Best of 2013 + Bring on 2014
Happy New Year, everyone! First off, let me wish you all a safe, healthy, and productive 2014. 🙂 I hope you and yours are able to celebrate and reinvent and thrive as we move into the new year. Face those challenges and triumph in 2014!
In 2013, I think I only met one of my New Years Resolutions (to see 3 movies in the cinema), so this year, I’m saying fuck that shit. I just want to celebrate what I loved best about books I read in 2013 and what I’m looking forward to in 2014. Just keep in mind that this is my personal list. I’m not magnificently well read, so I’m sure there are plenty of amazing titles outside of Storm Moon Press that I didn’t read or didn’t know about. ^_^
- Rhys Has a Crush by Melanie Tushmore
- An Invitation to Love by Blaine D. Arden
- In All Your Ways by Cari Z
Rhys Has a Crush is a wonderfully informal short with a rocker boy pulling a ploy to try to approach his crush via texting. Hilariously put together; I just loved it. An Invitation to Love is another example of Arden taking fantasy settings and running with them. This one involves language barriers as well as a ménage à trois, which is just full of win. Lastly, In All Your Ways (technically a 2012 book, but I read it in 2013) is an awesome love story taking place in the angels/demons mythos. It also ties into Cari Z’s Cambion series, so it’s definitely worth reading. Yay for freebies!
Favorite YA Book: Sinews of the Heart by Cody L. Stanford
Really, was there any other choice for me? No. I can’t shut up about this book, and you all have probably seen my proper review of it already, so I put it at the top here so you can just see that OF COURSE it makes my list… and you can move on to the rest. For those who haven’t seen the review, this is a trans*/genderqueer YA book in a post-apocalyptic setting with anthrotigers. It’s an exquisite read. ^_^
Favorite Short Story: Gift of Self by Kathleen Tudor
This trans* piece blew me away in the best way possible. Tudor really deals respectfully with the themes. Discovering the extent of your trans identity is tough enough alone, but there are even more things to consider when in an established relationship… especially one involving kink like the one between Jeffrey/Jessie and Athena. Weaving all those elements together takes a master hand, and Tudor has done just that with care and respect.
Favorite Novella: Thornless Rose by T.C. Mill
What can I say? This is an awesome sci-fi adventure story with an inhospitable alien planet and a bit of a romance tied into all the action. Sabotage and intrigue are tucked in there, along with some really fun linguistic details. When you have technology that translates for you, it’s nice to have a nod to the way things don’t quite translate between languages. Some words and meanings are inevitably lost or misunderstood, and I like that Mill took the time to recognize that when dealing with various alien races communicating with one another.
Favorite Novel: Cambion: Dark Around the Edges by Cari Z
This was released as a serial novel, and this ‘season’ was some of the best fiction I’ve read in a long time. I was gripping the edge of my seat and wanting to strangle Cari Z for making me wait to read the next bit in the serial. Now that it’s all compiled, others won’t have to go through that suspense, but it’s a great book filled with awesome supernatural/paranormal elements, plenty of action, and steamy scenes between the protagonists. I can’t wait to read more as the series continues, be it with the main characters or a number of the minor characters, who are equally engaging. 😀
Favorite Anthology: Legal Briefs
It’s rare to get a mixed-bag anthology of various orientations/identities that jives well with me. Like most anthologies, not every story resonates with every reader. With Legal Briefs, I was overjoyed that three of the six stories are trans* and each of those three are completely different from one another. The authors involved with this anthology are excellent, and the fact it’s a charity anthology just makes it even better to me. The proceeds go to Lambda Legal, so if you’re looking for legal-themed erotic works, this anthology goes toward a great cause!
Favorite Drawn Covers:
The Dracones cover is easily my favorite this year. The color scheme is vivid, and I love the way Nathie worked the dragon in with a half-naked guy without any of it looking the least bit campy. The details in The Forester II‘s cover are exquisite, and I love that those covers for that series are from scenes in the stories themselves. And Forgotten Menagerie just makes me happy because there are shifters on the cover that are actually in the stories of the anthology. I just love that our authors got really creative when we told them to write unorthodox shifters! Nathie’s execution of our crazy themes never ceases to amaze me, and I will always be a huge fan of Nathie’s work.
Favorite Photo-Manip Covers:
- The Harvest: Taken by M.A. Church — Art by Lou Harper
- Bound by Ink by Kimber Vale — Art by ThinkSentient Ltd
- The Devil’s Midway by S.L. Armstrong & K. Piet — Art by ThinkSentient Ltd
Come on, the cover for The Harvest: Taken is just plain PRETTY! It’s everything I love about those science fiction covers with planets and hints of alien life on them. That it’s a wrap-around cover in the print version makes it even better. Get yourselves a copy of this book, guys. Seriously. And the other two covers are examples of the single releases we put out at the press. ThinkSentient Ltd did cover art that was then personalized for each story in a given anthology so they share the same basic covers but have their own titles visible. I love the multi-colored smoke in the covers for Written in Flesh, and the color scheme and demonic symbol layering in the covers for Devil’s Night really bring the ambiance for erotic demonic fiction. So happy with all these covers!
Favorite Upcoming Piece: “Red Filter” by D.K. Jernigan (aka Kathleen Tudor)
This story is to be included in the Blood Embrace anthology coming out from Storm Moon Press this year, and OH MY GOD. You guys, seriously. Psychic vampires with some power play and bondage. It’s sexy and amazing and did I mention sexy? I can’t wait for this story to be published, and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I have in pre-production. Am I wicked to tease you all? YES! But you’ve gotta read this when it comes out. It’ll knock your socks off… right along with your pants, hopefully. 😉
That’s my round-up for the new year! As for me, I’m just going to try to keep my head above water this time around. I have a lot of new things in the works, both personally and professionally, and I know I need to hit the ground running this year. I hope a lot of great things come of my efforts. ^_^ Have a great 2014, everyone!