Jera’s Jamboree : 2013 reads

It’s been a busy but fabulous year on the blog.

First of all, I would like to say thank you!

  • to everyone who follows JJ via email and has liked, shared and commented.
  • to everyone who has offered review copies.  
  • to all the authors taking part in interviews and providing guest posts.  Your contributions keep JJ interesting!

I’ve read and reviewed 92 books as at 28th December (less than last year but I did set a lower challenge because I wanted to do other things with my life as well).  So did I manage to do those other things?  

Not really … I’ve only managed to write just over 2K words and my family have seen less of me with the focus more on book tours!  One of my 2014 intentions is to put pen to paper regularly …

My ‘Keepers’ this year:

The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris

A Treacherous Likeness by Lynn Shepherd

The Gilded Fan by Christina Courtenay

Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle

The Outside Series by Shalini Boland

Out of Sight Out of Mind by Evonne Wareham

A Cottage by the Sea by Carole Matthews

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

A Stitch in Time by Mandy James

Heroic by Phil Earle

Close my Eyes by Sophie McKenzie

Dead Jealous by Sharon Jones

Summer of ’76 by Isabel Ashdown

The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell

The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones

The Longest Holiday by Paige Toon

Tide by Daniela Sacerdoti

A Cornish Affair by Liz Fenwick

The Elephant Girl by Henriette Gyland

Sophie’s Encore by Nicky Wells

Fallling : Angels Among Us by Linn B Halton

New England Rocks by Christina Courtenay

Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher

The Uprising by Lisa M Stasse

A Heart Bent out of Shape by Emylia Hall

A Vintage Christmas by Ali Harris

Last Christmas by Talli Roland

Calling Mrs Christmas by Carole Matthews

Christmas at Tiffany’s by Karen Swan

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My top 10 reads of 2013

The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris

I’ve experienced the most high of emotions reading this … and the lowest.  At times I was reluctant to pick up the book and carry on because I knew what was coming but it’s a compulsion, you have to pick it up because the story becomes a part of your life.  That’s how real it all feels.

The Outside Series by Shalini Boland

tense, nerve-wracking and with plenty of action.  It is a world populated with characters and events that are believable (and therefore quite scary).  There is sadness but there is also a familial scene that brought tears to my eyes (for good reasons).

Boland has done it once again.  I’ve been engrossed and my imagination has been captured.

Close my Eyes by Sophie McKenzie

There are quite a few tense and harrowing scenes and twists and turns which move the plot along and there’s not one place I felt I could put the book down to be picked up at a later date.  This is a story you will just want to keep on reading!

Close My Eyes is a psychological thriller that you will empathise with and become so caught up in that while you’re reading, this IS your reality.

The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones

The plot in this supernatural thriller is AMAZING! and the characters are fabulous too.  I loved the way we ended a timeline on a cliff hanger, making me want to turn those pages to see what would come next!  The Snowdonia scenes are really atmospheric.  The isolation and weather contributing to those heart pounding experiences.  I loved the historical timeline too – the landscape, customs and characters felt very authentic.  I loved that I never quite knew whether I could trust Sebastien or not and that although I guessed about Gabriel, I was never quite sure about him either.

The String Diaries is a story about a love obsession and the desire to own, control and possess, which echoes across time and devastates.  It’s a story that will hold you in its grip, not only while you are reading but for some time afterwards as well.

The Longest Holiday by Paige Toon

Just when I was wondering where else there was left to go, wham! Something spectacular happens which turns everything on its head.  Loved being able to read Leo’s point of view and the way Bridget was on Laura’s side.  Leo gave me butterflies before this but from this part?  I fell in love with him myself :)

I was really, really, disappointed to come to the end of The Longest Holiday –  very reluctant to get to those final pages.  This is my all-time favourite of Paige Toon’s novels.

Tide by Daniela Sacerdoti

Deception, truths uncovered, a character who I disliked intensely but actually ended up rooting for, terror, action packed scenes, magic and a fabulous mythology and of course the love triangle! has kept me riveted.   I can’t wait to see how this will all play out!

Heroic by Phil Earle

Heroic is a gut-wrenching and heart-breaking novel.  It is sensitively written with the underpinning values of family and community – and the lengths those that are closest to you will go to protect you.

Even though I loved Earle’s first two novels, Heroic is even better!

The Uprising by Lisa M Stasse

This world that Stasse has created is totally believable.  From the transport used to life on the wheel, I felt myself there alongside our characters.  The political zeal from the Monk and collaboration of teams is something you would expect from this dystopian world.

This has been a quest that has entered my dreams and when not reading, my thoughts have returned to The Uprising again and again.  Living in this world feels as natural as breathing.

A Heart Bent out of Shape by Emylia Hall

I loved the pace of the plot unfolding, the characters, the place.  From the very beginning I have been totally swept up in Hadley’s world in Lausanne. Hall’s writing paints the scenes in vivid detail.  One life ended, another life finding meaning again and a waking of emotions.

Calling Mrs Christmas by Carole Matthews

Matthews takes a plot and colours it in many different hues, not only with the scenes but with the emotions of her characters too.  I become totally involved with the reality of the conflict, believing myself in the same situation and feeling exactly the same as her characters and that’s whether they are male or female!  She has such a skill in weaving emotions into a tangle so that her readers are unable to totally figure out the way the romance will unfold and not knowing which male lead they are rooting for. I knew who I wanted to be ‘the one’ but at times I also wanted Cassie to choose differently.

You can read the reviews by clicking on the image below.  You will be taken to my Pinterest Keepers board.



You can read all reviews on my blog here.

Wishing you a creative 2014 full of light, love and laughter



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11 thoughts on “Jera’s Jamboree : 2013 reads

  1. Woohooo! The best New Year’s present I could have had! Thanks for including Sophie’s Encore on your Keepers list, it means the world! And thank YOU for all your hard work, dedication, reading, reviewing, and blogging. You rock, lady! Here’s wishing you an awesome 2014 full of fun, laughter and happiness. Rock on, Shaz!

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