Friday, October 28, 2016

Best Books of October

It's once again time to tell you about the best books I read this month. Here are my favorite October reads!




My publisher picks the best authors! Ronni Arno is one of those authors. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know my publisher also has the best covers. The cover for Ronni's latest book is proof of that:



In Dear Poppy, a 12-year-old girl is relocated to the family farm, where she finds a hidden stash of letters in the barn. The letters are were written by her now-deceased mom in 1985 and are addressed to "Poppy," leading her to conclude that her mother somehow knew as a teenager that her daughter would someday read them. As Poppy struggles to deal with making friends at school, including a meanie named Kathryn, the letters bond her to her mom in a touching way. This book will tug at your heartstrings while still being a fun read!

The last book this month was one my author friend Rachele Alpine told me about. The concept of school shootings has always fascinated me. This book is an intense read, but worth it.




On the day of his high school's pep rally, teenager Kirby Matheson walks into his school and opens fire, killing six students and injuring five others. Violent Ends describes the days surrounding the traumatic event, with each chapter featuring a different perspective. Like 13 Reasons Why, Violent Ends explores adolescent death in a way that's both fascinating and horrifying. This is one of those books you won't be able to put down.

You're likely already familiar with the next book I read in October, a psychological thriller with an eye-catching cover by one of my blogging buddies, Yvonne Ventresca.



In Black Flowers, White Lies, a high schooler is dealing with her mom's wedding, a soon-to-be stepbrother who happens to be hot, and some haunting truths about her father. At the same time, strange things are starting to happen all around her. Is her father communicating with her from the grave? I came into this story expecting suspense and got so much more. I can see why this author won the very coveted Crystal Kite Award for her previous book. She creates rich characters you grow to care about deeply, coupled with a story that will draw you in from the start. Don't miss this one!

I eagerly awaited the release of this one. From the cover and premise, you know it's going to be a great one. You know her in the blogging world as Kelly Hashway, but she also writes as Ashelyn Drake:



There's something so heartbreaking about two people who want to be together but can't. After Loving You covers that heartbreak in a way few books have. Former lovers Mia and Jared are separated by distance, but they've remained best friends. Ashelyn follows their separate paths as they try to forget each other and date others. Yet they constantly feel pulled back toward each other. This book took me back to my teenage years, when I was trying to get over my first love. Fortunately, we didn't have the internet back then, so it was much easier to move on! No matter what your age, you'll identify with this book.

I love short story anthologies, so I was excited to read this next book. Plus, one of the authors is one of my favorite bloggers, Leandra Wallace. The cover says it all:



Circuits and Slippers blends technology and fairy tales, with each short story bringing a modern twist to the stories we've heard all our lives. I loved the variety in this book, which included plenty of adventure and even a little humor along the way. Leandra's take on the Princess and the Pea and Jennifer Lee Rossman's version of Goldilocks were my two favorites, but you can't go wrong with any of these stories!

What are you reading now?

36 comments:

  1. Circuits and Slippers also has a story by L. G. Keltner, winner of last year's IWSG Anthology Contest.
    Violent Ends - sad what kids face today. That's something we never imagined happening when we were in school.

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    1. I was reading Violent Ends during a time when I had numerous school visits over a two-month period. NOT a good idea! And, to top that off, I was listening to a true crime podcast and I happened to play one that was about one of the very first public school shootings in the country (the young girl who shot from a window in her house) ON THE WAY to a school visit that was an hour away. A few minutes in, I thought, "I really shouldn't be listening to this today" and I couldn't turn it off! Once I was at the school, I forgot all about it. Schools just feel safe. And they should. It's crazy that we have to live in a world where this even happens.

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  2. Great line up of books, Stephanie. I like that they cover a vast array of subjects. There also some very eye catching covers too.

    Thoughts in Progress
    and MC Book Tours

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    1. I feel very fortunate that I have so many great friend-writers whose books I get to read. That pushes me into all kinds of genres.

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  3. Recently read OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys and absolutely loved it! YA Historical Fiction set in 1950s New Orleans, it has such a strong sense of place and wonderful, complex characters.

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    1. I've met Ruta several times. She's part of my local SCBWI--although she doesn't come around as often these days. Every time I look her up she's literally traveling the globe to promote her books. She's SUCH a nice person, though! It's always great to see good people succeed.

