Ciao, amici! This is my last book share for the year, so I’m going to do something a little different than usual. I’m choosing five books. That’s right, not one, but five. Why? Two reasons:
- This might help you choose a holiday gift for friends and/or family (or even yourself).
- I want to show my SE family some love.
The Story Empire authors were quite tolerant of me this year. They filled in without a single complaint when I couldn’t be here, and they put up with more rants than I care to admit to having. They also gave me sage advice. Scratch that. They give me sage advice. All the time.
These authors are all talented in their craft and have much industry wisdom to share.
To that end, I want to give back. I’m going to share (in last name alphabetical order) one book of theirs that I highly recommend. Frankly, I recommend all their books, but I’m only going to pick one for each. (I encourage you to check out all of their titles, though.)
There are several reasons I selected this book. The characters are engaging, the plot is epic, the settings are fascinating.
But perhaps the biggest reason I chose this book is because of the root monsters. I am proud to say I’m their number one fan. They are whimsical and funny and the cleverest creature creations I’ve ever read. If you like the penguins from Madagascar or the minions from Despicable Me, you’ll love the root monsters. I’m delighted to announce this book is the first in a series, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment.
The book I chose to recommend of Mae’s is End of Day, book two of the Hode’s Hill series. While I highly recommend the entire series, I don’t think you need to read them in order. Each book can serve as a stand-alone entry into the world, although reading them in order might answer minor character questions. (If you’d like to read my five-star review, you can find it here.)
End of Day is a paranormal mystery that takes place in dual timelines. Like I said, I enjoyed all three of the stories in this series, but Gabriel Vane (the protagonist of the historical timeline in this book) captured my heart.
Also, the lore involved was a fresh take on a “grim” and was positively captivating.
If you enjoy a good paranormal mystery, this is the book for you. Mae has brilliantly combined the lyrical beauty of literary fiction with the appeal of a contemporary genre that will entertain a broad spectrum of readers.
Unseen Motives, like the rest of the series, is best categorized as romantic suspense, but if romance isn’t your thing, don’t skip this book. To me, the romance was a bonus, but it’s much more about character development than it is about the relationship. (And there are no explicit scenes.)
This was Joan’s debut novel, but it doesn’t read like it. The characters are well-rounded. The setting is beautifully crafted. And the plot is an intricate surprise with perfect pacing.
The bonus for me was Matt. I do love a man in uniform, and this cop captured my heart.
Fans of mystery/suspense novels won’t want to miss this one.
I was really torn when I had to select Harmony’s book. She has many titles across multiple genres, and I’ve enjoyed everything of hers I’ve read. But I’ve got to slip out of fiction genres and recommend one of her nonfiction titles, Jewel in the Mud. (You can read my five-star review of it here.)
This title is marketed under the Buddhism and New Age categories. If you aren’t a Buddhist, don’t let that deter you. I’m Catholic, and I found this book refreshing, inspiring, and enlightening.
This book is broken down into daily readings, so you can absorb the material in small, easy-to-digest increments. I, however, poured through it, anxious to get to the next nugget of wisdom. And believe me, there is plenty of sage advice in this book.
Once you’re done, you won’t want to delete it from your Kindle or bury it on your shelf. You’ll find yourself going back to it again and again for a daily refresher or a much-needed pep-talk.
This is self-help at its finest, and a title you’ll be glad to read (and reread, and read again).
I chose the first book in his series because these really aren’t stand-alones and reading in order is the best way to truly immerse yourself in this world.
And make no mistake, you are entering a new world here.
P.H. has written a sprawling epic fantasy with fascinating characters, multi-layered plots, and vivid settings. My favorite character (if I had to pick one) is Ralda. I can’t say enough about his vulnerability and relatability, but truly, all the characters were really well developed.
If you like the fantasy genre, you’ll love this story.
So, that’s my last book share of the year, and I’ve given you a bonus—five instead of one. Plenty of genres to choose from here, so there’s something for everyone and anyone. And with all this talent, you can’t go wrong with any (or all) of them.
Have you already read any of these? Or are you looking forward to one in particular? Let’s talk about it.