Top Ten Tuesday: Contemporary Romance Authors New to Me in 2016

Posted December 6, 2016 by meezcarrie in Amy Matayo, Christian, Crystal Walton, Janet Ferguson, Jennifer Rodewald, Kathryn Springer, Liz Johnson, Nicole Deese, romance, Sally Bradley, Tammy L. Gray, Toni Shiloh, Top Ten Tuesday / 50 Comments



Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, inspired by the folks at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s suggested topic is “Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016”. But as usual I’m tweaking it a bit and narrowing the scope to “Contemporary Romance Authors Who Were New to Me in 2016”. (I used to be such a rule keeper. I’m not sure what happened.)

Bio-Shot1-239x300Sally Bradley writes big-city fiction with real issues and real hope.

A Chicagoan since age five, Sally has been fascinated by all things Chicago (except for the crime, politics, and traffic) for almost as long. She now lives in the Kansas City area with her family, but they get back to Chicago from time to time for important things, like good pizza and a White Sox game.

Learn more by checking out my interview with Sally!

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“Bradley’s writing evokes emotion even as it soothes and engages readers from the very beginning.”

~from my review of Homestands

crystal-walton-199x300Amidst multiple moves up and down the east coast, Crystal Walton received her bachelor of arts from Messiah College in PA, married her exact opposite in upstate NY, and earned her master of arts from Regent University in VA, where she currently resides with her husband. She writes inspirational romances with humor, broken characters, and emotional plots full of grace and hope. When not working her accounting day job, she’s delving into the wonder of words, supporting her Starbucks habit, or laughing over movie quotes & singing eighties songs with her husband.

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“Write Me Home by Crystal Walton is a sweet (and clean) romance with some great sizzle, a little humor, all the feels, and even a dash of suspense.”

~from my review of Write Me Home

amy-matayoAuthor Amy Matayo is an excellent speaker, mathematician, seamstress, chef…and liar. She’s decent at writing books but not much else. Then again, the book thing makes her marginally cool and a whole lot intimidating.

Not really. Not even her kids are afraid of her.

She graduated with barely passing grades from John Brown University with a degree in Journalism. But she’s proud of that degree and all the ways she hasn’t put it to good use.

She laughs often, cries easily, feels deeply, and loves hard. She lives in Arkansas with her husband and four kids and is working on her next novel.

Learn more by checking out my interview with Amy!

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“Cute, sexy, quirky, funny – The Thirteenth Chance is all of these things and more! “

~from my review of The Thirteenth Chance

kathryn springerKathryn Springer is a USA Today bestselling author. She grew up in northern Wisconsin, where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child she spent many hours sitting at her mother’s typewriter, plunking out stories, and credits her parents for instilling in her a love of books — which eventually turned into a desire to tell stories of her own. Kathryn has written nineteen books with close to two million copies sold. She lives with her husband and three children in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Kathryn’s book The Dandelion Field won the 2016 Inspy Award for Contemporary Romance.

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“Jack and Evie together are just … dreamy sigh. Jack by himself would be dreamy-sigh-worthy enough but Jack in love with Evie is completely twitterpating.”

~from my review of The Hearts We Mend

jennifer rodewaldJennifer Rodewald is passionate about the Word of God and the powerful vehicle of story. The draw to fiction has tugged hard on her heart since childhood, and when she began pursuing writing she set on stories that reveal the grace of God.

Jen lives and writes in a lovely speck of a town where she watches with amazement while her children grow up way too fast, gardens, and marvels at God’s mighty hand in everyday life. Four kids and her own personal superman make her home in southwestern Nebraska delightfully chaotic.


” I pick up a Jennifer Rodewald book and settle in for what I know will be an amazing read…I’m just simply delighted by her way with words.”

~from my review of Ordinary Snowflakes

janet fergusonJanet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served her church as a children’s minister and a youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a few cats that allow them to share the space.

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“Fan-necessitating romance, a swoonworthy leading man (he doesn’t just play one in the movies), a couple of hilarious supporting characters, and a poignant message of reconciliation and forgiveness are all wrapped up with a bit of southern sass and a lot of Mississippi charm.”

~from my review of Going Up South

media-Liz-Johnson-BBy day Liz Johnson is a marketing manager for a Christian publisher. By night she makes up her own love stories. She is the author of more than ten novels, a New York Times bestselling novella, and a handful of short Christmas stories. She’s also a two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist.

Liz is a graduate of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where she earned a degree in public relations. She writes stories filled with heart, humor, and happily ever afters.

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“The true meaning of friendship and family find their way beautifully into this story that on the surface appears to be a cute contemporary romance involving the restoration of an old inn but is really about so much more.”

