Guest Blog & Giveaway: Sandy Williams on her favorite reads of 2013 & win a signed copy of one of The Shadow Reader novels

December 27, 2013 Giveaways, Guests 75

We’d like to give a big welcome to Sandy Williams who is here to talk about her favorite reads of 2013. Sandy’s third novel in the Shadow Reader series, THE SHARPEST BLADE comes out December 31, 2013 by Ace. We have an exciting giveaway with this post as well. The winner will be able to choose a signed copy of any one Sandy Williams’  Shadow Reader novels!


Sandy’s Favorite Reads of 2013


Sandy Williams

With twin toddlers and my writing, I don’t get to read half as much as I used to or want to, but I still love books, especially when I find those perfect stories that blow me away. This year, there were six books that I wanted to run around and thrust into everyone else’s hands. I highly, highly recommend them. I’ve listed my favorites below. (Note: These are books that I read this year. Some were published before 2013.)

Cursed by S. J. Harper – My editor sent me this book before release, thinking it might be something I liked. She was right. This book was a great urban fantasy and it had just enough romance to keep me interested. It’s the first book in a new urban fantasy series about a siren who has been cursed by Demeter for not saving her daughter, Persephone, from Hades. Now, Emma works for the FBI saving missing women in the hope that she will one day be forgiven. The abduction mystery is the main plot line in this book, but there’s a good romance that comes into play when Emma is partnered with Zack, a werewolf. I also enjoyed the supernatural politics. (Goodreads Review)

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach – This is the book I’m most excited about discovering this year! It’s space opera-y science fiction with a good dash of romance, and it’s exactly the type of book I’ve been wanting to read. I’m a huge fan of Linnea Sinclair’s books, and I haven’t loved another sci-fi romance author’s books as much as hers. Until now. The main character, Devi, is a professional mercenary/bodyguard. Emphasis definitely on professional. She takes pride in her work and has the best armored suit she can afford. I want her suit! It’s customized and awesome, and Devi has taken a place as one of my favorite heroines. If you enjoy urban fantasy and have ever thought about trying a romantic sci-fi story, THIS is the book to start with. (Goodreads Review)

Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo – A young adult fantasy novel. I’ve had this one sitting on my TBR list for a year. I had some Audible credits I needed to use up, so I decided to download the audio. I was very hesitant because I rarely like fiction audiobooks, but this one was brilliant! The narrator was fantastic and I fell in love with the world. Unlike most fantasies, this one has a Russian feel to it instead of a medieval Europe feel. I think that and the magic and, of course, the Darkling are the things that drew me into the story. Alina was a pretty normal character, relatable, even after she’s thrust into the world of magic and the court. And I love her relationship with Mal. Well, I just love Mal. 🙂 This is a great book and I highly recommend it to fans of fantasy. (My Goodreads Review)

A Breath of Scandal by Elizabeth Essex – If you like a bit of adventure with your historical romance, Elizabeth Essex is the author for you. Her heroines and strong and independent, and Antigone has a great right hook! I loved her and the hero of this story, Will Jellicoe. They were both witty, especially when they were together, and there were several laugh out loud moments in this book. If you like appallingly likeable characters, you’ll love this book. (My Goodreads Review)

Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennett – Oh, how I love this series. I never thought I’d enjoy reading about a family, but Cady and Lon and Jupe are all so awesome together. This is currently my favorite urban fantasy series. Some weird things are going on in Cady’s life in this book. Changes. Big changes. And I was constantly worried about whether she and Lon and Jupe would all survive. Lon is a fantastic hero. He’s quiet and reserved most of the time, but when he’s mad, watch out. I’m so anxious for the next book, especially after that ending! (My Goodreads Review)

The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning – Yes, I’m cheating and counting this series as one book. I waited a long time to read these books because a few people compared The Shadow Reader to them. I was afraid of being influenced by KMM’s work, but I shouldn’t have been. In my opinion, they’re completely different, and I’m so insanely jealous of KMM’s writing and worldbuilding. These books are as fantastic as everyone says they are, and I read one after the other, finishing them in about a week. They are crack. I love MacKayla. I thought she was fun and strong and real. If you like fae books, this series is definitely a must read. It does get a bit dark, but even so, I loved it.

What was your favorite read of 2013?

Sandy Williams

Sandy is the author of The Shadow Reader novels. For a limited time, the first book, The Shadow Reader, is on sale for $1.99. Sandy worked as a librarian until her husband whisked her off to London on an extended business trip. She’s now back home in Texas, writing full-time, raising newborn twin boys, and squeezing in time to play geeky board and card games like Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and Runebound.



