spirit's power. The heroine is truly unique with her ability to see into the spiritual realm and the high price she pays for that gift. Meanwhile she deals with very normal human longings, and wonders if a man will ever accept her.

If you had the pleasure of reading A Stray Drop of Blood first, that will be an extra bonus, but as this book takes place nearly a generation later, anyone can enjoy it.

Read a full description here.

Spirit Bridge

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Last but most certainly not least is Spirit Bridge. This is the final book in the new Well Spring Series by James Rubart, and since it is a true series, you will need to read all three books in order to fully understand the plot, premise, and characters. This series takes a speculative journey into the spiritual realm. It examines spiritual matters quite literally, and imagines what it would be like to truly and completely walk in the spirit throughout this action-packed tale as good battles epic evil.

In book one the "Warriors Riding" go into the soul to do battle for inner healing, in book two they face devastating memories, and in book three, as the war intensifies, they must learn to fight on a new and challenging level.

This series is hard to explain with just a few words, but it is truly life changing. Particularly after reading book Spirit Bridge, I felt as if I had gone through some sort of intensive inner healing session. God definitely shifted something deep inside of me through this book, and set me free from religious bondage at level where I didn't even know I struggled with it. If you long for truth in the inward parts, do yourself a favor and read these books.

Read a full description of Spirit Bridge here.

What was the most life-changing novel you read in 2015, or for that matter, ever?


  1. I'm way behind on Roseanna's books. Darn. I 'know' a bit about Sarah Goff because of the Northeast ACFW Zone, and she's also an incredible person who does an amazing amount of service for others. I think her book was on BookBub the other day but I missed it. I hope it brought her a lot of new readers! Thanks Dina!

  2. For me, I've been reading in bits and pieces, mostly older books and complete mystery series (on audio). I enjoyed Jessica Dotta's books, and I'm hooked on Louise Perry's Inspector Gamarche mysteries. (I don't listen to them in the truck when my grandchildren are in there, that's for sure. But I'm always left hanging as to what will happen next.)

  3. Excellent choices, Dina. I loved these all, as well. You, of course, told me about the Spirit Bridge books. And having trusted you in the past, I read them. They were so amazing. They are on audio and I plan to listen to them again, while I work. Loved them! The other two books were magnificent as well. I really think I Always Cry at Weddings should be made into a movie. It would be a great Hallmark movie, I believe.

    This past year, I read a book that is probably now on my all time favorite list: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Now, for those who ready strictly Christian fiction, this is not. Not that it's anti-Christian, of course. But there is some language that might offend. But this was a fabulous book that was set amidst a background that I usually avoid. It's about two sisters and their different paths during the German occupation of France in WWII. I think I sobbed through most of the book because Kristin is such a gifted writer and their emotions became my emotions.

    I also loved Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner - England, WWII - also not in my chose time period but another of my favorite authors, so I read it - also right up there in wondrous brilliance with Kristin's book. Those are my two favorite books of 2015, with I Always Cry at Weddings right behind them. It's so hard to rank them, but I had to rank them based on number of tears fallen...

  4. Dina, thanks for these. I can't wait to read A Soft Breath of Wind!


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