A Year of Books – 2016

And now we come to that time when I look back over my favorite books of 2016. To be clear this are novels that I read in 2016, but not all were published this year. I have a gazillion books on my tablet and it truly will take me many years to read them all, but I plan to (eventually).

Over at Goodreads I set myself a reading challenge of just 26 books. I’m a slow reader and two a month is a reasonable target for me. I’m pleased to say I ended the year on 28!

So here are the highlights of my year, the ones I recommend. There should be something for everyone and my choices this year are predominantly indie with a few old favorites thrown in for good measure. For each book I’ve linked the cover to my review on Goodreads if you want to check it out.

I started the year with a new release from one of my favorite authors Rick Riordan. Magnus Chase is the first of a new series and I’m in awe how Riordan can pull his world together.

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Next was a meeting with an old friend. One of my favorite books of 2015 was the awesomely quirky Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Bookstore. This year I reread the book with my son, Joey, who adored as much as I did (and now wants to work for Google!) And we were thrilled to find this little prequel.

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Next up Oathbound, by the ever awesome M.A. Ray. Last year I read the first two books in this series and this year I continued. Was so happy to spend more time with Dingus and Vandis, et. al.

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And now we continue with another series that I began last year, this one by kick-ass indie author, Jen Ponce. The Devany Miller series just gets better and better. The next one is on my reading list for 2017.

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Just take a moment to gaze at those covers! Aren’t they beyond awesome?

In the summer I visited Israel and England with my son Joey. During the trip we read The Paper Magician by Charlie N Holmberg. It’s a strange book in a lot of ways and delves into some very dark places. Still we enjoyed it and will some day get to the sequels.

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While Joey and I read The Paper Magician together my reading matter during the trip was this historical science fiction novel by L. Woodswalker, Tesla’s Signal. This is super book, completely immersive. I truly felt I was living with the characters.

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Next up probably my favorite books of the year. RR Virdi’s Grave Report books are oodles and oodles of fun!

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And now we come to the end of the year and I’m ending it by delving into a wonderful series by indie author Robert Franks. The Glass Apple series is a wonderful romp that has kept me enthralled over the last few months. I’m currently on book 3, which is turning out to be my favorite yet. Do check them out (but start at the beginning!)

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So there we have it – my favorite books of 2016. What were your favorites?

Happy New Year everyone and Happy Reading. May your 2017 be filled with stories!

 

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Friday Fiction – Meet Moishe Zeikel

Happy Chanukah folks. This Friday I’m sharing a little drabble I wrote for Facebook’s Fiction Writer’s Group’s annual holiday drabble collection. You can pick up the full collection on Amazon for just 99 cents.

First a little about Moshe Zeikel. Moishe was in P.A.W.S., but was never given a name. He is the kindly old man who takes in Max and Celia when they first land in New York. Of course he thinks they are just cats that stowed onto the ship to America. So here is a scene from Max and Celia’s first Chanukah in America.

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First Lights

By Debbie Manber Kupfer

Moshe Zeikel sat by the window in his one room apartment on Essex Street and waited for the sun to set. As it descended he took the blue shammas candle from its holder in the center of the menorah, lit it, and recited the prayer.

The two cats sat close by watching. The brown tabby looked over at the grey silky one with the green eyes. He put his paw on hers as they observed the old man light the Chanukah candles. They were home, he thought. Home and safe. It was time for a whole new adventure to begin.

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A Birthday, a Snippet, and a Sale!

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Hey everybody, today is my birthday! Tonight I get to eat a birthday cheesecake with my family and on Saturday I’m going to visit the local cat cafe, Mauhaus. I supported this cafe run by a local shelter in their Kickstarter and am so happy to finally get to go there. And of course I’ll share pictures here of the kitties next week.

In the meantime here’s a sneak peak …

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But wait, there’s more! Yesterday marked a huge accomplishment for me – drum roll please! – I finished the first draft of P.A.W.S. 4 and even gave it a name. So this is a title reveal P.A.W.S. 4 will be called Londinium.

Want to read a snippet? Of course you do!

“The pea soup has spoken,” said Caradog. “You are destined for Londinium.”

“Londinium?” asked Miri.

“It was the ancient city from which London sprang. The P.A.W.S. Institute of Londinium is the oldest in the world. It started before the city of today existed and straddles the old and the new. Unfortunately today it is run by a fool.”

