Guest Post by Maria Schneider
Oh, to sort the wheat from the chaff, to find those special books, the ones that you chortle and gloat over, the ones you read more than once because they are just that good! Some gems are hidden behind odd covers. Some gems sparkle right from the start, while others pull you in slowly until you’re caught up in the sparkle. I’m a reader. Like the gold hunters of the Old West, I pan for the best and brightest. Kobo Writing Life has invited me to share a few of my favorite finds.
Genre: Humorous Mystery – Jana DeLeon
I’m particular about my cozy mysteries. I need a lot of action and require an intriguing career to hold my interest. There’s knitting needles, tea parties, and then there’s Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune series featuring an undercover assassin. This is one of those series that grabbed me right from the start. Not only do we have a fascinating protagonist, we have some of the funniest side characters ever written. The first book, Louisiana Longshot, is free. I highly recommend it. Even better? So far every book in the series has continued to earn five stars: I loved both Lethal Bayou Beauty and Swamp Sniper. I’m hoarding book four, Swamp Team 3, for that special day with chocolate cake and uninterrupted reading.
Genre: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy – Frank Tuttle
Every now and then, an author comes along who writes more than one series, and I end up loving every single book regardless of the style or setting. I was first introduced to Frank Tuttle’s work when I read Wistril Compleat, a collection of stories that is much like a novel because each story involves the same wizard and his trusty apprentice. I’ve also heard a rumor that due to popular demand, a new novel with the same world/characters is due out this year! I can’t wait! Meanwhile, Tuttle is also the author of the Markhat series, a wonderful urban fantasy diversion. His writing is spooky at times with just the right atmosphere to send chills down your spine, funny enough to have you laughing out loud and always a page-turner. I enjoy spending time with Markhat, Mama Hog, Darla and…well, the banshee, I’m still getting used to her. I highly recommend Wistril Compleat and Markhat.
Traditional Fantasy – Andrea Host
I don’t read a lot of traditional fantasy these days, but when I do, I really appreciate a multi-layered plot with intriguing characters. Stained Glass Monsters by Andrea Host has all that and a great setting too.
It’s not so traditional that I’d felt I’d read it all before, either. The adventure, mystery and magical elements saw this novel through from beginning to end. Highly recommended if you like fantasy reads.
If fantasy is your favorite genre, you should also check out Laura Underwood (The Hounds of Ardagh)
Maria Schneider is the author of the Sedona O’Hala humorous mystery series and the Moon Shadow urban fantasy series. [EDITORIAL INTRUSION: We recommend you check out BOTH in this unique combo of short stories from both universes: Executive Affairs and Under Witch Ghost]
Maria is an avid reader, cook and gardener.
She often reviews book on her blog, www.BearMountainBooks.com.