Best Read in 2016: Short Stories

2016 Best Read

The other day I posted by best read list of 2016. (Click here if you missed it.) As I mentioned in that post, I would be posting a separate list of the short stories that stuck in my reading for 2016. That’s what today’s post is all about.

I gave you all the stats last time. To repeat the short story stats, I read 113 of them and they totaled 2653 pages. And those I read in audio totaled just under 22 hours of listening.

Again, I don’t like to “rank” my favorite stories. So this is list isn’t in any order. I just plucked them off my spreadsheet and the order is whatever it is. I also want to make clear that narrowing down 113 stories isn’t easy. They’re not all 5 star reads. Some 4 stars can be better than 5 stars when you recall them. Ratings aren’t always the definitive stat to go by.

One more thing: They’re not all short stories. Oops. And not oops. Because there’s no law about the length of a short story, novella, novel, etc, some stories in this list are actually novellas. Some may be marketed as a novella but feel more like a short story. I didn’t get picky. They’re just not novels. That’s fairly easy to figure out compared to story/novella. And for those authors out there reading this, this could be a good list for you to pay attention to if you have a story in need of reviews. In 2017 I’m only accepting short story/novella requests, as my review policy says right now. Just putting that out there. And for everyone else, check some of these out. Read them. Share them with others. And share your favorite stories of 2016 in the comments. I also have a poll for favorite reads of 2016 linked below. Please participate!

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The Short Fiction

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CLICK HERE FOR THE POLL

Holiday Reading Recommendations!

First, Happy Chanukah. Second Merry Christmas. Third, Happy Everything and Anything Else.

I’m going to keep my message here short. I put together a list of almost 50 holiday themed book recommendations. The list may grow if anyone wants to comment with their own recommendations! I’ll add them in as I see them. Most of these are Christmas books/novellas/stories. There are a few Chanukah ones. There aren’t nearly as many Chanukah stories as Christmas ones. PLEASE tell me more if you know of them.

You’ll see a few have reviews linked with them. Those I have read/reviewed (obviously). Most of these are just on my radar and some made it to a holiday wishlist I made this year. They’re all linked to Amazon, so I’m sorry for those who need other store links. 99.99999% of all book links clicked on my blog is the Amazon link. We all know how they book world is.

And now that I’ve rambled on enough, here’s the list. I hope you find many great books to read!

#CoverReveal: The Ourean Chronicles, by @TheSMBoyce

You all know that I’m possibly the BIGGEST fan of S.M. Boyce’s Grimoire Saga. And for those who are fans, like me, you may be sad (and VERY EXCITED) that in November the 4th and final book of the saga will be released. What will we, the fans, do once we finish reading Illusion? Well, that’s what I’m helping inform everyone about today!

Starting in later 2015, Boyce will be releasing three companion novellas to the Saga called The Ourean Chronicles. They’ll details events in the lives of three characters from The Grimoire Saga: Stone, Cedric, and Deidre.

Here’s a little hello from Boyce, explaining the concept for the Ourean Chronicles and a sneak peek of how they’ll be released:

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The Misanthrope: Stone’s Story

(Ourean Chronicles #1)

The Misanthrope - Stone's eBookBefore Stone trained Kara Magari or taught the First Vagabond to master the Blood loyalty, he was nothing more than a slave boy named Terric.

Terric is a curious loner hellbent on reading his master’s forbidden books. When one heist goes wrong, Terric abandons his old life and runs for freedom—only to fall prey to a ruthless man named Niccoli.

Niccoli is an isen—a creature of magic from the hidden world of Ourea—and he awakens within Terric an unimaginable gift. But this gift comes with a catch. Suddenly in control of newfound power he is forbidden to freely use, Terric realizes too late he simply traded one master for another.

In Ourea, a world dominated by the gifted, few isen dare defy their masters. Until now.