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And one more thing – want to help me celebrate my birthday then pick up a copy of P.A.W.S. – it’s on sale today for just 99 cents or 99p!

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A Happy Holiday Read!

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Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you have a wonderful holiday whatever you celebrate. Here are a few holiday reads to make your day even brighter:

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Elves are dying in the North Pole, and none of their scientists can find a cure. They believe it’s a virus, unleashed by a powerful enemy. All signs point to Jack Frost, who’s been biding his time from afar. Watching. Waiting. Plotting. One brave elf, to save his kind, will venture out to meet evil in the eye. But he uncovers a mystery more dangerous than he could have ever imagined. Now Lucian must join a group of warriors and fight. Fuego; a flame-wielding pyro.Tiktok; a brilliant bomb expert, Yuriko; a deadly ninja assassin. And Bullets; a hot-headed gun aficionado. These unlikely heroes must learn to work together and defeat the rising evil. Or Christmas will soon be lost…forever.

Buy on Amazon.

99 cents for a limited time!

 

Just in time for Christmas a new release from Cleve Sylcox.

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Nine year old Steve Carlson Franklin spends a snowy night all alone at home eating popcorn, drinking Kool-Aid and reading his favorite Christmas book. It is his first night ever being left on his own and he plans to make the best of it, even if it is for a few short hours. However, the spirits of the house have a few ideas of their own. The evening turns into a hilarious disaster as Steve encounters the ghost of his grandparents and father.

Just 99 cents on Amazon!

And don’t forget to checkout the special Christmas edition of the Cleve and Steve Show!

 

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In the days before Christmas, Percy the cat decides to help the family with their decorations and celebrations. Discover in picture and rhyme what trouble he causes as the festive day draws close.

Buy on Amazon

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Winter. That wonderful time of the year, filled with celebrations, festivities galore, walks through a crisp, frosty wonderland, and nights filled with magical stories told by the fireside. Some dark, some funny, some touching, and all suitable for readers from one to ninety-two.

This collection of seasonal short stories is brought to you by up and coming authors, and all proceeds will be donated to the very special Make A Wish Foundation. Everything you find between these covers–and on them!–has been donated by the authors and editors for this charity.

So laugh, smile, or cry, and enjoy this little book of holiday magic!

This anthology contains my short tale, Esmeralda’s Chanukah.

Buy on Amazon

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A drabble is a short—very short—story. One hundred words are all that a writer can use to move the reader. In what is becoming an annual tradition, we challenged the authors in the Facebook Fiction Writers Group to create drabbles in honor of the December holiday season.
The results are as varied as the ornaments on a Christmas tree, and include drabbles touching on Christmas, Hanukkah, and Yule.

I have drabbles in both of these collections. Click the pics above to check them out. Only 99 cents each on Amazon.

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A simple ride home for Christmas turns into a nightmare when light snow rages into a full-scale blizzard. Katie and Alex find themselves stranded, and a vacant cabin becomes a haven from the storm.
Under different circumstances, time alone with Alex would be the ultimate Christmas gift, but Katie knows Alex is engaged and she must hide her growing attraction.

However, Alex harbors a secret that just might change this holiday from the worst Christmas ever, to the best.

Available in paperback, kindle or audio book.

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Get in the holiday spirit with this Christmas-themed set of short stories from some of your favorite equestrian writers! Some of the top authors in the genre have banded together to share Christmas stories from the heart. Look for best-selling authors Maggie Dana, Mary Pagones, Mara Dabrishus, Brittney Joy, Kim Ablon Whitney, Kate Lattey, and Natalie Keller Reinert — plus an all-new Canterwood Crest holiday short story from Jessica Burkhart! And in the true spirit of the holidays, all proceeds will go to benefit Old Friends, a Thoroughbred retirement home providing life-long homes for former racehorses.

On Kindle

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This one’s FREE and looks a whole lot of fun! A Christmas tale, steampunk style!

 

How about a freebie or two? Fantasy author Mike Wolff has a bunch today and tomorrow. Check it out!

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Put some Wolff in your stocking!

Merry Xmas from Mike Wolff!

