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
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 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
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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