Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Best of 2010 - Books

This has been a good year for me. I've read a lot of good books, watched a few good movies, listened to some great music among other things. Since I'm not just a writer, but also an avid reader, I thought I'd post a list with my favorite reads for 2010.

Best Urban Fantasy

Considering it's one of my favorites, I've read several good books in this genre this year. It was hard to narrow it down, but there are three that stand above the rest.

City of Ghosts by Stacia Kane

I loved this series. It's dark, gritty and so unlike anything else out there. I have to say I love all the books, but the third blew me away. Bathroom scene, need I say more? There were so many emotional moments for me with this book. I chewed a few nails, I laughed, I teared up and when it was over I wanted to read it again. Ms. Kane's story-telling skills and characterization are superb and it really shows in this book.

Double Cross by Carolyn Crane

I'm not even sure what I can say about this book that would do it justice. It was such an emotional roller-coaster and so clever. Ms. Crane has given us such a unique and unusual world. The brilliance of the characterization, the idea of flaws being powers and the tension make it a huge win for me. The ending of this book about killed me, but you can bet I'll be first in line for the next one when it finally comes out.

Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

This series is my crack. I can fully admit it. And this installment? There aren't enough words. Curran alone was enough to send me into serious book-high. I love the Andrews team's writing. The voice speaks to me in a way few others do, but it's the world-building that really grabs me. As far as I'm concerned, it's unmatched.

Best Paranormal Romance

Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

This is a book that stood so far above the rest I couldn't recall the other books I read in this genre this year. Again, the world-building was fantastic. The relationship between Cerise and William was full of tension, emotion, name it, this couple had it. I fell in love with this book.

Best Horror

Heart-shaped Box by Joe Hill

Creepy and engrossing, this was heads above the rest in the horror genre for me. I simply love Joe Hill's writing style and can't wait to read more of his books.

Best Zombie
Rise Again by Ben Tripp

For a book I almost gave up on, it ended up being my favorite zombie read of the year. It starts a little slow, but once it picks up momentum, it never stops. Full of apocalyptic goodness and zombie gore, I loved it. The protagonist, Dani, is an unusual character, flawed and at times selfish, I loved her to pieces. I'm anxious to read more from Mr. Tripp. He's an amazing and talented addition to this genre.

Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne

I can't say enough about this book. Written in journal form, it drew me in from the first page. It's raw, gritty and full of everything I love about this genre.

Best YA
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I adore The Hunger Games trilogy, but this book hit me in a way the others didn't. Don't get me wrong, I loved the first two. But Mockingjay twisted me up, turned me inside out and left me in awe. Suzanne Collins has a gift for telling a tragic story. Despite how many were disappointed with the third book, I wouldn't have it end any other way.

Matched by Ally Condie

I know, another dystopian on my list. What can I say? I have a soft spot for certain genres. This book is reminiscent of others that have come before it, but Ms. Condie was able to put enough of herself into it to make it stand on its own. This was one of those books that when I finished it, I wanted to tell everyone about how great it was. It's going to kill me to have to wait for the next one.

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Zombie books are like candy for me and this one is no exception. The world Mr. Maberry created with Rot & Ruin speaks of his unbelievable talent. Post-apocalyptic with an Old West feel, zombies, action and heart, I loved every word!

Best ERomance

Willing Victim by Cara McKenna

Raw, gritty and unlike anything in this category, Willing Victim was by far my favorite read in this genre. Ms. McKenna took a huge risk with this book and it paid off in a big way for me. After I read it, I went and bought her entire backlist.

Best Alternative Romance

Comfort Object by Annabel Joseph

Ms. Joseph's voice and writing style just do it for me. This particular book was so good I read it twice. The characters have a realism despite the unreal situation Ms. Joseph created for them. Jeremy is the kind of D-type that is very difficult to write. He's selfish, harsh and quite cold at times. He delivers swift and sadistic punishments that are as cruel as they are titillating. Ms. Joseph pulled it off with flare and style. Very few BDSM books can compete with this one.

Stay tuned for more later this week!

Friday, December 17, 2010


I know, I've been a complete slacker and you haven't seen a blog post from me for a while. With the holidays fast approaching, another round of illness, my daughter and her issues and writing, time is something I don't have a lot of these days. I can proudly say that all my Christmas shopping is done! I'm treating myself to a cupcake for that one. Granted I did most of my shopping online, but hey, it's done. Of course I still have to wrap not looking forward to that one.

On the home front, the flu has made a visit to our household and can I tell you what fun that has been? Hopefully everyone will be completely over it by Christmas. Sick toddlers, presents and a family get-together do not a good day make. Aside from the sickness, I've had other stresses. My three year old was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder last year. Unfortunately, she has not progressed with the therapy as far as we'd hoped and she's now displaying more autistic features. It has been a hard and emotionally exhausting road. I can admit that I have had problems accepting that it may be autism. I love her fiercely and as a mother I just want her to be okay. It's taken me some time to come to the realization that her being okay, starts with me. The decisions I make now will affect her future and they aren't easy ones. We've begun the process of getting her tested and it makes me angry how difficult insurance companies make it for children like my daughter to get the help they need, but I won't bore you with all that. Some days are harder than others and I don't get as much time to write as I'd like, but I'm okay with that. Some things are just more important.

About the writing, I've been working on an Urban Fantasy that has me really excited. The world-building has been time consuming, but I think I have all the kinks worked out. I'm also working on a new BDSM contemporary about a bartender and her boss with lots of spanking, because let's face it, bad girls need to be spanked every now and again. I have plans to write Aimee's story (Indigo's roommate from Wrapped Around Your Finger) and Jared's story (hot D-type and friend of Banner Faust). But I won't likely get to them for a few months. I'm dying to write an apocalyptic erotic romance. The plot and characters are coming together nicely for this one. Expect zombies, mayhem, gore and of course hot sex.

I've been listening to a lot of really good music to get the creative juices flowing for both the apocalyptic romance and the urban fantasy. I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you. If you can't tell, I'm a big psychobilly / rockabilly freak. Enjoy!

Oh! Good news. I just came across another great review for Wrapped Around Your Finger. I'm a little overwhelmed by how much everyone has loved this book. There are so many pieces of me in this story and it's always good to see that it makes a difference when put yourself out there. Of course it's scary as hell, but worth it. So worth it. You can read the review here at Whipped Cream Reviews.

Okay, on to my current retail and mancandy obsessions. I have to leave you with a little something don't I?

I am in love with Too Fast and man if I had the cash, I'd have a closet full of their stuff.

I want! Zombie dress, killer cupcake heels...I'm all over it!

And your delicious eye candy for this week is courtesy of Ink Spots by Lissa Matthews. Oh, this has me written all over it: tattoos, bald hottie, muscle cars and spanking. What more could you want? And how 'bout this cover?