There’s been a lot going on this spring! For those who missed it, I had a short story published through Luna Station Quarterly on March 1st. “At Love’s Heart” is a tale about grief and love and ice. You can get it, and all of the other lovely stories in Issue 37, on Amazon or directly from the magazine.
Also notable news! April promises to be a busy month. We’ll see the first installment of the Black Roses novella go up on the Patreon on Monday, April 1st. $3 and up backers will receive pdf, mobi, and epub installments every week. Check out the synopsis below.
It’s grief that drives Lorelai to Vermont, a land of mountains and hidden lakes and deep snow. She wants to forget everything she’s lost. Ethan Locke seems like the perfect man to lose herself in.
But every lover has ghosts…
I’ve made a new banner for the Patreon, and I like it a lot better. Tune in April 1st for a cover reveal and an excerpt of the first installment!
Last bit of news! Roanoke Author Invasion is right around the corner on April 6th. I’ll have copies of all my books available and free swag, as always. The event is free, so come visit!
No post this coming Friday, but I’m excited for everything coming up in April and I hope you are too!
I mean, you read so many, right? Or, well, I read so many. If there were a monster that could only fill the deep gullet of its belly with words, then I would be that monster. I read a LOT. It’s like breathing.
So every year I try to keep a list of the books that make me smile or laugh out loud or weep uncontrollably and every year I doubtless fail. I know there are things that I will miss, books I really loved but that I can’t quite bring myself to put on my best of list and books that touched me despite not being my favorite and really, who am I kidding? I love all the books, unless I don’t. I’m not really a halfway kind of person when it comes to the written word, and so when I read a book I either love it or, more rarely, hate it. If it makes me feel sort of meh, I don’t finish.
Anyway, the point is that these books are happy, good, glowing things that are worth your time. There’s probably something on this list for everyone and if there is something you’ve read and liked and you want to know about stories like it, I can probably point you in the right direction. It’s a talent of mine.
Without further ado, my 2018 list for novels and novellas:
Urban Fantasy, Portal Story, Coming of Age, LGBTQ. This book has a lot going on. The pacing is good for the scope of the time that is taken up in this novel. It’s also a standalone, so don’t worry about getting into this and having to commit to some long series. Everything you need is contained within its cover from the beginning.
I read this book early in the year and it read, for me, like a balm. It’s the story of a boy who is used to not being loved, and all the problems that he makes for himself because of that habit. And it’s the story of his friends, who stand by him despite his best efforts, and of the magical world they call home. I hope you read it and love it and feel comfort.
I’ve mentioned this book before, but since it technically came out this year I need to mention it again. I met Bryan Camp at WFC in November of 2017, devoured his book, can’t wait for more. Also he’s a cool guy. This book is set in New Orleans, but unlike most of the similar books mining such a rich setting, The City of Lost Fortunes feels real and lived in. That’s probably because Bryan is a native, and a native with good attention to detail and a love for the city he calls home in all of its chaotic glory. Urban Fantasy.
Epic Fantasy. This book takes place in the same secondary world that Bear previously created for The Range of Ghosts. Because of that, it is easy to see just how far she has come as a writer. Range of Ghosts and the ensuing novels are solid, well-written, and inventive. The prose in The Stone in the Skull, however, practically leaps of the page. It nonetheless loses none of the excellent elements of the original world, expanding on them in ways that feel natural.
Some of my favorite books in secondary world fantasy have been written by this author. Her skill in research in writing is something I aspire towards. Also she’s a gem and she liked my dress at Futurescapes. It is one of the highlights of my life. So I hope you will read this book and enjoy it as much as I did.
You may remember a few years back when I discovered Ilona Andrews. This husband and wife team write the most excellent romance and magical action. This year I have read several of their works, since I’ve been in the mood for romance recently, but since I do love the world of Magic Shifts I decided to recommend this one. It is the start of a trilogy that can be read alone, but I wouldn’t waste the chance to read the recently completed Kate Daniels series, of which this story-line is a spin off. Romance, Urban Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic.