Giveaway provided by Sandy Williams
One copy of winner’s choice: signed copy of any on of The Shadow Reader novels  by Sandy Williams

The Sharpest Blade (Shadow Reader, #3)


Available on December 31, 2013 from Ace


Torn between two worlds.
Torn between two lives.

McKenzie Lewis’s ability to read the shadows has put her—and …those she loves—in harm’s way again and again. The violence must end, but will the cost of peace be more devastating than anyone ever imagined?

After ten years of turmoil, the life McKenzie has always longed for may finally be within her grasp. No one is swinging a sword at her head or asking her to track the fae, and she finally has a regular—albeit boring—job. But when a ruthless enemy strikes against her friends, McKenzie abandons her attempt at normalcy and rushes back to the Realm.

With the fae she loves and the fae she’s tied to pulling her in different directions, McKenzie must uncover the truth behind the war and accept the painful sacrifices that must be made to end it. Armed with dangerous secrets and with powerful allies at her side, her actions will either rip the Realm apart—or save it.

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75 Responses to “Guest Blog & Giveaway: Sandy Williams on her favorite reads of 2013 & win a signed copy of one of The Shadow Reader novels”

  1. Cherry Mischievous

    There was no space to give the email add used to subscribe to All Things Urban Fantasy, so just letting you know that the email add I used to subscribe is the same one used with this comment.

  2. Ren

    My favorite read for this year are Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh, Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews and Blameless by Gail Carriger.
    Already have Cursed on my TBR 🙂

  3. Ren

    My favorite read for this year are Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh, Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews and Blameless by Gail Carriger.
    Already have Cursed on my TBR 🙂

  4. Fran Swarts

    Any book by Nicole Edwards is my favorite so far with Marie Force books coming in next.

  5. Linda Townsend

    OMG… I can’t just list one… Beg Me To Slay by Lisa Kessler, Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris, Her Accidental Boyfriend by Robin Bielman, Cold Hearted by Amanda Carlson, A Howl for a Highlander by Terry Spear, Unclaimed by Sara Humphries…

  6. Rhonda Beyer

    I really liked King Hall but I can never pick just one favorite. ..

  7. Holly

    Thanks for the giveaway chance 🙂 super excited to read Sandy Williams Sharpest BLADE!

  8. Gilwen S.

    Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas is my favorite of 2013. But I’m also a big fan of The Shadow Reader series. I can’t wait for the third book ! Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. Karin Anderson

    My favorite books were from the London Steampunk Series by Bec McMaster (narrated by Alison Larkin).

  10. Mirlou

    I discover the Covenant serie by Jennifer L. Armentrout in 2013, I realy like it.
    Thank you for the giveaway.

  11. jennifer beck

    A Howl for a Highlander by Terry Spear I love her books also I found a new writer
    Brandy Rivers I love her series and Bayou series!!!

  12. VeronikaDream

    My favorite book was Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones!

  13. Sonya

    It has to be KMMs Fever Series. I loved the first 5 and like you I read them in a week which left me with a hangover.

  14. Dinky

    I liked a lot of books this year, but my favorites are probably Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore, The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling and maybe Linger by Maggie Stiefvater – I´m currently reading this book and I love it but I´m not sure yet how much, it is hundred times better than first book, in my opinion 😀 🙂

  15. Babel

    These Broken Stars is such a beauty, I’m in love with it 😉
    Thanks for everything and happy holidays.

  16. Stephanie H.

    My favorite book of 2013 was Ever After by Kim Harrison! I love the Hollows and will probably cry a little bit when book 13 (the last in the series) is released in 2014 or 2015. I also loved Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, the Lux series (I just started reading them in 2013), and Throne of Glass and it’s novellas!

    I have Cursed on my Kindle wishlist! I just picked up Shadow & Bone when it went on sale and cannot wait to read it! I just read book 1 in the Arcadia Bell series and loved it! I also started the Fever series this year (my best friends has been pushing this one forever!), but I’ve only read through book 3 so far.

    I also loved The Shattered Dark of course and cannot wait for the Sharpest Blade!!!

    • Sandy Williams

      Ooh, you have some great reading coming up. Cursed was fabulous and you’re going to love Shadow & Bone… and the rest of the Fever series! And the Arcadia Bell books just keep getting better and better. 🙂

  17. Van P.

    Great list Sandy, they’re all on my must read list! There are so many awesome books this year but one that I really love is The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.

  18. Ashley

    My favorite book for 2013 was Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon, love the Dark Hunter series.

