MY BEST READS OF THE YEAR, 4th EDITION

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Another year is almost at an end. This just doesn’t cease to amaze me, though with less intensity. When it’s the start of the year I can’t wait for it to end. Then when the year ends, I wish it lasted longer. Part of the reason is that I wish I could accomplish more. In 2016, I’ve published no more novels. My last one was In A Greater Reality, back in November ’15. This year, I canceled a project I was working on, so that slowed me down. Now I’m writing a new sci-fi novel I’m very excited about.
As 2016 is the fourth year I’m tracking my books finished in Goodreads, I finished less new books. I’ve been instead re-reading old ones. Three years is, well, pretty long to go without revisiting novels I liked in the past. So once again, the pool to choose my best reads from is smaller. That means that this year, the list will be 10 books long. As usual, I include a star rating and a short summary of the books chosen. I’ll start at 10 and go down until reaching my #1 read of the year. Without further ado:
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BOOK REVIEW: DEFECTOR (VARIANTS, #2)

DEFECTOR (Variants, #2)

Author: Susanne Winnacker
Published on: June 26, 2014
Genre: Sci-fi, romance
Published by:Razorbill
Format: E-book, paperback, Audible

Tessa has finally made peace with her life as a Variant. She and long-time love Alec are officially a couple, and for the first time, she has everything she wants.

But the air is tense at FEA headquarters. An agent has disappeared, and rogue variant organization Abel’s Army is likely the culprit.

When Tessa is summoned for her second mission, she is unexpectedly launched into a massive conspiracy. Her best friend Holly is kidnapped and Tessa knows it was meant to be her. But who is after her? And more importantly, why?

When the FEA’s efforts to rescue Holly don’t yield any results, Tessa takes matters into her own hands. Desperate to save her friend and uncover the mystery behind Abel’s Army, Tessa launches her own investigation—but nothing could prepare her for what she finds. Everyone in her life is harboring secrets: Alec, her estranged mother, even the father she never knew.

The truth will take her out on the road and out of her comfort zone, with danger lurking everywhere. Summoning all of her courage and strength, Tessa must decide who can be trusted and what is worth fighting for—even if it means going against the life she thought she wanted. Her final decision will leave readers breathless.

 

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BOOK REVIEW: IMPOSTOR (VARIANTS, #1)

IMPOSTOR (Variants, #1)

Author: Susanne Winnacker
Published on: May 28, 2013
Genre: Sci-fi, romance
Published by:Razorbill
Format: E-book, paperback, Audible

Can Tessa pose as Madison . . . and stop a killer before it’s too late? 

Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again.

Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself. 

 

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TRIVIA ABOUT THE DREAM DATE SERIES

Last Monday was the second anniversary of the Dream Date series. I self-published the first book (of the same title) on August 15, 2014. I’d always wanted to be a published writer, and that was the first time I achieved my goal. Technically, it’s the second book I wrote, but I no longer count the novella that came before that. The reasons for this can be found in my FAQ section. Anyway, Dream Date was my first foray as a published author. I chose New Adult romance as my genre because, well, I like women very much and wanted to write about a gorgeous one.

Since one book wasn’t enough to tell the story of Amanda Tilley and Nathan Ferland, I released a sequel titled Devoted to Her. It allowed me to introduce new characters (which was exciting) and flesh out some of the supporting characters. One of them in particular really struck my interest: Kayla Moran. I want to write a book about her, but I’m busy with my sci-fi ideas now. And also, I don’t want to rush with a half-hearted story. If I’m writing that book, I want to do it right and have a decent story.

Today I’m going to post some trivia about the Dream Date series. This includes character inspirations and other stuff I haven’t written about before. Here it is:

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MOST DATEABLE FICTIONAL WOMEN

How’s it going? There are only two days left for Valentine’s Day. Couples all over will be celebrating the day of love in different ways. For those of us who are single, we can still hang out with pals. Valentine’s is for friendship, too!
Whether you are single or in a relationship, you probably have a crush on someone well-known. For this post, I thought it would be fun to make a list of the most dateable women in fiction. This list will not be in any particular order. I’ve included characters I know well or have at least heard of. A side note: not all of them are crushes of mine! 😀 Here they are:

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BIOS OF THE CHARACTERS FROM “IN A GREATER REALITY”

Today, it’s been over a month since I self-published my first sci-fi novel, In A Greater Reality. It is set in 2028, mainly in Philadelphia, PA and Miami, FL. The book deals with the late stages in the invention of a groundbreaking technology, and how it affects the main characters. This technology is dubbed RETCON by the scientists. It is not an acronym, but simply “retcon” in capital letters. Even if you haven’t read In A Greater Reality, you likely already guessed that RETCON is a virtual reality world. I even made a promotional poster for my book, which is a faux advertisement made by the company that developed RETCON. The virtual world is managed by an array of photonic supercomputers (their processors use light signals instead of electrical signals). Continue reading

HOLIDAY GIFT SUGGESTIONS FOR BOOKWORMS AND WRITERS

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UPDATED DECEMBER 2015

Good morning! It’s finally that time of the year when we start planning (and doing) gift shopping. This is most people’s favorite thing about Christmas. I also think it’s fun to put up the Christmas tree. Anyway, if you’re a writer or you’re trying to decide what to get a writer friend of yours, I’ve come up with a good Christmas gift list. We can’t get a Cloak of Invisibility like Harry Potter, but there are other items that we as writers would love just as much. I wrote and published this post last year. It has been updated with newer versions of the gifts. I thought it was a better alternative than writing a brand new post. I also streamlined the list, as I got carried away a little. 🙂 Here’s the list: Continue reading