Most Deserving RITA Win: Carolina Dreaming by Virginia Kantra! This is seriously one of my all-time favorite contemporary romances. Was so thrilled to see that it won a RITA! That's a HUGE deal in romance, and Kantra deserves it!



Best Suspense Series if you like Forensics and something different: AJ Scudiere's NightShade Forensic Files. Highly recommend, and if you get the box set, it's a total bargain! Love the characters, and it's so smart! (I do recommend starting with the first title: Under Dark Skies)

Best Book Club Read from this year: 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 Series: THE WILDER BOOKS by Savannah Kade! Have read all the books in this series! 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?)


Still my fav historical fiction: 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 (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 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.