Favorite Reads of 2019

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Hi folks and Happy New Year. I hope you all had an awesome holiday season.

It’s time for my annual run down of my favorite titles I read in 2019. According to Goodreads I read a total of 32 books this year — that’s six more than my challenge number of 24.

Here in no particular order are my favorite reads of 2019. And this year I’m proud to say that every one of them was written by an indie author.

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First up — I was excited to pick up a signed copy of part two of George Sirois’s Excelsior Journey – EVER UPWARD. This book took a while in coming, but was definitely worth the wait. If you enjoy YA sci-fi give it a whirl, but start first with book one EXCELSIOR.

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I completed several awesome fantasy series this year that I had begun the year before. One of them is Ben S. Reeder’s Demon’s Apprentice series. This upper YA urban fantasy keeps getting better and is highly recommended. (One again start from the beginning!)

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And another awesome series I completed this year. PROVIDENCE PARANORMAL COLLEGE by D.R. Perry. This is a series of interconnected stories each focusing on different pairs of students. The story arc between all the characters is rich and complex with a lot of aha moments towards the end when different parts of the puzzle that is created over all ten books come into place. Although in theory you could read each book separately I suggest you take them order. I actually read them all over a two-year period and was sad when I came to the end of the last book.

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And now for something completely different. CHASE THE RABBIT by Steven M. Thomas along with its three sequels is an action adventure series like you’ve never read before. Thomas intersperses old Hollywood with mystery in a delightful way that keeps you glued to the story. A huge heap of nostalgia here along with some excellent writing.

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*Sigh* – another final book in a series and one that made me sad as I adore Jen Ponce’s fantastic Devany Miller series. SOUL HOOK was a satisfying conclusion to the quintet which I cannot recommend more strongly.

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In FLIGHT, part three of Camille Faye’s Voodoo Butterfly series we depart from New Orleans and venture into faraway Malaysia. The book is captivating and I await anxiously for book 4 that should be released in 2020.

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As you probably know from my previous years’ best of posts I’m a huge fan of R.R.Virdi’s Grave Report. DANGEROUS WAYS is set in the same world where Vincent dwells but while Graves is like popcorn and addictive to consume, Dangerous Ways has the richness of a good meal. I enjoyed digesting the book slowly and reveling in the world. (And I really hope a second Book of Winter is coming soon.

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And finally — another favorite author that I’ve been waiting for a new book from for a long time. BAD DREAMS & BROKEN HEARTS is a collection of case studies from a detective that lives and works an a world like ours except magic is commonplace and sometimes problematic. The stories are perfect and well worth the wait. Highly recommended along with Misha’s dark urban fantasy series, The Book of Doors.

So there we go, my favorite reads from 2019. What were your favorite reads? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Also just a little reminder that my P.A.W.S. Saga is still on sale for 99 cents/99p a piece until Jan 1st.

Catch up on the P.A.W.S. Saga

 

 

 

My 2018 Year of Books

Hi everyone, it’s that time again, when I give a shout out to some of the awesome books I read in the last year. This year was a nice mix of trad authors and indies. So here in no particular order are my favorite books of 2019 along with links to my reviews of each of them on Goodreads.

I started my year whizzing through an awesome face-paced urban fantasy series by Rose Montague. These three books, Jade, Jane and Jill feature three kick-ass women.

Pick up the whole series on Amazon.

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Next up are three fantasies from three of my favorite indie authors, Fiona Skye, Jen Ponce, and E.A. Copen

The Magpie’s Daughter is a YA fantasy set in the same world as Skye’s Revelations series It’s awesome to revisit her world. And of course it has yummy recipes at the back.

World Weaver by Jen Ponce is the final installment of the Devany Miller series. It made me a little sad as I loved following Devany and as a mother strongly identified with her.

And then there’s Chasing Ghosts by E.A. Copen which according to Goodreads is the longest book I read this year — but didn’t feel like as I loved being immersed in Copen’s world. More Judah please!

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Do you like dragons? I love dragons and adore C.J. McKee’s series which I had the privilege of editing book 3, The Goblin Queen, this year. Highly recommend the whole series. Blood and Bane, Outcast, The Goblin Queen.

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Next up one of my favorite books (and movies) of the year, READY, PLAYER ONE. I read this book with my son, Joey and we were both obsessed for different reasons. Joey because he plays computer games and me because so much of the pop culture in this book are strong memories for me. The nostalgia is big with this one!