This is the only novella that made my list this year. I did read a few, mind, and there were some exceptional ones. But there is only so much space on this list and I’m kind of pushing it as it is with seven titles instead of my usual five or so. Luckily, you can read Glory’s Teeth as a standalone, though the author has other works in this world if you can’t get enough.
This book was an unexpected find. I actually saw the author post about it through someone else I follow on Twitter, proving that, occasionally, social media does sell books. The story made me absolutely sob. It’s about a girl who also happens to be a wolf destined to consume the world, the torment of feeling empty and alone, and the hunger to be alive. And it is so very, very delicious. Urban Fantasy, Norse Mythology.
Gritty, inventive, excellent – these are all words one might use to describe Rebecca Roanhorse’s debut release. And it is definitely gritty. The gore in this book is not to be underestimated. Nor is the refreshing approach to the world. Roanhorse uses her own Native heritage as inspiration in creating a dynamic, grungy world where myths come alive, and not always for the better. While it’s not necessarily a hopeful book, it is a solidly vengeful one, and it sets up nicely for future sequels. Action, Urban Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic.
Last but definitely not least, for those of you who haven’t heard of this wonderful book, we have Space Opera. Ambitious it may be, but this book sticks the landing, as Valente is wont to do. In a story reminiscent of Hitchhiker’s Guide but definitely it’s own, with aliens and absurdity and tongue-twisting prose, Valente takes us on a journey that seems to be about what makes good music but is actually about what makes someone human. Above all, this is a hopeful read. It’s the story you didn’t know you needed in 2018, the longest and shortest year on record, and I have it last so that you will remember it best. Science Fiction, Weird, Eurovision.
I hope you enjoy these reads, folks! Don’t forget to let me know if you’ve read one of these, I’d love to hear how you liked it.
If you have been reading my stuff for a while, you may remember my first book. Child of Brii was and is a new adult urban fantasy/romance book. It was my first book that I ever actually finished writing, if not the first book that I started, and it holds a special place in my heart. I took it off sale in February of 2016 and the decision was not necessarily a good one.
There were a number of things going into that. First, Child of Brii was my first book, and you could tell. That in and of itself wasn’t a problem, but it was also the first book I self-published. Back in 2013, I really thought that self-publishing was easy. So many of my friends had talked about it that way, after all. They all made decent sales and I had it in my head that I could just toss a book up and people would buy it. Some people did.
But I didn’t do a good job with the editing and I didn’t understand the market. The book was riddled with typos and weird gaps, and while I love it, I didn’t want people to think that was my best work. It isn’t.
But Child of Brii is the work of my heart, and for all of the unexpected helicopters in it (sorry, folks, I know that’s jarring) it’s also been my best-received book. People really love these characters, probably because they’re incredibly lovable. And Amaya’s powers are still on my top list of super powers, honestly.
Writing is about being vulnerable. It’s about putting yourself out there and standing by the fact that you will grow and sometimes not be able to look at what came before the same way. I have grown as a writer, I hope. I’m not afraid of my mistakes anymore. It helps that I cleaned up some of the typos.
Also good news – part of this republishing included a paperback print on demand book through the new KDP Select platform. If you’re the kind that loves paperback books, I have created a paperback which you can purchase through Amazon only. I’ll also have it available at the Roanoke Author Invasion in April! That’s a free event, so please come by, buy a book or twelve from some amazing authors, and enjoy the after party! I’ve heard there’s chocolate.
I fully intend to sweeten this situation further in the future. I’ve got a great idea for a spinoff story that will be more of the epic fantasy/romance variety – a prequel to the novel. It centers mostly around Brii and her girlhood, such as it was, as a near-deity to a lost and outcast people. I’m in the middle of another story/novelette now, and then I really need to buckle down on some Creation Saga edits, but my goal is to start on that project this year sometime. I’m super excited about it.
Thank you so much for loving this book as much as I do, and loving my work with all of its errors. Your support means more to me than you can know.