I read 65 books in 2016. Below are listed 62 of them. I re-read quite a bit this year, including a number of Janet Evanovich and some Sir Terry Pratchett. I think my favourite books this year were a couple of witty/serious middle grades: “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” “Husky,” and “Wonder.” I hear “Wonder” is being made into a movie this year.
In writing news, I wrote one book and published one book, RE-INVENTING LOVE. I have another underway.
I look forward to reading a bunch more in 2017. And also some writing and publishing.
What did you read in 2016?
|1||Alexie||Sherman||The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian||YA|
|3||Archer||Jodie Archer & Matthew Jockers||The Bestseller Code||non-fiction|
|4||Barkley||Linwood||Never Saw it Coming||Thriller|
|5||Barton||Fiona||The Widow||psychological thriller|
|6||Blake-Hall||Karen (ed.)||Villainous Vacations||crime antho|
|7||Blume||Judy||Are you there, God? It’s Me, Margaret||YA|
|2||Campbell||Colin||Free Days with George||Memoir|
|3||Chilton||David||The Wealthy Barber Returns||non-fiction|
|4||Delany||Vicki||Valley of the Lost, Const Molly Smith #2||Mystery|
|5||Delany||Vicki||Winter of Secrets, Const Molly Smith #3||Mystery|
|6||Delany||Vicki||Negative Image, Const Molly Smith #4||Mystery|
|7||Delany||Vicki||Among the Departed, Const Molly Smith #5||Mystery|
|8||Delany||Vicki||A Cold White Sun , Const Molly Smith #6||Mystery|
|9||Delany||Vicki||Under Cold Stone, Const Molly Smith #7||Mystery|
|10||Delany||Vicki||Unreasonable Doubt, Const Molly Smith #8||Mystery|
|12||Evanovich||Janet||Visions of Sugar Plums||Parnormal Mystery|
|13||Evanovich||Janet||Plum Lovin’||Parnormal Mystery|
|14||Evanovich||Janet||Plum Lucky||Parnormal Mystery|
|15||Evanovich||Janet||Plum Spooky||Parnormal Mystery|
|16||Evanovich||Janet||Lean Mean Thirteen||funny mystery|
|17||Evanovich||Janet||Fearless Fourteen||funny mystery|
|18||Evanovich||Janet||Wicked Charm||Parnormal Mystery|
|20||Evanovich||janet||Top Secret 21||Mystery/comedy|
|21||Evanovich||janet||The Chase, Fox and O’Hare Series 3||Funny Thriller|
|22||Evanovich||janet||The Shell Game (E-Short), Fox&O’Hare Series 4||Funny Thriller|
|23||Evanovich||janet||The Job, Fox&O’Hare Series 5||Funny Thriller|
|24||Evanovich||janet||The Scam, Fox&O’Hare Series 6||Funny Thriller|
|25||Evanovich||janet||The Pursuit, Fox&O’Hare Series 7||Funny Thriller|
|26||Evanovich||janet||The Caper||Funny Thriller-short|
|27||Evanovich||janet||The Heist, Fox and O’Hare Series 2||Funny Thriller|
|28||Evanovich||Janet||Curious Minds||Knight & Moon 1|
|29||Fallis||Terry||Poles Apart||Literary humor|
|30||Ford||Deborah||The Dark Side of the Light Chasers||non-fiction|
|31||Gilbert||Elizabeth||Eat, Pray, Love||Memoir|
|33||Hawkins||Paula||The Girl on the Train||literary thriller|
|35||Hiaasen||Carl||Bad Monkey||Absuridist mystery|
|40||Hiaasen||Carl||Star Island–Skink 6||Abusurdist Thriller|
|42||Leib||Josh||I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President||funny MG|
|43||Lemon||Lisa||The Big Stiff||funny mystery|
|44||Leonard||Elmore||Cat Chaser||Mystery / Thriller|
|45||Levitan + Cohen||David + Rachel||Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares||YA conemp|
|46||Lynch||Margaret||Tapping Into Wealth||non-fiction|
|47||Moore||Christopher||Secondhand Souls||Absurdist UF|
|51||Patterson||James||First to Die (#1 Ladies Murder Club)||Mystery|
|52||Patterson||James||Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross #1)||Mystery / Thriller|
|53||Pratchett||Terry||The Colour of Magic||humourous scifi|
|54||Pratchett||Terry||The Light Fantastic||humourous scifi|
|55||Pratchett||Terry||Guards! Guards!||humourous scifi|
|58||Sincero||Jennifer||You are a badass||self-help|
|59||St. James||Simone||Lost Among the Living||Paranormal Thriller|
|60||Wendig||Chuck||Zeroes||contemp sci-fi thriller|
|61||Wolfe||Inger Ash||The Door in the River||Mystery|
|62||?||The idiots guide to money management||non-fiction|
I started listing to the audiobook of Ernest Cline’s ARMADA. Having loved READY PLAYER ONE, I was delighted to find it available from my library (via Overdrive). I’m already on phase 8 (of 26), because I multi-task: walk the dog, play Pokemon Go and listen to an audiobook. Go, me!