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And the other book I read an loved with Joey was The Demon’s Apprentice by Ben Reeder. I’ve wanted to read this book for awhile ever since I met Ben at Archon a few years ago and I tell you it didn’t disappoint. We’re slowly working through the books (currently on book 3).

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At the same time as I was visiting the world of The Demon’s Apprentice with Joey I was whizzing through Charlie Holmberg’s Magician books. I read the first book in this delightful and unusual steampunk series last year and fell in love with Holmberg’s world. And while I adore the original series I think my absolute of them us is the bonus, Plastic Magician that is set in the same world. Really really hope Holmberg writes some more of these.

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Next up I dived into another series from my loooong TBR list that I’d been meaning to read for awhile.

D.R. Perry’s Providence Paranormal College is oodles of fun to visit filled with humor and characters you’d really love to hang out with. I plan to continue reading the rest of the long series but here are the first two that I consumed this year.

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And finally my last read of the year is the highly anticipated sequel of George Sirois super hero adventure, Excelsior.

Ever Upward is well worth the wait. Hurry up George we want book 3.

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So that’s about it … except it’s not. 2018 for me was an absolutely awesome year of reading and I’m not sure they was even one book I didn’t love.

Check out My Year in Books on Goodreads for ALL the books I read this year along with my reviews.

Plus if you need something else to read for the new year today is the last day of my super birthday sale — 99 cents each on all four of my P.A.W.S. books.

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Books (and authors and characters) I love!

Over on Facebook the awesome Courtney Cannon posted this little book meme that took my fancy. I loved this one so much that I decided to make it into a blog post rather than just one on Facebook. So here without further ado are fifteen books (or in a couple of cases, authors or characters) I love.

  1. A book cover you love
    Voodoo Butterfly by Camille Faye

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Isn’t this gorgeous? This is truly the only book I can remember purchasing based entirely on the cover. But then I read the paranormal story set in New Orleans and fell in love once more. Oh and book 2 just came out and is on my TBR list.

  1. The last book you read and loved
    Chasing Ghosts by E.A. Copen

I’ve read three of E.A. Copen’s awesome Judah Black novel and highly recommend them.

  1. The first book you ever loved
    Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  2. A book on your TBR list
    Goblin King by R.R. Virdi

 

  1. A book you tell everyone to read
    The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

  1. An author you haven’t read but will
    D.R. Perry

  1. The character you would marry if he were real
    Sirius Black

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  1. Your favorite book girl
    Luna Lovegood

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  1. What book world would you like to disappear in?
    Why Harry Potter of course! (I’d have go back a few years though so that I could go to Hogwarts. I think based on my age I’d have gone with Sirius, Remus, Lily and James … so …

  1. A book that needs to be a movie.

Mine of course – P.A.W.S.

  1. An author that you love
    Douglas Adams

Hitchhikers

  1. An old school book that you can’t forget.
    To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

  1. A book not enough people have read
    Excelsior by George Sirois

  1. An author that makes you laugh
    We already mentioned the late and great Douglas Adams, so for this one let’s say Terry Pratchett and here’s my all-time favorite of his Discworld books, Thief of Time.

  1. Your current read
    Grave Dealings by R.R. Virdi

 

So those are my fifteen answers. I’d love to hear yours!

Debbie’s Year of Reading, 2017

Hey folks, it’s that time again when I do a special shout-out of my favorite books I’ve read this year. This has definitely been the year of the indie – the first time when most of the books on this list are from indie authors.

So in no particular order, here are my faves (the six books I gave 5 star reviews to on Goodreads). I’m particular happy with this list as it covers a number of different genres and each one of these had a “wow” factor for me. In the comments I’d love to hear what your favorite reads were this year.

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Adored this book my Australian writer, Mirren Hogan. The story which follows the tale of the Night Witches, a group of Russian women who flew fighter planes during World War II is the type of story that should be on every school curriculum.

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Can we say awesome? I loved L. Woodswalker’s first book, Tesla’s Signal, and this second one was just as immersive and fun to read. Check out my review of Tesla’s Frequency here and pick up a copy.

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And now for something a little different. Not-Ready-For-Juillard Players is a literary mystery (sort of) set in a music school. It’s compelling with characters that draw you to them. I met Eileen in my local NaNoWriMo group and feel sad that I didn’t read her beautiful book earlier. I hope she writes more as I adored her writing.

