Parker’s Top Ten Picks for 2020

I’ve had such a great time on the show all this year as I chatted with authors about their books. There were some great reads that made me laugh, cry, run for cover, or made me think about the world or spiritual things at large. Through the written word, I’ve experienced great love, traveled to distant planets and stars, pondered things about the beyond and more.

It was incredibly difficult to pick ten books out of the slew of books I’ve hosted this year. However, I narrowed it down and below, I hope you find a great new author to read.


10. The Land of the Purple Ring by Deborah Nateleson

Immeasurable imagination. Unmitigated magic. Spectacular style.

The clockwork man is crafted, to begin with—his father forced by that terrible tyrant Time to create her a slave for all eternity. His brain boasts balance wheels and torsion springs; he can wind himself up with a key in his side; and, most importantly, his gyroscopic tourbillon heart glimmers with pure diamond.

He is a living being and he is art, and he refuses to remain a slave forever. He therefore slips through Time’s fingers as the Sands of Time slip through the cracks of reality (at least, when the time cats aren’t using them as a litter box).

Among astounding adventures, despite harrowing hardships, and in between escaping interfering enchanters, the clockwork man seeks his imagination, his purpose, and his name.


9. DAWN BEFORE THE DARK BY WENDY BLANTON

An ancient curse keeps men in fear of dragons, so only women can ride them in Slan–while only men can perform magic. As a necromancer from beyond the edge of the known world threatens invasion, Briant appears–a young man who loves dragons. Wybren Tanwen must decide: Is Briant the dragonborn, the answer to prophecy? Will he save Slan?


8. BRU AND BACCHUS BY MARK AIKINS

Bru Copetski and his robot copilot Bacchus are returning to Polkbridge Station for a much needed break from salvage and delivery patrol. There they encounter a troubled mayor with otherworldly dreams, and a pair of drug-runners who kidnap two of their friends.When their rescue mission leads them to the planet Generaton, one of the three Spiral Gap settler worlds, they can’t imagine that disaster lies ahead, even as death follows them from behind. Helped by their friends Maggie Poole and Kevin Ragg, as well as a couple of Christian professors from earth, Bru and Bacchus come face to face with a madman’s army……and a mysterious fellowship of aliens who call themselves the Knowers. 


7. MIDWIVES OF MOSES BY JENIFER JENNINGS

A god asked Puah to kill. That went against her faith. Her own God asked her to walk away. That went against her calling.

Until she is ordered by Pharaoh to kill newborn Hebrew males, Puah thought she had an easy profession. If she obeys, it means the deaths of untold innocents. If she doesn’t, it means her death.

As Pharaohs rise and fall, Puah’s people are forced into deeper oppression. Men are forced labor and women are sent to serve their Egyptian counterparts. Only Puah and her recently acquired guild are free. For now.

Moses, one of the hidden babies who was adopted by the Princess, is being groomed to take over. When he denies his right to rule and mistakenly kills an Egyptian, he is forced to flee into the desert. Forty years later, he returns as the instrument of God.

With her medical training and passion for helping pregnant women, Puah places herself in the heart of hell on earth as the intensity of plagues increases.

After the last plague falls, she must make the decision to stay in Egypt or face the unknown wilderness. Puah’s heart has always been for the women of Egypt. How can she obey God to walk away from them in their greatest hour of need? She can only make the choice once and morning won’t wait.


6. SOLITARY MAN BY ERIC LANDFRIED

Ten years after a brutal war, cannibals and humans fight over the pieces of a hardscrabble existence.

Former Navy SEAL Doyle has been prowling the broken remnants of a devastated America for years. Alone in an armored bus loaded with weapons and supplies, he’s grateful for his solitude. Being alone makes it easier to survive, as others can become a liability in the end of the world. But when a particularly brutal attack leaves Doyle in need of fuel and repair, he has no choice but to venture into the nearest settlement.

Jonathan has been pastoring a small church of Christians in that same settlement, but when he meets Doyle he sees an opportunity to expand his ministry. Cannibals have kept everyone from traveling, but Doyle’s armored transport and weapons bring hope to his small band of followers. The two men strike up a mutually beneficial bargain, but neither of them realizes that this journey will change them in ways they could never have imagined.

As they search for other believers, they must battle cannibals, militant atheists, and a mysterious super soldier. Doyle’s unbelief and Jonathan’s faith will collide in this action-packed wasteland.

