Part 2 comes December 31
What were your favorites of this year .
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What’s more romantic than a love song? A mixtape full of them. Twelve bestselling and award-winning authors have curated an anthology of brand-new, standalone stories inspired by love songs, featuring a foreword written by NYT bestselling author Laurelin Paige. Press PLAY on this limited-edition collection that’s guaranteed to make you swoon.
Elle Kennedy: “Always On My Mind” - Willie Nelson
KL Kreig: “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” - Andy Gibb
Leslie McAdam: “Think I’m in Love” - Beck
Lynda Aicher: “Kiss Me” - Ed Sheeran
Mara White: “All I Want To Do” - Heart
Marni Mann: “S+M” - Rihanna
Nikki Sloane: “Say It First” - Sam Smith
Rebecca Shea: “Thinking Out Loud” - Ed Sheeran
Saffron Kent: “Guys My Age” - Hey Violet
Sierra Simone: “Hallelujah” - Jeff Buckley
Veronica Larsen: “Say You Won't Let Go" - James Arthur
Xio Axelrod: “Toothpaste Kisses” - The Maccabees
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Task 1: List the 3 books you’ve read this year you’re most “thankful” for (your favs) or the one book you’ve ever read that changed your life for the better.
This was a hard one to just pick 3 favorites for the year since I'm currently at 388 books read for the year and there have been quite a few great ones. After a lot of deliberation, I finally narrowed it down. It appears I was ultimately in the mood for romance since all my picks were romances. Him and Bodysuit Fetish were both fun, while The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was beautiful, but a tearjerker.
Maverick and Olivia prove that fun and sexy can be sweet and tempting. Falling for the Playboy combines my love of romance with irresistible entertainment. Maverick is sex on a stick. His charm leaps off the page, but it's Olivia who steals the show with her caustic comebacks and her inner mini blogs. Kennedy Fox gives the readers what they want. A little bit naughty that feels OH SO NICE.
I'd had this one on my shelf for a long time before being inspired to take it down for 2018's Halloween Bingo.
William Sloane (no Kennedy) inspires a lot of what-ifs. It's incredible to think that after producing these two works he never produced another long work of fiction. The two novellas have echoes of Lovecraft, but with a distinct - and more refined - flavor of their own. Lovecraft was many things, but he was never an effective prose stylist the way Sloane is in these two works.
'To Walk the Night'
After the tragic death of his friend, Berkeley Jones goes out to Jerry Lister's father's house to tell him what he believes happened. The two had witnessed the death of a professor of theirs in his lab from strange radiation, and subsequently Jerry marries the widow of the professor. There is something unusual about the Selena, however, that Berkeley can't figure out. He is even given disturbing, improbable evidence about Selena, but (mostly) keeps quiet about his suspicions in order to keep his friend. Sloane masterfully draws the relationship between Berkeley and Jerry, to my modern eye there was some homoerotic undercurrents beneath their corduroys and within their tastefully decorated bachelor apartment. Selena has come between old friends and upset the balance of their friendship, there couldn't be anything else to it could there that Berkeley resents?
Even when the reader guesses what's going on, Sloane has created a chilling science fiction novel.
'The Edge of Running Water'
This has more of the feel of Lovecraft to it - the remote New England setting, the dramatic old house situated above the water, and secrets behind a closed door.
Richard, a professor in psychology, receives a letter from an old friend - and romantic rival - Julian requesting help in a new experiment. Richard is unsure how he could help an expert in electrophysics, but as they've been estranged since the death of Julian's wife some years before.
Tragedy is hinted at, so the reader closely examines the old house Julian's converted into his lab, the sinister lab assistant Mrs. Walters, even the presence of the friendly housekeeper and Julian's wife's sister Anne, are viewed with suspicion.
This had more elements of the detective mystery story entwined with the horror and sf elements and falls flat a few times, but still a fascinating glimpse at a talent that we should have seen more from.