The absolute icing on the cake was to discover it was narrated by Wil Wheaton, who is a terrific voice actor.
I’ve had such great luck with audiobooks lately:
Christopher Moore’s SECONDHAND SOULS, the sequel to one of my all-time fave books, DIRTY JOB.
Then Simone St. James’s latest “between the wars” ghost story, LOST AMONG THE LIVING. If you haven’t tried one of Simone’s books, you definitely should. It’s like “Murdoch Mysteries” with ghosts.
Then I listened to an older book by Carl Hiaasen, BASKET CASE. And now, ARMADA.
In addition to studying self-publishing, publishing 4 backlist books with 2 more ready to go early in 2015, and writing three new books, I also read.
In 2014, I read 68 books in a mixture of formats. I did some re-reading because I couldn’t find anything I wanted to read. Where’s all this content everyone’s raving about? I start a lot of books and then abandon them if they don’t grab me.
But what did grab me?
In non-fiction, I loved “Write. Publish. Repeat.” If you read no other book on self-publishing, this is the one. And that book led me to read “Fat Vampire” by one of authors of WPR, Johnny B. Truant. I quickly downloaded and read all six books in the Fat Vampire series. And gave ’em all 5-star reviews. The Kindle edition of “Fat Vampire” appears to be perma-free. Check it out if you’re looking for a fun urban fantasy with a truly engaging character.
In November, I decided to read a thriller. Since urban fantasy (what I write) is said to differ from high or epic fantasy because it moves “at thriller pace,” I figured I should actually read a thriller. I started downloading audiobooks from the library of Lee Child’s “Jack Reacher” series. I’ve listened to 16 audiobooks in about 6 weeks!
What did you read in 2014 that really struck you?
Here’s what I wrote: “Readers tend to expect male/male books to be erotic romance. SHIFT HAPPENS is a more of a paranormal action adventure. To address this, we used illustration rather than photos. The author name and rainbow bar are used across all my books to indicate GBLT themes and my branding.”
Here’s what Joel had to say:
“Fantastic illustration style for an ebook cover, I’d love to see more like this one.”
Awesome right? I know!
But then he added: “I can understand the rainbow is important to your branding, but it’s on the border of intrusive.”
And that surprised me. We’re not talking art here, we’re talking marketing. It’s a sales tool. It’s packaging. The convention for m/m romance is to show two men on the cover, often of the naked-torso variety. Not all, of course. Established authors can move into other designs, but I wanted it easily recognizable. Hence the rainbow.
And when all the books in the series are lined up, each one uses the same sparkly background picked out in a strong colour from the rainbow. I think they look awesome and that it works as a marketing tool. The bright colours and use of illustrations rather than photos makes them stand out among GBLT covers. What do you think?
Only hours after I ticked the little box, my books are all on Apple iTunes now, as well. Thank you, Draft2Digital!
I also uploaded to Barnes+Noble via Draft2Digital. Still waiting to find a friendly Mac I can borrow to upload to iTunes.
Then I headed over to Createspace. Hard copy coming soon!
Sex, drugs, and a blinding reaction. Can false arrest lead to true love?
Detective Tyler Colt meant to arrest the rent boy—really, he did—but finds himself taking the pretty young man home instead. Then Det. Colt meant just to kiss the boy, just once. Just to calm him down. But one thing leads to another and the next thing he knows… Colt’s naked and blind! Just what has this kid done to him?
Next up are handcuffs, hospital visits and a heartfelt apology. Given their rocky start, can our two guys live happily ever after?
A sexy m/m contemporary cop romance (previously published as Lust in Translation in the charitable anthology I Do from MLR Press)
Short story, approx. 55 pages. Available in digital format.