  19. Vanessa

    Oh my goodness, there were SO many…. I loved the Robin Hood Hacker Series by Carolyn McCray, I read the whole Fat Vampire series by Johnny B. Truant, I just discovered Sanctum by Sarah Fine, I loved all the Anya Wylde books, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld was wonderful, Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson. I met many series like the Lady Lazarus series by Michele Lang, the Jade Calhoun Series by Deanna Chase, the Jane Madison Series by Mindy Klasky, the Rylie Cruz Series by Rose Pressey, and the Easy Bake Coven series by Liz Schulte. Oh my, I could go on…. I barely got my kindle a year ago and boy oh boy I have read over 600 books on it!

  20. Susan S.

    I had so many favorite reads for the year. Its too hard to pick just one.

  21. Jessica @ a GREAT read

    That is definitely a too hard to answer question. But my answer so far as been, among the many, many, MANY, books I’ve read, one fave has been Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

  22. Ezinwayi

    My favorite read of 2013 was a tie between The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover. A lot of emotion in those books, and they touched me.

    But Shadowed by Rebecca Zanetti and Darkness Rises by Dianne Duvall was right up there!

  23. Marie-Claude

    Obsidian (or all the books in the Lux serie !!!) by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

  24. Giedre

    It’s really hard to choose one favorite book, because I have so many. But I fell in love with Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost.

  25. Mags

    I thought I was the only one crazy enough to read the entire Fever series in a week! (I wanted to sleep for a week afterward.) I also read the whole Shadow Reader trilogy in a weekend if that tells you anything.

  26. Mags

    I think the best book I read this year was Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells, but sine that’s actually a 2014 release, I’ll say Magic Rises. That one blew me away!

  27. Barbara Elness

    My favorite book would be Jennifer Estep’s Heart of Venom, I just love her Elemental Assassin series. I’d like to add another though, it’s definitely a favorite as well – Richard Ellis Preston Jr’s Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders – what a wonderful steampunk adventure! 😀

  28. Barbara Elness

    I’d say my favorite book this year was Jennifer Estep’s Heart of Venom, I just love her Elemental Assassin series. But I’d like to add another – Richard Ellis Preston Jr’s Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders – what a wonderful steampunk adventure! 😀

  29. Bethany C.

    My favorite book I read in 2013 (though I think it may have come out in 2012) was Seanan McGuire’s Ashes of Honor.

  30. Janet

    Fifth Grave (O.k., actually I read all 5 in a few weeks after I discovered them in June), the KMM series, Faith Hunter’s Death’s Rival and CE Murphy’s Mountain Echoes.

  31. Stephanie F.

    Binding the Shadows was one of my favorites this year, I love the series. My other favorites were Magic Rises, Frost Burned and A Cursed Embrace.

  32. Karen Ullrich

    so the books didnt come out this year but I absolutely fell in love with Gini Koch Alien series. OMG amazing and funny!!!

  33. Krysten M

    My favorite(s) would have to me Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews and Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh! Loved them so much, they only made me want the next books even more

  34. Misty Gee

    I have several favorites from this year. 1st Jenn Bennetts books I read them all, 2nd The Last kiss Goodnight and Black and Blue by Gena Showalter, 3rd Chloe Neill’s Chicagovampires series, 4th Living in Eden series by Michele Rowen, and many more. Thank you for the oppurtunity to win a copy of your books.

  35. Anne Consolacion

    I have lots of favorites! Among them are NOS4A2, Another Little Piece, and Inhuman.

  36. Charisse

    I can’t pick one favorite, but I loved Jessica Clare’s release, Seanan McGuire’s, Richelle Mead’s, and I love the Shadow Reader series as well! (Not just saying that, they’re REALLY good)

  37. Cathy S

    Kim Harrison’s “Ever After” & JR Ward’s “Lover At Last” are just a couple of my favorites that stick out this year. There’s been a few more that I’ve enjoyed greatly but those two are at the top.

  38. Pamk

    It would be either Ilona Andrews last Magic book or either of the last books in Nalini series.
    scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

  39. Michele A

    I had so many favorites this year. I’m partial to Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires, JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, D.B. Reynolds’ Vampires in American, anything by Nalini Singh, Laurann Dohner. I could go on and on and on….

  40. Texas Book Lover

    I loved so many this year but Heart of Obsidian and the Slammed Series are at t he top for me.

  41. Melliane

    I had so many wonderful books this yeat and the Sharpest Blade was definitely in my list. Thanks for the giveaway!