It's a funny thing: working as a full-time novelist makes finding time to read a little tricky. I write, edit and release 4-5 books per year, which means I'm always staring at the computer and leafing through loose manuscripts with a frighteningly red pen. At the end of the day, my eyes hurt too much to read, or I fall asleep as I'm halfway through the prologue.
For me, I can read only on days where I have a short work day or if it's a Sunday afternoon. I LOVE reading - it's a magnificent escape from reality. I found some great books this year, too. Here's a compilation of some entertaining Kindle picks I scarfed down this year - or that I'm PLANNING to scarf down next!
Soda Pop Soldier by Nick Cole
Call of Duty meets Ready Player One in this fast-paced, action-packed novel from the author of The Wasteland Saga. Gamer PerfectQuestion fights for ColaCorp in WarWorld, an online Modern Warfare combat sport arena where mega-corporations field entire armies in the battle for real world global advertising-space dominance.
Within the immense virtual battlefield, players and bots are high-tech grunts, using drop-ships and state-of-the-art weaponry to wipe each other out. But times are tough and the rent is due, and when players need extra dough, there's always the Black, an illegal open source tournament where the sick and twisted desires of the future are given free rein in the Wastehavens, a gothic dungeon fantasy world.
All too soon, the real and virtual worlds collide when PerfectQuestion refuses to become the tool of a mad man intent on hacking the global economy for himself.
Phantasma, An Anthology of Sci-Fi Tales
An eclectic collection of speculative short stories by Anne Charnock (2013 Philip K. Dick Award finalist), Jodi McIsaac (“A Cure for Madness,” the Thin Veil series), Kate Maruyama (“Harrowgate”), Roberta Trahan (The Dream Stewards epic fantasy series), J.D. Horn ("Shivaree," the Witching Savannah series), and award-winning poet Jason Kirk.
“Undercurrents” – A young woman discovers her migraines are a symptom of something more sinister than what a good lie-down in a dark room can cure.
“Pro Patria Mori” – An Irish soldier encounters fairies who offer magical aid, but will that magic help save those he holds dearest?
“Akiko” – A curse laid in Japan finds its mark in the City of Angels.
“The Adoption” – In a new age of sexual equality and reproductive freedom, bio-engineered foetuses are gestated in artificial wombs. But what becomes of tomorrow’s orphans?
“Pitch” – A goat-faced boy sets out with a rifle to kill his father, the Devil, in 1950s rural Georgia.
“The Guardian from the Sea” – A wheelchair-bound mermaid finds love in an adult-video store, and barely escapes to regret it.
Gray, Part 1, by Lou Cadle
A dense black cloud boiled up in the southeastern sky. It rose high and fast, like a time-lapse movie of the birth of a thunderhead. But it was no rain cloud. Wholly black, it reached up and loomed over her, blocking out the sun. Somehow she knew it was Death coming at her.
Pre-med student Coral is on a vacation in Idaho when something terrible happens. The black cloud is followed by a wildfire and searing heat that lasts for days. She survives deep in a cave but emerges days later to find the world transformed, a world of blackened trees, an ash-filled sky, and no living creatures except her.
So begins her desperate journey: to find water, and food, and other survivors...and the answer to the mystery of what happened.
Snow and Ash by Theresa Shaver
Bomb after bomb dropped across the globe sending the world tumbling into a seemingly never ending nuclear winter.
Skylar Ross is ten that day when she’s ripped from dance classes and sleepovers to being an orphan in a prepper’s paradise of a mountain bunker. Her determination to protect her baby brother keeps her locked away with nothing but responsibility and loneliness. Her father’s words are a continuous echo, “Trust no one. Help no one.”
Rex Larson is eleven that day. He’s left stranded on the side of the road in a strange place far from home when his mother dies the first day. With his own small brother to look after he is lost and alone. Rex has no choice but to trust complete strangers with his and his brother’s future.
Two different survivors in two different circumstances spend the next seven years trying to survive until an explosive meeting changes both their courses and lives forever. Trust is almost impossible when your whole life is spent in the Snow & Ash.
Plague Town, by Dana Fredsti
Ashley was just trying to get through a tough day when the world turned upside down.
A terrifying virus appears, quickly becoming a pandemic that leaves its victims, not dead, but far worse. Attacked by zombies, Ashley discovers that she is a 'Wild-Card' -- immune to the virus -- and she is recruited to fight back and try to control the outbreak.
It's Buffy meets the Walking Dead in a rapid-fire zombie adventure!
Have any reading recommendations that you'd like to see from me? Shoot me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org! Thanks so much, and have an awesome week!