Particular favourites include… Assume the Position by Storm Grant (where a hooker isn’t entirely what he seems and a cop gets rather more than he bargained for)… Anne Brooke
“Assume the Position ” is the best story for the anthology…. What a fresh and original story. The story had great characterization, not only just filled with some steamy sex scenes and overall just a great piece. This is another author to look out for. Rainbow Reviews
This story contains a lot of good qualities such as strongly written action scenes, vivid sensory detail, and male characters who seem like believable men. Obsidian Bookshelf
From a one night stand to something more is only a brief path, in a very nice and mostly funny story. Elisa Rolle
His years working Vice led him by habit through the dirtiest sections of town, the parts the tourist brochures never mention, but the tourists often found anyway.
Neon signs advertising pawn shops and discount liquor stores glowed dimly behind metal grates. Boarded-up, burned-out buildings lined one entire block. Shot-out streetlamps stood uselessly like blind watchmen. Great lakes of rainwater formed on the road where clumps of wet garbage blocked the sewers. The smell of rotting filth overpowered the pine-fresh scent of the little air freshener dangling from the mirror. Neither hooker nor john ventured out on a night like this.
Tyler white-knuckled the steering wheel, his SUV hydroplaning around the corner. “Goddamn it!” He cursed the road, the SUV, the weather and most of all his Goddamn friends who’d convinced him to meet them for drinks and then begged off. “You’re all a bunch of wimps!” he yelled at the road.
He drove cautiously through the storm, unable to remember the last time he’d seen weather this crappy. Must have been a couple years back, at least. He’d been on stakeout and—
He slammed on the brakes so violently his seatbelt locked, knocking the air from his lungs. The car fishtailed wildly out of control. Skidding sideways, the vehicle finally came to a stop just inches from the bedraggled guy meandering in the street in front of him. The drunk or whatever staggered straight into his SUV even though he’d come to a halt. He careened off the bumper only to wander into the other lane.
Continued . . .
So what’s up with me?
I’m about to be officially a tri-brid author. Yes, I did make up that word. It means I’m:
2) traditionally published, and
3) about to go indie (self-published.)
I’ve got several backlist books returned to me as well as two brand spanking new books I’m editing.
Here’s a comprehensive list:
GBLT books by Storm Grant
|1||Re-Inventing Love||60,000||Steampunk historical, new adult, gay romance with paranormal elements||The road to love is paved with good inventions||NEW–to be e-published||Coming soon!|
|2||Lost Boys 2.0: Book #2 in The Chronicles of B.O.O. series||66,000||New adult, gay, contemporary, paranormal multicultural mystery with romantic elements||A man trapped between life and death must partner with Secret Agent Peter Pan to save a new generation of Lost Boys.||NEW–to be self-pubbed Summer 2014||Coming soon!|
|3||Shift Happens: Book #1 in The Chronicles of B.O.O. series||80,000||Contemporary Fantasy m/m–Won a Rainbow Award||A change is as good as a quest.||reprint–to be self-pubbed Summer 2014||Coming soon!|
|4||Tart & Soul||15,000||Humorous m/m contemporary||It’s a business doing pleasure with you.||reprint–to be self-pubbed Summer 2014||Coming soon!|
|5||Assume the Position (formerly “Lust in Translation”)||9,000||Sexy, humorous m/m contemporary||Can false arrest lead to true love?||reprint–to be self-pubbed Summer 2014||Coming soon!|
|6||Gym Dandy||56,000||Humorous m/m contemporary||A gay tale of seduction and denial, humor and sweat.||reprint–to be self-pubbed Summer 2014||Coming soon!|
|7||Dual Citizenship||1,000||Humorous m/m contemporary||Putting the “B” in LGBT! Available in the Best Bi Anthology||Available from Circlet Press||Link|
|8||Sucks & Blows||4,500||wacky urban fantasy||No greater love has a vampire than for his dentist.||Available from Riptide Press||Link|
|9||Few Are Chosen||13,000||urban fantasy, multicultural, YA–Won a Bookie Award||Sparks fly between virgin teenage demon hunters when the Chosen One turns out to be… the Chosen Two?||Available from Riptide Press||Link|
|10||Be Prepared||1,100||m/m romance||In the Coming Together with Pride anthology||Available on Amazon||Link|
“Straight” books by Gina X. Grant / Storm Grant