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Mike Wolff is an author that I admire because he has a very delicate touch, as opposed to my own rather ham-fisted style. I reviewed Guiding Council Of Myths And Urban Legends and while I haven’t gotten around to reviewing his other works, his style is consistently enjoyable.  Droll, that’s the word I’m looking for.  The dude is droll.

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And for Christmas, he’s FREE.

Mike Wolff is offering his entire catalog for free, as his Christmas gift to you and me and anybody else who likes quirky fantasy fiction. So check it out–what have you got to lose?

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Special Offer!

Heads up! P.A.W.S. will be on sale tomorrow for just 99 cents!

Lurking In The Shadows

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Talented author Debbie Manber Kupfer has decided to celebrate the holiday season by offering her book P.A.W.S for just 99 cents! That’s right, you didn’t read that wrong.  This amazing YA Urban Fantasy novel is less than a cup of coffee.  So why wait, get your while you still can!

Yes, I like Debbie’s stories. You should give them a read. You won’t regret it.

Description:

When Miri receives a silver cat charm from her omama, Celia, on the night before Celia dies she has no idea that the charm holds a secret, a powerful magic that saved her omama’s life and is about to make Miri’s a whole lot more interesting.

Join Miri on a mysterious and supernatural journey with her new friends, members of an underground St. Louis society known as the Partnership for Animagi, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters, better known as P.A.W.S.

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New Release – Shadow Stalker (3) – Renee Scattergood

Presenting a brand new Shadow Stalker book from Renee Scattergood. Part 3 (which includes Episodes 13 – 18) is now available.

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So what’s it about?

Things go from bad to worse when the Galvadi Empire develops a new technology to use against the shadow stalkers. Now Kado and Makari are more determined than ever to keep Auren away from their enemies, but Auren decides enough is enough and takes matters into her own hands. She turns herself over to the Galvadi to get close to Drevin and Makari has no choice but to play along. He is forced to either torture Auren to prove his loyalty or die knowing she will be tortured and enslaved anyway. Somehow, they must get close enough to Drevin to bring him down and put an end to the Galvadi’s tyranny once and for all.

And here’s a snippy snip from Episode 13: Defiance

Cali gave me a nudge as she took a seat next to me. “Do you have any idea what’s going on?”

“No idea,” I said, moving over a few inches so she had space to sit between me and Shai on the log someone had converted into a bench.

Shai slung an arm around her cousin and Cali returned the gesture, then wrapped her free arm around me. I smiled at her. Cali was the only one who had helped me maintain my sanity over the years. It drove me crazy never knowing what was happening to Makari. Kado kept me busy, as usual, but any time I had a free moment, all I could do was wonder if he was safe. I would know if he died. I would sense him again in the shadow world. He had been blocking me to keep me safe, though I had no idea how it was supposed to help. All it did was make me want to go to him, which would be more dangerous.

Of course, Kado would never allow that. He saw my thoughts as I had them most of the time, and he would know as soon as I made the decision. I learned quickly not to allow my thoughts to go down that path too often. That’s where Cali came in. She distracted me by helping me forget the war and making me feel like a normal person once in a while. She was as good a friend as Jade, except she didn’t encourage me to disobey Kado when I was angry.

“Maybe the Galvadi have decided to give up,” Shai said, pulling me out of my thoughts.

Cali snorted.

“I know. It’s wishful thinking.”

I smiled at Shai. “I want this to be over too.”

“You’ll figure it out soon.” Cali gave my shoulder a squeeze.

Want to read more? Pick up a copy today!

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Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn’t start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing dark fantasy, and she’d dabbling with paranormal thrillers under a pen name.

She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker serial, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series of novels, A God’s Deception.

Aside from writing, she loves reading (fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her homeschooled daughter. Visit her site for more information and a free copy of Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6): http://reneescattergood.com

Read my interview with Renee here!

Connect with Renee:

Website/Blog: http://reneescattergood.com/

Renee’s Author Spotlight: http://reneesauthorspotlight.blogspot.com.au/ – a blog where she features indie and small press authors.

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00NTJY1W2

Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/rscatts

BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/renee-scattergood

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8507658.Renee_Scattergood

Renee’s Shadow Stalkers: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16rTPYCAwDq5cpyxHfphx0-x6ka9C7DWoJsdgYa2CyAw/viewform

 

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/reneescatts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReneeScatts

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100671337443224225702/posts

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