My Favorite Fiction Reads of 2018

Another year has passed, which means another year’s worth of reading to celebrate! Yes, it’s time to share my favorite fiction reads of 2018. And let me tell you: Even though I had a pretty good idea which of the 53 fiction books I finished last year would end up on this list, I’m glad I didn’t share my list right away – because there was a last-minute shake-up!

Like with past best-of reading lists I’ve posted, this year’s showcases my 10 favorite brand new books of 2018 and 10 favorite previously published books. Unlike past years, though, I’ve made two notable changes. First, goodness, there were too many close calls when I tried ranking the books from #1 to #10! So I opted for alphabetical listing by title instead. Second, and sadly, no giveaway this year. As fun as giveaways can be, I can’t give one the attention it needs right now. So I hope you understand my need for keeping things simple, and you still enjoy reading this post regardless.

Ready to dive into the first list? 😉

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The Creativity Corner: Spring 2017

Can you believe that summer is here? 😮 It still feels like I was in Iceland last week. How on Earth has time zipped by so quickly??

Since a new season has begun, it’s time for an update on the past season’s creative happenings. And after a winter where I struggled with anxiety for a few weeks and my confidence in my writing hit rock-bottom, I’m happy to say that spring was a more productive, inspiring, and emotionally healthy season. It wasn’t free of bumps, but I’m moving forward and focused on new projects.

New projects?? What about The Keeper’s Curse? Or the novella? Yeah… I’ll explain what’s happening with them, too. But first…
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Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 25: March 2016 Haul, Part 2

Stacking The Shelves banner

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.

In last week’s Stacking The Shelves, I’d mentioned that I’d expected to do only one STS entry this month. Then, after the fairy novels and new releases had arrived in the mail, I spent a Saturday on Cape Cod to see the house my parents are renovating and do some birthday shopping for a friend. And during said shopping, I bought more books, even though I’d told myself not to. (*face turns strawberry red*)

So, here’s Batch #2, the books I bought at the Market Street Bookshop in Mashpee, MA, along with a couple extras. Make sure you stop at MSB if you visit Mashpee Commons. Their selection is fantastic (especially in science fiction and fantasy, both adult and YA), and the staff is extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and well-read. 🙂

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Recent Reads: “Alanna: The First Adventure” by Tamora Pierce

Alanna First Adventure cover

Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness Quartet, Book #1)
Tamora Pierce
Fantasy / Young Adult
249 pages (paperback)

Synopsis:

“From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.”

In a time when girls are forbidden to be warriors, Alanna of Trebond wants nothing more than to be a knight of the realm of Tortall. So she finds a way to switch places with her twin brother, Thom. Disguised as a boy, Alanna begins her training as a page at the palace of King Roald. But the road to knighthood, as she discovers, is not an easy one. Alanna must master weapons, combat, and magic, as well as polite behavior, her temper, and even her own heart.

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins—one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land. Continue reading

Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 11: Of Fairies And A Female Knight

book-stack

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.

*Please note that, starting with today’s edition, Stacking The Shelves will feature links to each book’s Goodreads page instead of their Amazon pages. That way, if you’re on Goodreads, you can any of the featured books to your Goodreads shelves.*

Some of you might remember that last fall, I was looking for recommendations for fantasy novels with fairy characters. I’ve been meaning to do some “market research” on such books because the protagonist and other characters from my WIP, The Keeper’s Curse, are Faeries. Something I should have done a lot sooner than Draft #2, but better late than never, right?

So, I finally bought my first batch of fairy novels for market research, as well as another YA fantasy classic I’ve been meaning to get a hold of. And they are…

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Chronicling The Craft: 20,000 Words

Textbooks + Statistics = Back To School?

Chapters In Progress: 5

Chapters Completed: 4

The writing vacation was a huge success! Instead of taking almost 2 months to reach the next milestone (as it did last time), it took less than one week to go from 15,000 words to 20,000 (or 21,000+, to be accurate). Honestly, it felt more like shooting from one benchmark to the next, because of the shorter span of time. I guess that’s what happens when you a) plan to spend a large amount of time concentrating on your work-in-progress, and b) are “in the flow” during each sit-down. And even though I purposely set no concrete goals for this week, I can’t explain how proud and excited I am with what I accomplished in a few days.  Continue reading