Down Under Author Showcase

January 12, 2015 at 6:45 am | Posted in Bottom Drawer Publications, Dreamspinner Press, Promotion | Leave a comment
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DownUnder_January Is Banner

The Down Under Author Showcase at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is almost halfway through, if you can believe that. Heaps has gone on already, with lots of interesting facts about Australia and New Zealand highlighted (even I am learning things!), and lots of great author posts and interviews. If you haven’t been able to visit every day you can catch up with the action at this link.

Don’t forget there’s a scavenger hunt, and a lot of prizes up for grabs. My post will be up towards the end of the week, and I’ll be giving away a book from my backlist, and there are also additional copies of Cutting Out and the Under the Southern Cross anthology (containing my novella Whitewater) in the swag. So head on over and check things out!

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Books I enjoyed in 2014

January 2, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Posted in Books of the year, Reading | 1 Comment
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Here it comes, my annual “books I enjoyed” post, where I outline books I particularly enjoyed the previous year. Now, this year was a little different reading wise, because I tumbled head first into the Captain America fandom, and subsequently read an absolute shitload of fanfic. However, this is not the post where I gush about 90-something year old supersoldier boyfriends, it’s the post where I discuss professionally published fiction; so, onward we go to my most memorable books of 2014.

In no particular order:

Infected: Bloodlines by Andrea Speed

The continuing adventures of Roan McKichan. If you’re a reader of M/M and you don’t know of this series by now, you either don’t read paranormal, or you’ve been living under a rock. I am very, very far behind on them, because I find them incredibly intense, and sometimes I’m simply not in the mood for that. Having said that, I think they’re excellent, and this one was heartbreaking. Absolutely, positively heartbreaking. I applaud Andrea for doing what she did with this one, because it was awful. But so incredibly realistic, it took my breath away.

Billy’s Bones by Jamie Fessenden

A therapist sees a patient who attempted suicide, just the once. Three years later, they cross paths outside of the office, and a relationship develops, complicated by traumatic amnesia and a decades-old unsolved murder. This book has some triggering themes, but it was excellent. I couldn’t put it down.

Shaking the Sugar Tree by Nick Wilgus

A single father struggles to find a life for himself while taking care of his deaf son and dealing with his quirky family. I found this charming, funny and sad. While I think some people were offended by the political incorrectness of some  of the book, I found it realistic – I don’t know many families without a redneck bigmouth somewhere in the tree, and I think the portrayal of the frustrations of a parent dealing with a disabled child was absolutely spot on.

Machine by KZ Snow

I have waxed lyrical about the books in this series before, twice. I love them. All of them. I am very sad there will not be more of them. In this one, Fan (who I LOVE) struggles with his bipolarity and his past. If you have not read these, and are in any way a fan of steampunk/alternative universes, I recommend them all.

Lick by Kylie Scott

A girl goes to Vegas to celebrate her 21st birthday. She wakes up the next morning with a raging hangover, a tattoo, a scorchingly hot man in her room, and a ring on her wedding finger which matches the one on his. And she has no memory of any of it. Woops! This is labelled as new adult, and it’s full of cliches but I thought it was great. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

The Border by Kim Fielding

Two men on opposing sides of a war find they’re not really enemies after all. This one was lovely, and reminded me a lot of the movie Joyeux Noel, which I also liked very much and is also totally worth spending time on.

The Protector by Cooper West

In this universe, law enforcement includes bonded human/dog shifter pairs called guardsmen. The shifter of the pair is not supposed to live beyond the death of the human half, let alone bond to another handler. Until one does. This was an unusual take on paranormal law enforcement and the emotional connections of bonded pairs, and I really liked it.

Most Beautiful Words by Raine O’Tierney

This book has quite the eyebrow-raising premise – an M/M romance narrated by a 12 year old girl? Um, no. No thanks. But it needs to be given a chance, because how much Autumn loves her grandfather is charming, and as his layers and his history are revealed you get more and more sucked in; at least, I did. And the M/M side of things is highly, devastatingly romantic.

In Me an Invincible Summer by Ryan Loveless

Closeted gay man and action movie star Joe Nestra signs up to do a gay-themed movie, and the effect doing the movie has on him causes his carefully constructed life to fall down around him. Fair warning, Joe is a dick at first, but as I read on, I got more and more engrossed. By halfway through I really needed to know how it would end for Joe. It ends on a bit of a happy-for-now where his life as a whole is concerned, but I felt the treatment of him as a gay action movie star (once it was known) was realistic.

Body Option by Talya Andor

Soldier Grant Badu is partnered with a human-inside-a-machine, Trefoil Argent. Argent has an option to take a human body, but has not, for reasons unknown to Grant. Grant doesn’t want to pry, but when Argent is forced into taking his body option to complete a dangerous mission, they can no longer avoid talking about it. This was a very, very interesting story. There were certain sensitive aspects of the plot which were handled non-offensively, which I appreciated. I enjoyed it.

The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves by Maggie Steifvater

These are part of a 4-book young adult series called the Raven Cycle, and they are SO GOOD. I can’t even express how much I loved them. I’ve got the third one on order at the library (I am listening to them in audiobook, which I get through the library because they are outrageously priced in my country), but I’m torn about listening to it because then I will have to wait FOREVER for the fourth one to come out (later this year) and then it’s all going to end in tragedy and I will DIE. Ugh.

These were definitely the best books I read all year. Ostensibly the series is about a group of teenagers searching for the grave of a Welsh king they believe can be revived, but really it’s about forging friendships and family and falling in love for the first time and working out who you are as you grow up and how everything is so incredibly important and dramatic when you’re young. They’re killing me, in the best possible way.

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OK, I’ll stop now! If you made it this far, thanks for reading my rambling, and hope you found something that sounds like it’s up your alley. Here’s to a good reading year in 2015!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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