Favorite New (to me!) Authors of 2015

This list is in no particular order. I want to make that clear before I go any further.  I’m a bit of a bookworm (erg, was that too sudden? Do you need to sit down for a minute? Catch your breath; I’ll wait). Part of the fun of reading for me is thinking about the authors whose works I’ve discovered for the first time, whose works get me all jazzed over writing and reading, authors whose material being in the world at this point in time makes me grateful to be alive and able to get my hands on said  material. Even though I do write nonfiction, and even though Beth and various friends have thoroughly convinced me that nonfiction writing counts as real writing, when I reflect upon this, I don’t often reflect upon the nonfiction writers. Maybe I should; maybe I will. For this past year, I have not, and so that’s something I’ll keep in mind going forward. For now? For now, I want to share with you the authors whose work I’ve discovered and loved during 2015.

Annie Bellet. Now,  this might not be fully a 2015 discovery. I came across her work first in Nine By Night, which was a flippin’ awesome bundle (which no longer seems to be live; that’s too bad. It’s a great collection)  I read back toward the end of 2014. I did a lot of book binging during last December, and I primarily remember reading a ton of Lindsay Buroker, and I don’t remember if I read Twenty Sided Sorceress series before that or after that, but I don’t care. It’s a great series, and while it’s not the most favorite of my favorite new discoveries, it’s up there.

Meghan Ciana Doidge Picking my favorite author, or even my favorite author out of a distinct category (modern-day set/paranormal suspense/indie-published) is sort of like picking my favorite cat — it’s not gonna happen. Even if I can narrow it down to a small pool (three. Four if you count recently-transitioned-to-spirit companions. Six if you count beloved cats of beloved friends/family. Erm). That said: Meghan? Yeah, I really like Meghan. Maybe it’s that I find her easy to relate to (in a totally not-creepy way). Maybe because I know we’ve been to some of the same places. Maybe it’s the knitting. Possibly it’s the chocolate love. Likely it’s the Persians (it all comes back to cats. Cats are magic). Certainly it is her vampire, who is the most Other-ed of Othery vampire I’ve read since Robin McKinley’s Sunshine novel. I love the world of her Dowser and Oracle books.  I love the characters. I love everything about these books, and I’m so glad to have discovered them.

Jordan L. Hawk. This is a tough one. So — I was introduced to Hawk’s writing via her Whyborne and Griffin series, which starts with Widdershins (which you can get for free and you really should do that if you haven’t because, just, yes. Yes. Please, gods, yes). The series is based out of an alternative Massachusetts towards the end of the last century. Electricity is still  not overly common, automobiles are scary with their high speeds of 20 mph, and occult magic is a thing that happens and has real results. It’s one of those alternative histories where things are only a bit off, where you forget it’s not your own history, until something bizarre happens and you have no choice to remember because there are monsters trying to break into your world and destroy everything you know and love and — er.

Where was I?

The series made me homesick for a Massachusetts that never was. I’m surprised that I loved this series as much as I did. While I don’t mind reading about M/M love interests, it’s not my most favorite pairing, especially when the two involved are both human. How boring, right? Except, I found Whyborne so incredibly endearing, and Griffin intriguing, and really, I want a great story, I don’t so much care about the gender of the people involved. More than that, I was surprised to like it as much as I did because it’s very much based in Western occultism, and I just don’t care so much about that at all, at all.

Hawk’s writing is fantastic. She’s got some of the hottest sex scenes I’ve read, but also the sweetest, and it’s very much a glimpse into their lives. The stories are solid, and they do this lovely building thing that has me despairing of ever being that good. (I’m not a novelist, and I’m certainly not a serial novelist, and the building that’s gone into this has blown me away). I don’t want to brag, but I am a writer, and I am a bookworm, and I’m that annoying friend who,  without trying to puzzle things out, will have figured out the ‘who dun it’ of plots way early on. So having a writer whose stories can surprise me, even four or five books in, is pretty fantastic, and is certainly not something I experience a lot. It’s not every one , and it’s not even always the major things, but layer-y things that she works in that just utterly blindside me. Foreshadowing so deftly done that I don’t register it until the final piece slips into place and it all becomes so obvious. Fantastic. Oh my god.

She’s going to make me a better writer just by trying to be half as good.

Jennifer Lawrence. Specifically her book Fire on The Mountain, whose  protag  deals with chronic pain for much of the book in a refreshingly realistic way. I keep meaning to check out her second book, and I keep forgetting. Why?? Why does ordering from Lulu.com seem like such an ordeal. It’s not! It’s just not one-click. Oh, how lazy we can be.

N. K. Jemisin. Of my list, she is my most recent new discovery and I cannot wait to delve into the rest of her books. *rubs hands with glee* Her Inheritance trio is a must read for anyone interested in gods-as-characters, god shards in people, walking living myths, etc. So, so good.

I read way more than this, and I read a lot of books I loved a lot, but all by authors whose works I’d already come across.

What are some of your favorite discoveries of 2015? Doesn’t have to be books! (though, please, talk about books!)

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Lis says:

    Great list! I’m going to have to look into at least a few of those authors. I like the looks of Doidge and Jemisin, in particular. Thanks for sharing!

    I’m ashamed to admit that the list of books I *want* to read rather trumps the list of books I’ve read. I have a hard time finding the time, because I work a lot and commute a lot, and then I nap during depressive fits when I’m too tired to keep thinking. So, I read The Hunger Games series, finished the last book in the Harper Connelly series, started reading some Rick Riordan because my oldest son demanded it, started reading the first Yarn Harlot book to placate my desire to knit more, and right now, I’m close to finishing some Anne Rice smut that I like more than I should — The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. I started a vampire novel with a nice cover, but the book sucked so much I can’t even remember where I last set it down. I know I didn’t finish it. Oh, and I started a book called Shatter Me, but I haven’t picked it up in a few months. Not because I disliked it. Just mundane life taking over.

    Nope, not a lot of adult fiction in that list, and most of what I started I haven’t finished. I used to read for hours upon hours. I miss that. One of these decades I’ll get back to it!

    1. Jolene Poseidonae says:

      Quick response for now: audio books, if you can stand them. When I’m knitting on my commute (haven’t really much this year at all) or when Beth and I were both doing a lot more fiber work than we are these days, we’d get audio books from the library. If you can afford it, you might consider it as a commuting-to-and-from option to get more books in. a lot of the indie people are coming out with audio versions (*coughprojectinthewingscough*) too which is great!

      1. Lis says:

        I need to look into that, and at least give some audio books a shot. I have this mild fear that I’ll hate the voice of the narrators, so I’ve never wanted to shell out for it. Your project in the wings sounds intriguing! Is the narration being outsourced, or is it being done at home?

        Knitting while commuting sounds nice! I drive when I commute, because public transit doesn’t go the route that I take, so it’s down to audio to keep me entertained.

        1. Jolene Poseidonae says:

          I find I prefer female voices to make voices. I loved the narrator for A Discovery Of Witches. Some are hilarious to listen to. There was one Faye Kellerman book whose narration was distracting but highly entertaining.

          Lindsay Buroker’s “emperor’s edge” series is fantastic and out in audio, iirc. Haven’t listened to it but I do recommend her work in general.

  2. Maria D. says:

    Well. Like I needed more to read. *takes notes*

  3. The Meghan Ciana Doidge one looks great. I actually downloaded the first in her other series (if you take a peek at some of the titles in it, Jo, you’ll see why I opted to start there!) Some of my favorites for the year were Genevieve Jack’s Queen of the Hill. I loved it, and went and downloaded/bought others in her series. (It’s about a witch who rules over a portion of her city, and protects/holds it from other witches in different areas of the city. She has a vampire protecting her and has for several lifetimes. I don’t have enough space here to do it justice but I really enjoyed QotH!) I also discovered Jan DeLima’s Celtic Wolves series, and that on my TBR list for next year. Plus, a fellow paranormal author Clarissa Johal whose first book Between spent far too long on my Kindle, unread. Bad bad me! I loved it. Am looking forward to reading more of hers. Well, I could go on, butt we don’t want to make this a novella in itself. 😉 Happy reading.

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