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The First Vagabond: Cedric’s Story

(Ourean Chronicles #2)

The First Vagabond eBook coverOurean legends of the First Vagabond have survived a thousand years, blossoming in pubs and alleys even as the great Bloods of Ourea tried to squelch his name. But the myths glorify the deeds and forget the man he was—Cedric, a boy from a small Hillsidian farming village.

As a young man, Cedric discovers a terrifying defect in his nature. He has no Blood loyalty, which means he can defy his king—something that has never happened in recorded history. But what begins as a flaw evolves into a strength. Citizens begin to listen to Cedric, and he discovers that if he leads, others will follow.

What begins as a bid for change in a world controlled by tradition becomes a mudslide as Cedric’s cause falls apart at the seams. And after a betrayal that destroys his faith in the only family he’s ever known, Cedric is forced to decide between those he leads and those he loves.

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The Demon: Deidre’s Story

(Ourean Chronicles #3)

The Demon - Deidre's eBookDeidre wasn’t always an isen, but she has always been hated.

In 1814, Deidre is a Southern Belle, born to wealth and a father who loathes her. Townsfolk call her beautiful and clever. A young man named Michael calls her the love of his life. But her father calls her a demon.

Deidre has lived her life with blackouts—moments of evil she can’t control or remember. She hates herself enough as it is, but her life snowballs out of control when a foreigners named Niccoli comes to town. In one heartbreaking night, she loses everything—including Michael. And it’s Niccoli’s fault.

That night, Deidre becomes immortal. Powerful. Vengeful. But her grief festers.

As she learns the truth about her blackouts, she begins to lose the last threads of who she was. And as long as she kills Niccoli for taking Michael from her, she’s okay with that.

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Get your Free Ebook of Lichgates

If you haven’t already read the Grimoire Saga, start out with Lichgates (Grimoire Saga #1). It’s available for FREE through your favorite online retailers.

Direct from Boyce’s Store: ePub | Mobi
Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo | B&N

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Get Updates on the Ourean Chronicles

The Ourean Chronicles will be your new lichgate into Ourea after you read Illusion, the final book in the Grimoire Saga, which will be released November 4th. Get updates by joining the tribe.

If you’d like to pre-order Illusion, you can do so from:

Amazon | Kobo

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About the Author:

Boyce 300International Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga.

S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries.

Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.

Connect with Boyce

Website | Blog | Advice for Writers
Facebook | Twitter | Google +
Pinterest | Youtube | Goodreads
Amazon Page |Smashwords Page

#Review: The Society of Sinners, by @CharityParkerso

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Title: The Society of Sinners (The Sinners Series #1)
Author: Charity Parkerson
Rating: 4/5 stars

“‘Evil lives in the dark. We instinctively know this as children.’ Nestled high in the mountains… The quiet community of Jackson Station is where everyone knows your name and…species? Vampires have existed since almost the beginning of time, but not in the way we have been led to believe. These were not men cursed by the devil but warriors blessed by God to have great strength, agility, and eternal life. Eternal life came at a price, the price of human blood. Some chose to live within their own society; The Society of Sinners. This is the first in Charity Parkerson’s new sinners series introducing a paranormal world filled with vampires, werewolves, changeling, and God’s greatest warrior.” (description from Goodreads)

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It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book with vampires. I don’t always find much exciting about the genre, but Parkerson was able to write the mythology of these vampires, werewolves, and other creatures in an interesting way.

I liked the idea behind how the creatures came to be, and how/why The Society of Sinners itself was set up. It adds a better depth to the story than just having all these characters with abilities and leaving it simply as that. This also helped in the development of the characters and their histories.

I also found it interesting that the novel was split into 5 separate, but connected, stories. At the heart of it, these are 5 stories about the pairing off of various characters, as well as way to introduce bits of the ongoing plot for the next stories to build on. This worked well, though I found that it allowed some events to become predictable, as the stories had obvious similarities with the romance. But all in all, the first four stories were great and built up a nice story. I didn’t feel the same way about the 5th story though. It takes place about 25 years after the others (which occurred in a much shorter time frame, all together). This alone sets it apart from the rest of the book. It also doesn’t really build off of the rest of the book directly; it’s a side story in a way. Though, I can see how it’s possible that the conflict could lead to the next book in the series, I felt this was a self-contained, unrelated occurrence.