Solitary Man is a gritty, action-packed post-apocalyptic story with a solid, Biblical worldview.


5. THE RIFTWALKERS AND THE PIERCED VEIL BY ROBBIN PARRISH

All over the world, they are appearing.

Tears in the fabric of reality known as “Rifts” have been secretly manifesting for years, offering rare glimpses into a realm where the forces of light and dark wage eternal war. A place where rulers, powers, and principalities scheme to destroy mankind.

When new Rifts begin openly appearing in the sky over a small Texas town, the FBI pairs one of its brightest agents with an enigmatic consultant to search for answers. Why is it happening? Who or what is responsible? And what happens if the inhabitants of the other side make their way into our world?

What this unlikely duo discovers will set them on a collision course with destiny, and challenge everything we understand about our own existence.

Intricately plotted and emotionally riveting, THE RIFTWALKERS, the thrilling new series by author Robin Parrish, kicks off with a can’t-put-it-down debut that leads into a mind-bending series where mysteries and surprises await at every turn.

Proceed with caution: The Riftwalkers could become your new obsession.


4. AVERSION BY NATE ALLEN

For as long as Eric Davis can remember, the name of that distinct carpenter from the bible (“that J name”) has caused him to have severe panic attacks. Living on a religion free road with his wife, Brooke, and his two children, Fiona and Mitchell, avoidance has done the trick. But things change, as they tend to do. On the day his wife comes home from church (wait, church?) to deliver her life changing news, Eric is given a peek behind the curtain for his aversion. Dark stairs leading down into a far darker place, long shadows reaching up the walls, reaching for him.

In a last effort to save his marriage and his sanity, he seeks answers to his aversion. The more he discovers about the why, the more he wishes he could close the curtain for good. But he’s already gone too far. To stop now would leave him worse off than before. What waits at the end of his journey is darkness unimaginable and a past that was better buried in the deepest parts of his mind.


3. THE ONE BY R. D. PALMER

Blessed are the Machines, for they shall inherit the Earth.
A juxtaposition, dystopian novel of terror, hope, and faith. Written for the Christian market, this novel will inspire you. You’ll cheer the heroes in the face of war and death, and your heart will dip and rise on the roller-coaster ride of their romances and heartbreaks.

Beliefs are tested. Amish and English—the Remnant—forced to choose how to survive. Can they trust each other? Betrayal, honor, bravery and cowardice on full display.

Their mission—an impossible feat—defeat an Artificial Intelligent entity created in the image of man, yet lacking all emotions—including empathy, pity, and mercy. The stakes—all life on Earth. The unlikely heroes of this thriller will fight against an omnipresent, omniscient god while demonstrating principles of virtue and defining what it means to be human.


2. JORDAN’S WORLD BY ALLEN STEADHAM

Jordan Lewis and her mother have been abducted and marooned on an alien world.

Taken in by a friendly tribe of natives, Jordan tries her best to adapt to living on this strange planet called Algoran. Jordan becomes a respectable huntress, but she still longs for the life she once knew on Earth.

When she learns the beings who took her may be on the other side of Algoran, she sets out for answers. Joined by three of her fellow hunters, Jordan crosses dangerous terrain, facing perilous creatures and people.

Will Jordan risk death for a chance to return to Earth?
What is God’s will for her life on Algoran?

Exploring the life of an ordinary young woman torn from all she’s ever known, Jordan’s World shows that God reigns over the whole universe, and that consequences can sometimes span solar systems.


1. NORTHERN LIGHTS, SOUTHERN STARS BY C. S. JOHNSON

Her heart might be broken, but her spirit won’t be crushed.

As the dark-skinned princess from the Southern Colonies—formerly the kingdom of Marula—Ebony is no stranger to hardship and ridicule.

Forced into royal servitude after the death of her father, Ebony resolved to keep her head held high despite her sorrow—no matter how much vitriol she endured from her stepmother, Varyes, Queen of Pommier. And when the Queen’s son, Prince Rion, helps to piece her broken heart back together with his love and kindness, Ebony begins to hope she will one day find a new home for herself.

But when Queen Varyes loses the Southern Colonies to its warring neighbors, she strikes out for vengeance—and Ebony is her first target.

Can Ebony survive the wrath and cunning of her wicked stepmother—even if her survival means giving up her claim on Prince Rion’s heart?

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