|11||The Reluctant Reaper: Book 1 in The Reluctant Reaper Series||62,000||wacky urban fantasy||Death is what happens while you’re making other plans.||Available from Simon & Schuster||Link|
|12||Scythe Does Matter: Book 2 in The Reluctant Reaper Series||46,000||wacky urban fantasy||Be careful what you wish for, it just might get you!||Available from Simon & Schuster||Link|
|13||Esprit de Corpse: Book 3 in The Reluctant Reaper Series||50,000||wacky urban fantasy||Hell is where the heart is.||Available from Simon & Schuster||Link|
|14||One Scythe Fits All: Book 4 in The Reluctant Reaper Series||30,000||wacky urban fantasy||So a Grim Reaper, an insane murderer and a 700-year-old poet walk through a portal. Stop me if you’ve heard this one.||WIP||Coming soon!|
|15||Creep||6,000||m/f erotic romance, horror||Typical folk tale—only the narrator remains to tell the tale.||Available from Excessica Publishing||Link|
Freeeeee! Stories by Gina & Storm
|16||A Wolf in Cheap Clothing||700||Contemporary Fantasy||A naked werewolf story||Free!||Link|
|17||Click Click||300||Autobiography||An alarmingly abridged autobiography||Free!||Link|
|18||Continental Divide||1,200||Future History||A future history of sorts||Free!||Link|
|19||Grapes||300||Contemporary Crime||A dark tale of murder by inaction||Free!||Link|
|20||Lost and Found||750||Contemporary paranormal||A spooky dog story||Free!||Link|
|21||Sea Monsters||750||Contemporary paranormal horror||A horrific tale of seduction and body-snatching||Free!||Link|
|22||Wheels||175||Contemporary m/m not romance||A sad tale of insecurity||Free!||Link|
|PSSST. Stormy Stormheller’s fanfiction is available here:||Sentinel, Due South, Stargate Atlantis, etc.||Free!||Link|
The delightful Lexxie at Unconventional Reviews gave FEW ARE CHOSEN 4 stars.
Sparks fly between virgin teenage demon hunters when the Chosen One turns out to be the Chosen . . . Two?
Apprentice warrior Blake St. Blake is the Chosen One, raised by an ancient order to defend the world against evil. Well, maybe not the whole world, but at least his neighborhood in downtown Detroit. When a dreaded reflux demon is sighted in a local cemetery, Blake is sent off to his very first battle, armed with his sword, his super-senses, his black leather duster, and a few well-rehearsed one-liners.
But another Chosen One gets in Blake’s way—an apprentice wizard named Shadow. While the boys argue about who’s the more chosen of the two, the demon escapes.
Blake wants to be angry, but it turns out he and Shadow have a lot in common. Besides, Shadow’s pretty cute, and Blake can’t help but think that the wizard’s skills (and hands and lips and other bits) might make the perfect complement to his. Blake and Shadow are brave enough to challenge the reflux demon in a second battle, but will they have the courage to tell each other how they feel?
*I received a free copy of Few Are Chosen from the author in exchange of an honest review*
Few are Chosen is a sweet paranormal young adult story where two boys meet and fall in love under pretty strange circumstances. There are demons, fights, and a creepy cemetery. As many other teenagers before them, both Blake and Shadow think they know better than the adults, and they are pretty sure they can fight their fights on their own.
It was a little funny to see how differently they have been raised, even if they’re both basically demon-hunters. Blake thinks he is The Chosen, whereas Shadow has always known that he’s the chosen one from his coven. When they fight a huge and disgusting demon together, they also check each other out a little, and their timidness is really cute. Written in first person from Blake’s point of view, it brings out both his sense of humor and his insecurities,
I would definitely read more about these two, it could be a prequel to a series, and I’d pick up the series in a heart-beat. There are some pretty hot scenes in a mausoleum towards the end, but I still maintain that Few Are Chosen is a YA story – everything happens in the dark.
He laid his hand on top of mine, and stared deep into my eyes. I glanced down at where his hand covered mine. Even in the near dark, I found the contrast of our light and dark skin tones exciting. To be honest, I found everything about him exciting.
“I can’t hold it much longer,” Shadow panted. “Slay the fucker. Now!”
He pulled away an inch or so, but I reached up and cupped my hands around his shoulders and pulled him back toward me. Our noses bumped when we both turned the same way, but we worked it out on the next try, and our lips met again, more firmly this time.
Thank you, Lexxie. You are awesome!