Looking back at the characters, I do feel that they were developed nicely, even if there was too much insta-romance for me. It still fit in with the idea of fate/destiny/a bigger picture that is a factor in their world.

Now that the characters have been set up, their relationships established, and some hints at a bigger conflict thrown at me, I’m anxious to see where the other books of the series take the story. It was nice to read a novel from this author, while in the past I’ve really only read short stories.

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You can grab a copy of this book from:

Amazon | Smashwords | B&N | Kobo

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About the Author:

Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Midnight Books, and Punk & Sissy Publications. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.

Find more on Charity Parkerson:

BEST OF 2013: A Year in #Review

2013, a year in review…

The end of 2013 is upon us, and so is the end of my second full year of blogging (serious blogging. This thing’s been up since something like 2009 technically). Like I did at the end of 2012, I’m taking the time to summarize the year, somewhat.

Let me start with a few stats from over on Goodreads:

I set a goal of reading 200 books for 2013, well, I ended up surpassing that number. I’ve read a total of 273 books this year. But please, before you freak out thinking I read A LOT, remember this, GR counts any book entry as a book. It could be a 3 page story or a 1000+ page epic novel. So, I really don’t hold that 273 book count as an achievement.  BUT, GR also has another stat that I DO think is a more accurate way to measure my reading accomplishment. While I’ve read 273 “books,” GR has added up all the page counts of the books I’ve read and put it into a nice large number for me. In 2013, I’ve read just about 23,000 pages (Being a GR librarian, I’ve done my best to make the books I’ve read as accurate on page count as possible, but a few, like the audiobooks I’ve “read” don’t have real page counts. This 23k is an approximate value based on what GR counted for me.) How does this compare to 2012? According to GR, I read 153 books (which many of which were novels, compared to this year) and just over 13000 pages.

I think that’s enough boring stuff for now. Would you like to see my top 10 (and top 5, for poetry since I don’t read as much as I should) lists? Remember, like last year, the order these books are listed in aren’t necessarily from best to less best. I don’t really choose favorites, especially when so many different genres and writing styles are involved. If I can be bold, just once in this post, I will say that if I had to choose ONE favorite book of 2013, it’d be S.M. Boyce’s Heritage. I’ve said this often, but I have a feeling that Boyce’s books will top my lists for years to come. I’m not playing favorites, it’s just that she continues to exceed my expectations with each book 🙂

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Top 10 Novels

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Top 10 Short Stories/Novellas/Collections

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Top 5 Poetry Books

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Now that that’s over with, let me finish out this post. What’ll 2014 bring with it? Well, there are going to be some changes here on A Life Among the Pages. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here, but I’m hoping to be here more often. I want to be blogging more, like I did last year. I want to hopefully get the Authors We Love and Aged Pages posts started back up again, as well as Prose Verse Babel.

In 2014, I’m also hoping to get back into writing more. Most of this year, I’ve been in a writing funk. I’ve written some things, but not many. I had that erotica kick back in the beginning of the year, but even that died down. So 2014 will be…I hope…a better year. I’m going to read more (I’ve started getting into my back log and finding great books there), but I’ll be getting into that more later in the next few days. I’m going to write more. I’m going to bring you more authors to check out.  A Life Among the Pages will go back to being alive and a place to stop by often and a place to participate once again! Let’s help it get active again and grow! I know I can count on you, my readers. You are, after all, the reason I keep this thing going 🙂

Hope everyone’s year is off to a great start! You’ll be hearing from me sooner rather than later, so don’t be strangers!

#CoverReveal: Shadow of the Sun, by David James

This is the end.
And this time, no heart is safe.

A stunning read for fans of Laini Taylor’s Days of Blood & Starlight and Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys, Shadow of the Sun is the lyrical sequel to Light of the Moon and the epic conclusion to the Legend of the Dreamer series that will enrapture you.

