Paying It Forward … In Advance

One thing I’ve learned on my writing journey is the importance of book reviews to authors, especially those that are still up and coming. The big authors have an audience regardless. It makes sense; I’d simply never thought about it before.

Since learning about that, I’ve started leaving Goodreads and Amazon reviews as soon as I complete a book. I’ve also started reading more lesser known authors. So far this year, I’ve already read five who fit in this category whose books I gave 4 or 5 stars, and I wanted to share them with you. I’ve grouped them by genre, so feel free to skip to those that interest you.

Sci Fi/Speculative Fiction

I started the year reading Steal the Stars by Nat Cassidy, and my heart still aches thinking about it.

Steal the stars

The book has it all: An Area 51-type location, complete with an alien, a heist, a romance, and an unbelievable twist. You can also listen to the fabulous podcast (and you know how much I love podcasts!) that served as the basis for this novel.

Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill was on lots of lists as one of the best sci fi books of last year.

Sea of Rust

It is about life on Earth after the robots kill all their human overlords, and their struggle to survive in the world without them. I don’t want to share too much, since it is super easy to give a spoiler.  Know that there is treachery among the AIs, just like with humans.

I love it when sci fi takes current situations and projects what will happen as a result. An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King does exactly that.

An Excess Male

It takes place in near future China where generations of the single child policy leads to the women taking multiple husbands. It’s told in a rotating point-of-view, between a wife, her two husbands, and a suitor for their third spot.

Women’s Fiction

Once I realized my first and second novels definitely fit under the women’s fiction umbrella, I made a conscious decision to read more of them. I have one of them to share now.

I like to describe Woman Last Seen in her Thirties by Camille Pagán as a coming of middle age novel.

Woman Last Seen

When Maggie’s husband of 25 years announces he’s leaving her, she is forced to see the flaws in what she’d always thought of as her “perfect” life. I love Maggie, because after the initial fear, she embraces the unknown. I recognize myself in her.

Cozy Mysteries

Since I am about to test out the cozy mystery waters as a writer, I have started reading more of them. The title of Class Reunions are Murder by Libby Klein caught my eye.

Class Reunions

I actually had the pleasure of meeting the author at an event at Mysterious Galaxy book store. The book was a fun, funny, and fast read, and I was surprised by the double twist ending. What more is there for a mystery?

What books by up and coming authors can you recommend? Or do you leave reviews of the books you read?

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