Hard to believe another year has passed. I thought the best way to close 2012 would be to talk about some of my favorite reads for the year. Choosing only a few of the 120 I’ve read is a challenge, and I’ll inevitably miss a few of the best. I apologize in advance to those authors. This list is, by necessity, only a microscopic look at some standouts. Also, the order is not intended to reflect my preference. I’m working backward, from the first of the year.
This novel by Mark Rice blends heavy metal music with fiction. We have a Scottish rocker, Metal Gods, and maybe the Devil even pays a visit. My only caution: Metallic Dreams does have mature content (it is a heavy metal rocker world, after all) that might offend some readers.
You can read my chat with Mark here: Mark Rice
My interview with Mark is here: Facing The Son
You can find my chat with Sylvia here: Playing With The Bad Boys
Gone is one of the most original and powerful books I’ve ever read. Where do our spirits go when we’re not really alive, but also not quite dead? Julie takes the tragic loss of her daughter and turns it into a beautiful fantasy story.
Julie shares her inspiration, Samantha’s story, here: Gone, But Never Forgotten
Randall Lee is one of the coolest main characters I’ve encountered. He’s not tall, dark and handsome. He’s far from perfect. But he has a firm sense of right and wrong, a great sense of humor, and killer martial arts technique.
Charles gives us a glimpse into his fascinating life here: Murder, Tai Chi, Acupuncture, and Llamas
This mystery is full of humor, but is also deep and has powerful meaning beneath the surface. Through his characters, Marty explores what it means to love someone, and just what it means to be a family.
My interview with Marty is here: Senseless Confidential
Jason is one of those authors who paints a vivid portrait with words. With Hellbender, we’re taken on a journey through the Appalachian Mountains. We’re immersed in the culture where music and superstition are a part of everyday life.
Jason shared a fascinating essay on the inspiration and background for this story. You can find it here: Music and Magic In Appalachia
My chat with Michael is here: Prostitutes and Priests, Oh My!
This is the second book in Jennifer’s Conduct series. (With Good Behavior is the first) Romance is at the heart of the story, but it’s not that sappy, predictable, Harlequin-type stuff. Both main characters are slightly damaged, with all sorts of skeletons hiding in their closets. There’s suspense, mystery, lots of laughs, and, of course, some steamy romance!
Jennifer stopped by my blog to chat about her series. You can find our conversation here: Jennifer Lane’s Bad Behavior
The Blues Detective is a collection of short stories, all featuring Otis King. Otis is a private detective who is also a blues musician – hence, his title as The Blues Detective. Readers can’t take Otis too seriously, mainly because he doesn’t take himself too seriously. Lots of humor in this collection, as well as some great musical references.
I had a fun chat with Andrew, which you can find here: The Blues Detective
This story has many layers. It’s an adventure, and a love story. It’s about self-discovery and being true to yourself. It’s about family, disappointments, fears, and fate. This is Lana’s first published novel, though it reads like she’s been publishing her books for decades.
My interview with Lana is here: Alaskan Healing
I’ve read several of Maria’s books, and enjoyed them all. But I have to admit Haunted has been my favorite so far. With this story, Maria explores the psychological effects of murder. In one moment of rage, countless lives are changed. Haunted is a haunting read.
You can find my chat with Maria here: Haunted
I ‘met’ Geoffrey on Twitter. Being a music addict, and a rocker at heart, the title of this one immediately caught my attention. Then I read the description and, despite my out of control to-read list, I immediately bought the book. I’m so glad I did! This story takes us back to music and bands of the seventies (my favorite musical era). We journey into conspiracy, mystery, and murder with a flawed but likable criminal profiler intent on finding answers.
Geoffrey shares the inspiration for this story here: Rock & Roll Suicide
This is the first full-length novel featuring The Night Walk Men. (The Night Walk Men and Kro are shorter pieces introducing the characters.) What if free will is just an illusion? Jason tackles that question with this series, and the possibilities he comes up with are chilling. I have already publicly admitted to being a Jason groupie. His writing is psychological suspense at its best.
Jason shares an excerpt from this book here: The Devil’s Right Hand
This was such a fun read! At some point in our lives, most of us have been frustrated with our relationships and sick of our jobs. Maybe we’ve considered what it would be like to run away from it all and live a quiet life on a tropical island. Pamela takes us on just such a journey. But Katie Connell, her main character, finds her new life is anything but tranquil.
Pamela will make an appearance on my blog on January 3. She gives us a glimpse into her writing life. This piece had me laughing out loud. I hope you’ll pop in and read: A Day in the Life of Pamela Hutchins
This book is set in the 13th century, when castes, rituals, and superstitions prevailed. At the heart of the story is a family drama. But it’s so much more than that. I was completely immersed in the past, and in a powerful story. I’m incredibly picky about historical fiction. All the details have to be right, yet I don’t want so much detail that I feel like I’m getting a history lesson. Mirella gave me perfection here.
Mirella’s visit is scheduled for January 17, at which time you’ll find it here: Orphan of the Olive Tree
John Daly is a private investigator who finds himself tangled up with mobsters and the Vatican. This is a story of suspense and intrigue, sprinkled with unexpected humor. Gareth is a gifted writer, and this story kept me riveted.
Gareth will be visiting my blog and sharing fascinating insight on January 21: The Sin of Hope
I hope you’ll add a few of these titles to your to-read list. Here’s a look at them all on Amazon:
What were a few of your favorite books of 2012?
Thanks for reading.
Tags: Alaskan Healing, Andrew Peters, Bad Behavior, Best Books of 2012, book recommendations, Changes, Charles Colyott, Facing the Son, Favorite Reads, Gareth Lewis, Geoffrey West, Gone, Haunted, Hellbender, Jason Jack Miller, Jason McIntyre, Jennifer Lane, Julie Elizabeth Powell, Lana Voynich, M.L. Rudolph, Maria Savva, Mark Rice, Martin Bannon, Metallic Dreams, Michael Scott Miller, Mirella Sichirollo Patzer, Orphan of the Olive Tree, Pamela Hutchins, Playing With The Bad Boys, psychological suspense, reading recommendations, Rock & Roll Suicide, rock fiction, Saving Grace, Senseless Confidential, Suspense Authors, Sylvia Massara, The Blues Detective, The Book of Sylvia, The Devil's Right Hand, The Sin of Hope