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This one was oodles of fun! So Not a Hero is not your ordinary super-hero story. It’s fast paced with a awesome bad-ass woman as the lead character. Looking forward to reading book 2 that’s on my ever-growing reading list.

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Like cool urban fantasy with a kick-ass female protagonist. This is the one! I read the first two of E.A.Copen’s Judah Black novels this year and the rest are on my extremely long TBR list. Start with Guilty by Association and continue with Blood Debt.

So here we have it – my five star recommendations – BUT there are a bunch of other cool books I read this year, all of which I enjoyed. Check out my year of reading on Goodreads.

 

Cap’n Rex – New picture book from Henry L. Herz

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I was excited to receive this glorious new picture book from Henry L. Herz. Henry’s books are always a delight and this one is no different. I mean it has dinosaurs and pirates – what’s not to love!

In fact the dinosaurs are pirates on a quest to find treasure (but of course) steered by the wily Cap’n Rex they overcome a host of almost disasters and each crew member has their own special skill that helps along the way. My favorite of the dinosaurs was Pat, a long-necked dino of the kind I’ve always loved.

The story is delightful with an important message about sharing and Benjamin Schipper’s illustrations are first rate. There’s even a little pirate glossary at the end. Highly recommended for young children and the parents and educators who enjoy reading to them. Aaarrrrrrr.

Pick up your copy of CAP’N REX today in hardback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local bookstore or request a copy at your local library.

I was privileged to get to ask Henry a few questions about this and some upcoming books in the pipeline:

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Tell me about your new book.

I’m very excited about my new picture book, CAP’N REX & HIS CLEVER CREW, coming out in August from Sterling (the publishing arm of Barnes & Noble). Captain Rex and his dinosaur pirates sail the seven seas in search of buried treasure. But whenever they hit an obstacle like a giant shark or pea-soup fog the crew members are quick to say they can’t overcome. To this, Captain Rex always glares with teeth bared and says, CAN’T YE?And, somehow, the crew always comes up with a clever solution. The book has already received positive reviews from Kirkus and Booklist.

Tell me about any future books in the pipeline.

Well, there are three picture books my agent is shopping around right now:

TOP OF THE HEAP – Barnyard animals debate who is the best animal on the farm. Each makes their claim, even Dung Beetle. In response to the others’ laughter, Dung Beetle takes a vacation. Eventually, they all recognize even tiny Dung Beetle’s important contribution. That’s how he rolls.

NEVER FEED A YETI SPAGHETTI – Two young goblin siblings throw their mom a monstrous birthday party. Despite their best efforts, things go further and further awry, thanks to the yetis. One should never feed them spaghetti.

(That one sounds oodles of noodly fun – DMK) 

ALLEN & ALIEN – Like many boys, Allen doesn’t like to eat his veggies, pick up his toys, or take baths. But he loves playing with his alien toys. When an indefatigably inquisitive alien drops in to study humans, the alien’s enthusiasm (even for the mundane) is infectious. Allen learns an important lesson about appreciating one’s blessings, while his parents are pleasantly surprised at their son’s new alien behavior.

And these three books are scheduled to be published next year:

HOW THE SQUID GOT TWO LONG ARMS (Pelican Publishing) – Ever wonder why two of a squid’s ten arms are longer than the others? A selfish squid is cold, so he swipes other animals’ clothing. Will he learn it’s wrong to steal in the end? This modern fable demonstrates you reap what you sow. It’s Kipling’s HOW THE RHINOCEROS GOT HIS SKIN meets Klassen’s THIS IS NOT MY HAT.

GOOD EGG & BAD APPLE (Schiffer Publishing) – Not all the foods in the refrigerator get along like peas in a pod. Bad Apple and Second Banana are at the root of the problem. The vegetables are steamed. Good Egg suggests his friends try different responses to the bullies, but his tactics don’t bear fruit, at first. Only by using his noodle does Good Egg save their bacon.

ALICE’S MAGIC GARDEN (Familius) – Alice lives in the dreariest boarding school in England. She pours her love and attention into caring for her little garden and its denizens. Unknown to her, these include a large caterpillar, gryphon, and a talking white rabbit. When Alice is in trouble, the magical creatures come to her aid. Love, it turns out, is magical. GARDEN FAE is A SICK DAY FOR AMOS MCGEE meets ALICE IN WONDERLAND.

(I look forward to this one. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was my favorite childhood read and I love any new spin on Alice. DMK)

Where can we learn more about your books?

At my website at www.henryherz.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/henry.herz/

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!