Friday, September 30, 2016

Some Books I've Read This Year...and Some You Should Definitely Read TOO!

So, I get really excited about this post. It's one I do just about every year this time; I love to look back and remember the journey these books took me on. Here are some of the books I read this past year and my thoughts on a few of them:

Let me begin here and let me rave. THESE BOOKS! I am writing a young adult fantasy right now, so the genre and book blurb of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES piqued my interest. The writing is beautiful, the story gripping, the characters unforgettable. I am a fan of history and loved seeing the Roman influence in this setting. 

LOVED. These characters and their story have me ensnared. The tension! I did not see some of the twists coming. The emotional and physical journey of each character is masterfully written; something I love in a novel. I was a bit torn about the ending (in good and bad ways!). I am excited to read the next novel in the series.

Danger, mystery and sparks wait beneath the cover of this romantic suspense. I had the opportunity to read this novel between drafts and I am so excited to see it out! This is a fabulous read for all who enjoy clean romance and suspense.

While hunting for elk, Colt finds a woman dressed like she's ready for a day at the office instead of the high mountains of Utah. And she's passed out. And injured. And when she awakes, she can't even remember her name. Things only get worse for the two strangers, but with each page turned, Colt and The Woman With No Name begin to feel less and less like strangers...which might only spell out disaster for them both.

5 stars, especially for such an incredible ending. Parts of the first half of the novel drew me in while others were hard to get into. Sorcha goes through a lot in this novel, including some trauma that is difficult to read, however true to life it may be. Although this novel has elements of fantasy, Sorcha's struggle is real, her growth and maturity adding so much depth to the novel. Really, this author was masterful in her telling of Sorcha's story. And the two main leads! Hugh and Sorcha. And Simon. And all of Sorcha's brothers--so many well-developed, great characters in this novel. Halfway through the book I was hooked; I had such a hard time putting it down. I will definitely be reading more of this series.

** spoiler alert ** 
I was DONE with this series after the second book when Will, the character I was really rooting for, DIED. And yet I thought about this series often enough (over the next FOUR years), wondering how it all turned out for his love, sweet Elizabeth, that I finally snagged the third book. I liked her character too and COULD NOT believe it when Will died. I repeat: WHY DID WILL HAVE TO DIE!?
Anna Godbersen is truly an amazing author because, even though I didn't entirely love the way everything turned out for each character, holy cow this series was so hard to put down. And the history of New York in the early 1900's really comes to life.


ON WRITING by Stephen King:
I had heard so much about this book. What I didn't expect was that Stephen King would have me cracking up! Like totally laughing out loud at parts. The last half of this book was so good--if you are a writer, you are sure to glean some great tips and overall motivation for your writing. I sure did. During the first half of the novel which focused on his life, I was having a hard time figuring out how this book would all come together, but it did. All in all, a fabulous book on writing.

                       DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE         THRONE OF GLASS

WOW. Okay, I am not usually a dragon book person--they usually don't grab me. But I'm telling you, I DID NOT want to put this book down! It kept me up WAY late, and now that I've finished, I'm anxious to read the sequel. Such an adventure. A quick, gripping read. What a brilliant author. Characters, plot...this book has it all! Loved the sequel too, and looking forward to reading the third book in the series.

Ah, Nameless. This is my kind of book! Fast-paced and emotionally gripping, this book will keep you turning pages. These characters and the stakes had me hooked. I am a fan of all things history and ancient warfare too (the high school me would laugh at myself now! My husband has converted me over the years though), so I loved the elements of various ancient civilizations woven into the setting and characters. Jennifer is a talented author, and I look forward to reading her sequel, CLANLESS.


                                  A HEART REVEALED                     FRIENDS & FOES

Totally loved this one. Josi's regency romances have a way of sucking me in instantly and never letting me go. This was a forget-the-dishes-and-the-laundry-and-READ type of book for me! I did not fully understand some of Lord Fenton's behaviors regardless of his fears and motives, but every person is different in real life just as in fiction and each reacts differently to various situations--he still became the hero I was rooting him on to be! Characters felt real. Setting, time and place came to life for me. And what a sweet romance!


Ha! I did it. I actually sat down and read my published book, something I--believe it or not--have never done. (I read these puppies only 50+ times during the writing/editing process...). I'll be honest, I've been afraid to do this. Once it's published, it's out there. You know? I've kept my own novels at arm's length for fear that I will read them and cringe at a mistake I am unable to fix or a scene I wish I had developed better. Despite all the fear, this beauty (that cover! Thank you Kensington) kept me up into the wee hours of the night. Sure, there is always something I could do better, but I totally laughed out loud and fell in love with these characters all over again. I look at this book now and smile all the more for having read it in print form. Thank you, Alicia Condon and everyone at Kensington Publishing, for loving Julianna and Cody and bringing their story to light.



  1. Such a fun variety of books there. I also like to read lots of different genres. I've read some of these or have them on my list to read.

  2. Such a fun variety of books there. I also like to read lots of different genres. I've read some of these or have them on my list to read.