2015 was a great year for books. All the books below received my Paradise rating, meaning I wanted to give them more than 5 stars. Some were the first books in a new series, while others were from series I have loved for years. This year a short story even makes the list.
I read almost 200 books again this year. So many received 5 star reviews. The authors continue to impress me with their fantastic stories.
2015 was also a year of shock and sadness. My son passed away in March and my friend, author Joyce Lavene, passed away in October. Both are hardly ever out of my thoughts. I have found some comfort escaping into good books like these.
My Top 13 Books of 2015
What were your favorite books this year? Please share them in the comment section below so we can all see them and add them to our wish lists!
Looking ahead to 2016 I see so many wonderful books in our future. New stories from our favorite authors and new authors bringing us their stories. Sadly some of my favorite series have ended or we will see the last books in 2016. The publishing world continues to evolve. I used to think I would only read print books, but this year I read more than 70 books on my Kindle and some of them made this list.
I hope you have enjoyed my reviews, recommendations, and giveaways. It has been a pleasure being your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent this year. I am excited for the new year as I start my 7th year blogging! I hope to book many more literary escapes for you all to enjoy!
JOYCE LILLIAN LAVENE
May 23, 1954 – October 20, 2015
The cozy mystery world lost a shining star on Tuesday and I lost a dear friend. When I first saw her husband Jim’s Facebook post, I thought it couldn’t be true, then I went into denial and shock. I think I am still in shock.
I never met Joyce face to face. We “met” on Facebook and because of my blog. When I started dong my book tours she was my champion and she and Jim supported me and became my first blog sponsors. They had already authored close to 60 books before 2015 and this year they were releasing a book a month and sometimes two. Joyce and I were almost in daily contact. You see even though we met because of the stories we became close friends. We “talked” about so much more than books. We talked about life in general, our kids and our grandkids. She knew paranormal stories were not my thing but because of her I now read about ghosts, witches, and recently a werewolf. We still disagreed about that whole zombie/undead thing, but if anyone was going to get me to venture there it would have been Joyce. When my son passed away in March I was a mess and she was one of the friends that reached out and gave me a virtual shoulder to cry on. She tried to help me understand that moms could only do so much. She was warm, kind, inspirational, generous and smart. Beautiful inside and out. She had a wonderful sense of humor and was a gifted writer.
Looking back through my emails I found one from October 14 – Lori! What would I do without you?
to which I replied – What would I do without you?
It breaks my heart that I have to find out.
We had a good back and forth on the 15th about tour stuff and she posted on Facebook on the 17th, then her daughter posted she wasn’t feeling well and then Jim’s post on the 20th of her passing left her family, friends and fans devastated.
Again I have seen that tomorrow is never promised so we need live for today and count our blessings.
Joyce and Jim were married for 44 years. She is survived by Jim, her son Christopher, her daughter Jeni, her daughter Emily, and grandchildren Eric, Jason, Anthony, Gabrielle and Katharine, and her brother Michael Koch, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
They wrote bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They traveled to Ren Faires, book signings, conventions and conferences. It seemed like that always off on some fun adventure. Joyce was active on Facebook and Twitter every day. She was loved by her fans and was so accessible.
She was also an award winning photojournalist.
My life was better because of the place she had in it. I will miss her each and every day. I will not say goodbye – I will just say until we meet again.
Until that time she lives on in all her stories. I will be visiting her there soon and often. She has left quite a mark on this earth and brought joy to so many.
Blessed Be My Friend!
Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.
Sunday Salon will return next week.