Here’s my end of the year list of some of the books that have piqued my interest over the past year. This year I’ll be listing them by genre.
But first, I want to feature two books I'm a part of that are also raising money for charity:
Christmas Lites V
Christmas Lites V is a special anthology. Every dime raised goes directly to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). Not a single person who worked on this book or donated their time and their art form to it receives anything from it, other than the knowledge that he/she is making a difference in those affected by domestic violence.
Inside these pages are stories of all genres—Romance, fantasy, horror, action, children’s stories, stories written BY children. Please, dive inside, read, laugh, and spread the love and joy.
You can find Christmas Lites V on Amazon
Here's the video for my story, A Tale of Two Urchins:
A Rewording Life: Finding Meaning in the Wor(l)d
With A Rewording Life, Sheryl Gordon brings clarity to obscure words, collaborates with over a thousand cool Canadians (Yann Martel, Jane Urquhart, Terry Fallis, Miriam Toews, Wayson Choy, Sass Jordan, Colin Mochrie, et al.), and raises money for dementia research. When Ms. Gordon saw her mother, Yolande, lose her words to dementia, she understood like never before that words have meaning. To honour her mom, she asked Canadians who make her life more rewarding to pen an indelible sentence for an abstruse, bemusing, or convoluted word; she chose words she tends to forget. She hopes to harness these scintillating sentences to help eradicate dementia. Interwoven amongst the plethora of contributions are eight heartfelt essays written by Ms. Gordon. The initial letters of her essay titles (a, d, e, i, m, n, t, e) spell dementia. She hopes readers can embrace this scattered concept. Confusion is, after all, the nature of this disease.
A Rewording Life can be found at:
Now on with my picks...
Sigil of the Wyrm by A. J. Cambell
Richard Lampton never believed in fairy tales, so when a stunning stranger at his uncle’s funeral warns him of an ancient family curse, he pays no heed—until a very real wyrm attempts to destroy him. Now, with the help of a homeless runaway, a fledgling jackdaw, and a key none but he can use, Richard must find the courage to meet his death or his destiny as he plunges headlong Into the Weirding.
Love the cover.
Check it out here: Amazon
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.
Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.
The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.
But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.
Best book I read all year!
The Heartbeat Thief by AJ Krafton
Haunted by a crushing fear of death, a young Victorian woman discovers the secret of eternal youth--she must surrender her life to attain it, and steal heartbeats to keep it.
An intriguing new book, by a wonderful author.
The Reaper's Daughter by KM Randall
I've always felt like an average girl ... except for my strange relationship with death. You could say I like to court it.
But now Death is courting me―in more ways than one. First, there’s Rishi, a rogue death deity who has a penchant for annoying me nearly to my grave and whose intense gaze has the power to see right through me. Then there’s Hades, who I’d rather had stayed just a myth. Now that he knows I exist, he’s not going to leave me alone until I meet the same end as my mother.
They call her the Grim Reaper.
I adore the premise for this book.
Here it is on Amazon.
The Dharian Affairs series by Susan Kaye Quinn
This steampunk-goes-to-Bollywood (Bollypunk!) romance that takes place in an east-Indian-flavored alternate world filled with skyships, saber duels, and lots of royal intrigue. And, of course, kissing.
Who can resist steampunk and kissing?
Find the series on Amazon:
The Legacy Human (Singularity #1) (Singularity Series) by Susan Kaye Quinn
What would you give to live forever?
Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.
The first book in this acclaimed series.
Dark Beyond the Stars anthology (multiple authors)
From humanity's first contact with alien life, to the challenges of space travel, to colonies established light years from Earth, this anthology celebrates the wide sweep of space opera at its most sublime. Eleven of today's bestselling authors join forces to bring you these tales of action, adventure, and brilliant imagination.
This book courted controversy, and praise.
Check it out on Amazon
Exploring a remote island can get you into trouble
Especially when you stumble upon a cave and awaken two demons
Rumors and superstition.
That's what Emma thinks about local gossip concerning her grandmother's "cursed" private island. Emma journeys to the island to ready it for sale. While out exploring, she unearths a hidden cave-a cave which holds answers to the island's dark past.
There may be more to the rumors than she thought.
Another great author!
Find The Island on Amazon
You'll have to wait for the new year for this one, but I'd thought I'd give you a sneak peek.
The Bookminder by M.K. Wiseman
Sired by magick and violence, sixteen-year-old Liara is found guilty of witchcraft and banished from her tiny village by the very priest who raised, then betrayed her. However, a mysterious mage steps forward to assume custody of her: Nagarath, the Wizard of Parentino, whose secret spellwork has long protected both Liara and Dvigrad from the ravages of war.
Despite Liara’s best hopes, Nagarath refuses to apprentice her to his craft but tasks her instead with the restoration of his neglected library. Liara gleans what magickal knowledge she can on the sly, determined to learn, come what may. But the first test of her stolen knowledge goes awry and renews an evil wizard’s interest in the people of the Limska Draga valley.
Only by tapping Liara’s inherent magick and joining it with his own can Nagarath protect Parentino from suffering a horrible fate. However, her discovery of his secrets destroys their fragile trust and ignites the darker tendencies of her gift. Now, he must rescue her from the influence of his mortal enemy before their powerful new alliance destroys them all.