~from my review of The Red Door Inn

tammy-l-grayTammy L. Gray lives in the Dallas area with her family, and they love all things Texas, even the erratic weather patterns. She writes modern Christian romance with true-to-life characters and culturally-relevant plot lines. She believes hope and healing can be found through high quality fiction that inspires and provokes change.

When not chasing after her three amazing kids, Tammy can be spotted with her head in a book. Writing has given her a platform to combine her passion with her ministry.

Learn more by checking out my interview with Tammy!

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“I had never read a novel by Tammy L. Gray before reading My Hope Next Door. I am now trying to get my hands on every single book in her backlist, if that gives you any idea how much I loved this one! “

~from my review of My Hope Next Door

nicole-deeseNicole Deese is a full-time lover of humorous, heartfelt, and hope-filled fiction. She is the author of seven inspirational romances including the Love in Lenox novels, A Cliché Christmas and A Season to Love, and The Promise of Rayne.

When she’s not writing, she can usually be found reading near a window while sipping a LaCroix. She lives in small-town Idaho with her handsome hubby and two sons.

Learn more by checking out my interview with Nicole!

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“The Promise of Rayne is a romance, yes – and a darn good one – but it’s so much more.”

~from my review of The Promise of Rayne

toni-shilohToni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Before pursuing her dream as a writer, Toni served in the United States Air Force. It was there she met her husband. After countless moves, they ended up in Virginia, where they are raising their two boys. When she’s not typing in imagination land, Toni enjoys reading, playing video games, making jewelry, and spending time with her family. Toni is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) as well as the ACFW Virginia Chapter.

Learn more by checking out my interview with Toni!

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“Dwight and Nina’s romance is sweet and even though it’s somewhat of a slow burn buildup it’s got plenty of sizzle and spark!”

~from my review of Buying Love

What about you? Who are some authors YOU read for the first time in 2016?

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50 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Contemporary Romance Authors New to Me in 2016

  1. Andrea Stephens

    Let’s see, who was new to me in 2016, because of you… Kara Isaac, Pepper Basham, Tammy L. Gray, Nerys Leigh, and Joanne Bischof.
    Thank you, Carrie! for those introductions. I have been very blessed and excited to read their books! Your Super blog has enriched my reading experience by books and books and books!
    I also met a few new authors this year too.

  2. Winnie Thomas

    Some of the same ones: Janet Ferguson, Nicole Deese, Jennifer Rodewald. Also Kara Isaac, Victoria Bylin, Pepper Basham. I love Tammy L. Gray and Amy Matayo’s books, but I had read some of their books previous to this year. I also have books by some of the other authors you mentioned, but alas, they are still in my humongous TBR pile. And now, of course, I will have more to add!

  3. So honored to be in the lineup. I’ve read a few of these ladies and really want to read the rest! Out of the ones I have read, Crystal Walton is my new-to-me author.

  4. Amanda J.

    Hi Carrie, because of this blog, I read Sarah Monzon (Finders Keepers), Pepper Basham (The Thorn Bearer and Twist of Faith), Jennifer Rodewald (The Carpenter’s Daughter and soon to read Ordinary Snowflakes), Sondra Kraak (One Plus One Equals Trouble) and Liz Johnson (Red Door Inn) for the first time. I also have Janet Ferguson and Brandy Vallance (both of whom will be new to me and I have you to thank for introducing me to Janet) to read next. Fun post- as always. FYI- I need to get in the habit of commenting daily to let you know that your blog blesses me daily. Hugs to you. You know, it’s like Winnie wrote a few days ago, you’re like this special friend yet I’ve never even met you…Winnie’s comments make her feel like a friend too. God continues to show His awesomeness- He’s using a blog to show His goodness. ☺

    • Carrie

      awww Amanda! THANK YOU! You have just made my day. Seriously, God has used you to bless me today, my friend. (And does this mean I can make Winnie a blog sidekick like on the TV talk shows? LOL)

      • Amanda J.

        Oh please do!!!! I could. not. stop. laughing the day she commented on your Dream Book Boyfriend panel. Oh my word! Happy Tuesday. I have some reading to go do…oh and maybe some work too 😉

      • Winnie Thomas

        Yay! I get to be a sidekick! I can check another thing off my bucket list! Woohoo! You’ll have to instruct me in my duties, Carrie. LOL

    • Winnie Thomas

      Thanks so much, Amanda! That’s sweet of you! I’ve “met” sooooo many amazing people because of Carrie and her blog! I’d be glad to be your friend. 😀

  5. Carrie, so very glad we met this year! 🙂 New-to-me 2016 authors are Kara Isaac and Connilyn Cossette. Both were excellent. Working on my books-I-want-for-Christmas list now, and not sure if I have any new authors on it or not. I love finding new authors; that’s always so much fun.

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