Some books I’ve read while on being confined to the couch…

Healing from a broken ankle with pins and plates requires lying down with the foot up on a pillow. One would think this would mean lots of time to write, but I need an escape from the suckage of my life right now. Yes, I hit Netflix hard, but I’m reading a lot of books, too.

Someone mentioned “Muderbot Diaries” on some damn Twitter thread, and it was an instant brainworm because I downloaded the first book “All Systems Red” and then downloaded the next three books and stayed up late reading. I don’t know what to say, but these four books were the most compelling reading I have experienced in months. A sentient android with anxiety disorders and a sweet tendency to be very emotional. Oh yeah, they happen to be a muderbot. The scary thing is that their life feels sooooo familiar while being totally science-fiction. It’s wonderful how one gradually realizes that the true murdering bastards are most of the humans. The neutral gender of the murderbot is surprisingly fresh considering how most sci-fi writers enforces genders on cyborgs and robots. It is so brilliant that reading this series has rendered me inarticulately bossy. Read this book. Not a romance, definitely sci-fi. Martha Wells is a brilliant author.

Tasha Suri’s ‘Empire of Sand’. It took me a while to get into this, but it hooked me hard. By the middle of the book, I was staying up late to read more. I would call this Fantasy because it focuses on the heroine’s personal story arch although there is a strong romance. Super cool world-building, lots of powerful women, thoughts on religion and belief and magic. So yeah, it checked all the boxes for me. I think this is one of the books being soft-pedaled as YA because the author is young and a woman, but it is not YA appropriate. ‘Empire of Sand’ is a dark, violent and compelling read.

‘Verity’ by Collen Hoover. I have read one other Collen Hoover. She writes suspense (with a surprise twist) and a little bit of romance mixed in. Well done but I can never connect with her women. They seem distant and strange to me — nevertheless, excellent pacing and a page-turner plot.

The brilliant Sarah Maclean and Jen Prokop started a podcast called “Fated Mates” which is a “read-a-long” to the brilliant Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series. This series is so personally important to me, I don’t even know where to begin. It was my gateway drug back into romance after many years away, my inspiration to write paranormal and some of my favorite books EVAH.  When I attended my first romance convention, Kresley Cole walked up to me and introduced herself. Yes, I did the fan stammer of “but I love your books.” She was lovely. Back to the podcast, Jen and Sarah spend each of the books per episode, and in-between podcasts are discussing other stuff. There are 18 books, so we hope to be listening to this podcast for the next year or more. Naturally, I am re-reading all the books so I can really enjoy the discussion. All I can say that while I was enduring a severely broken ankle, surgery and constant pain, this podcast and reading all the IAD books AGAIN keeps me smiling. I finished book 6 or book 7 last night, depending on what camp you fall into regarding the numbering of the books. See for more info.

Me and Kresley Cole.

NK Jemsin is a name that has been haunting me in recommendations. I bought The Inheritance Trilogy because it was on sale and read the first book ‘The Hundred Thousands Kingdom.’  A huge book but WOW. Intense, epic, almost operatic in its sweep of story. Mythic while being weird and surprising. Like did she just have sex with a god? The writing is beautiful. Highly recommended.

Jeanine Frost’s ‘Shades of Wicked’. She is a fav fantasy author of mine. The Night Huntress series is brilliant fun, and this is set in that universe. I have to say I had drifted away from her books, but this book brought me back hard. Great story, great characters, and super bonkers plots. When Veritas meets a troll she knows from her past and he gives her all his gold in Central Park? Hell yes. And oh, it opens with Ian at an orgy. Lols.

I have a secret obsession with Hockey Romance. I adore Sarina Bowen, so I snapped up her latest book ‘Overnight Sensation.’  It’s like romance crack. I can’t explain it except it is a lot of fun. He is a swoon-worthy hero who tucks the drunk heroine into bed and he sleeps on the couch.

Christi Caldwell’s A Lady’s Guide to a Gentlemen’s Heart’. Super fun historical romance with amazing characters. An introvert and emotionally stifled hero and an independent spinster heroine. COME ON. I love that so much. It is highly recommended if you need a good historical romance.

I am furiously writing and editing when I am focused and pain-free. I have a lot of things coming. It will be fabulous.

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