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“Destined for love, Calum and Kate will do anything to be together. With Kate trapped by a curse in Ashfall, Calum must find a way to save her before she is lost to dark magic. Before she is lost to him and the truth of their love is gone forever. Even if it means sacrificing himself, Calum will choose to keep Kate safe.

A Warrior for the Order, Zack prides himself on being stoic and strong. As a Warrior, he never cries and never hurts. He does not love. But underneath Zack’s Warrior heart, love beats true. And when he finds someone who will finally catch him, Zack finds himself choosing to fall even if true love kills him.

Though the heart never lies, everyone has a little darkness in them, and soon shadows begin to rise against the light. As deadly magic consumes their world, love may not be enough to save them all. Because even though sometimes being brave just means falling in love, one choice can destroy everything. This time, no heart is safe.”

The end begins on 1.28.14.

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And you don’t have to wait until 1.28.14 to get started! Enter the INTERNATIONAL giveaway below for a chance to win the Legend of the Dreamer e-book of your choice!

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

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Start at the beginning and get Light of the Moon, the first book in this epic series, today!

Light of the Moon
Amazon | B&N

Check out The Witch’s Curse, the stunning and romantic novella that reveals Kate’s history.

The Witch’s Curse
Amazon | B&N

Zack is fearless, but he wasn’t always. Read The Warrior’s Code and learn more about his past.

The Warrior’s Code
Amazon | B&N

All two novellas, The Witch’s Curse and The Warrior’s Code, are included in the Shades of the Stars anthology, along with an exclusive short story about the fire enchanter Lily. This enchanting anthology also features essays, playlists, deleted scenes, and an author interview.

Shades of the Stars
Amazon

line-37709David James writes books about stars and kisses and curses. He is the author of the YA novel, Light of the Moon, the first book in the Legend of the Dreamer duet, as well as the companion novellas, The Witch’s Curse and The Warrior’s Code. A Legend of the Dreamer anthology, Shades of the Stars, was released July 2013, and includes the exclusive novella, The Enchanter’s Fire. The final book in the duet, Shadow of the Sun, will be released in January of 2014. Living in Michigan, he is addicted to coffee, gummy things, and sarcastic comments. David enjoys bad movies, goofy moments, and shivery nights.

Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Goodreads | Email | Amazon

Be brave. 

 

#CoverReveal: Cross Country Christmas, by @AuthorTiffany

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***Cross Country Christmas is proud to be a part of The 12 NA’s of Christmas *** 

12 New Adult Novellas. 12 Best Selling Authors. November 1, 2013.

With the holiday season upon her, Jamie Foster is once again stressed about making her yearly visit back home to Woodfalls, still single. Fate intervenes in the form of Grant Johnson, a boy she grew up with, who catches the same flight while returning home from a business trip.

When a malfunction sends their plane crashing down on the runway upon takeoff, Jamie and Grant decide to rent a car and make the nine-hundred-mile drive home together. Ironically for them, anything that can go wrong does as they face one hysterical hurdle after another.

Christmas may finally bring Jamie the gift of love she has always wanted if she and Grant can manage to overcome a few obstacles along the way. Ho-ho-ho!

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Cross Country Christmas will be released on November 1st. You can pre-order this novella over on:

Amazon | iBooks

and

If you need any convincing about this novella, here’s my review of it from the ARC I read.

REVIEW

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You can check out the rest of the novella’s great covers, and find out more about each one in the mail cover reveal (click the image below)

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About the Author:

USA Today Best Selling author, Tiffany King is the author of the Young Adult titles: The Saving Angels SeriesWishing for Someday SoonForever ChangedUnlikely AlliesMiss Me Not, and Jordyn: A Daemon Hunter Novel book one. She also has a New Adult title called No Attachments.

Writer by day and book fanatic the rest of the time, she is now pursuing her life-long dream of weaving tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

Find out more: