Best (and most grisly) Thriller: Karin Slaughter's PRETTY GIRLS. Really sticks with you. It's probably the most grisly book I've read (I actually had to take a break in the middle it was so disturbing), but everything about this book is so well done. Slaughter is a master! And this is rare: I also can't say enough about the great narration!

Best Book Club Read: THE GIRLS by Emma Kline. Fascinating look into the mindset of teen girls--especially the lost ones, and realistic and even harsh look at the time period (late 1960's). Most of book club was surprised how much they enjoyed this! Excellent writing, by a young but talented author!


Best Contemporary Romance: THE WILDER BOOKS by Savannah Kade! I am plowing through these. Already read Our Song and Music & Lyrics, and currently on Heartstrings. These just came out--which tells you how much I love them! This is emotional, grab you, sexy (but reasonable) contemporary romance. Not a bit of fluff. It feels SO REAL--which makes the hard won happy ending truly believable. No fluff romance here. (PS: Yours truly designed the covers--aren't they lovely?)


Best Debut / Best Romantic Suspense: Sarah Andre's LOCKED, LOADED, & LYING. Great romantic suspense with all the key elements, yet not a bit formulaic! Great writing, too! I tore through this one and will be watching for her next!


Best historical fiction this year: I loved Kate Manning's MY NOTORIOUS LIFE. The writing is top notch. The characters, especially Axie Muldoon are so rich, deep, and deftly drawn. As is the setting, late 1800's New York City. Absolutely like stepping into the past. Historical fiction at it's best. 



Best blurb: Eva Lesko Natiello's THE MEMORY BOX. "In this gripping psychological thriller, Caroline Thompson Googles herself and discovers the shocking details of a past she doesn't remember." Tell me that doesn't just grab you?! And the book delivers: twisty, turny, shocking, and beautifully written. Perfect for bookclubs. 


Best Historical Romance:  Joanna Shupe's The Knickerbocker Series (think billionaires of NYC in the late 1800's). As one of Joanna's critique partners, I am lucky enough to pre-read, and let me tell you, this series is sooooooooooooooo good! Kickoff novella is called Tycoon and Book 1 is Magnate!