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  4. All this month I have been reading horror and gothic type books to fit the Halloween season. I just started "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman.

    I have to find "Circuits and Slippers." I love fairy tale retellings! It's one of the writing exercises I have taught in my classes and one of my favorites to practice with.

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    1. I loved The Graveyard Book. I don't think I read it in October, though! I'm reading In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware right now--spooky! But it's more a suspense than a horror story. I wanted a good horror story but I couldn't find one that was the eerie type of horror I like.

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  5. All of these sound terrific! You're right, Stephanie. If we had the internet back when I was dating, Lord help me! lol

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    1. They were all great. The Internet was around when I was dating...it definitely changed things, but I was in high school and college the only other times I dated!

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  6. Eep! I'm one of your fav bloggers? That's high praise, thank you! =) And thanks for featuring C&S, you're the best!!

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    1. Of course! Thank you for writing a great story!

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  7. These sound really good, Stephanie.

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  8. Ahaha! My story in was one of your two favorites? Yay. I'm so glad you enjoyed our book!

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  9. excellent reviews. Glad there is so much good writing out there for teens

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  10. I'm so glad you enjoyed After Loving You and that you could identify with what Mia and Jared went through. Could you tell I went through something very similar? It was a tough book for me to write, but at the same time it was very therapeutic.

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  11. Stephanie -- thanks so much for including Black Flowers, White Lies on your list! I am always amazed at how much and how widely you read. :)

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  12. These were some great reads Steph.

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  13. So many great books. I've got to start reading again.

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  14. I just finished "Geeks, Freaks, and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence" by a teen-aged male with Asperger. I learned years after our breakup that my first love endured this syndrome unknowingly. His different way of thinking and social awkwardness made most of my family dislike him. If we'd known then what we know now, I wonder if things could have been different. ~sigh~ Anyway, great list of reads!

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  15. Violent Ends is going on my list. Right. Now. That sounds totally up my alley. So does Black Flowers White Lies. Great recs this month!

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  16. I love that all the best books for October are so different from each other. Lots of interesting reads. I had two of these on my TBR already- but it looks like I will be adding more. :) The cover for Dear Poppy is so sweet.

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  17. Black Flowers, White Lies was a fantastic read! I enjoyed it over a weekend when I was away from family for a book festival. It more than kept me occupied alone in my hotel room!

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  18. Those look like some great books. Thanks for the share! I always loving finding new books I wouldn't have heard of otherwise.

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  19. Hello Stephanie, you’ve read some great books this month. I love the Dear Poppy cover and would not be able to resist if I saw it in a bookshop. Black Flowers, White Lies also looks interesting.
    I’ve just started Finnigan the circus cat by Mary Wagner and prior to that I read The house by the lake by Thomas Harding. Loving Finnigan and thoroughly enjoyed the house by the lake.

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  20. Great selection. I'm adding them all to my TBR :-)

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  21. Circuits and slippers sounds interesting, but truth is I have more unread books than years to live. I'm presently re reading Electra by Henry Treece, a poetic evocation of the Mycenaean culture. Unputdownable. And also a book I've just picked up Dispatches from Pluto by Richard Grant. A nice evocation of present day Mississippi.

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  22. Dear Poppy sounds like a really good one! I'm still reading suspense novels, with just a hint of romance thrown in for good measure. May get back into full romance mode in 2017. Hugs...

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  23. So many awesome titles! A few of those are on my list and a few more just got added. I need more time to read! :)

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  24. dearpoppy sounds a lovely story for kids .
    liked all other books too
    loved the cover of books they are so vibrant

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  25. They all look amazing, I wouldn't know which one to pick up first!

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  26. Ooh! All kinds of good reads this month!

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  27. Lots of great books.

    Off topic... I heard about a website that lets you search out creepy houses. All you have to do is put in an address, and it'll tell you if one is near you: https://www.housecreep.com/

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  28. Stephanie, thank you for the heads up on these fabulous books.

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  29. Lots of good books here."Violence Ends" sounds pretty intense. As horrifying as it is to read about school violence in the news, I don't know if I'd want to read a fiction book about the topic, too. (Unless it has a happy ending...?)

    I've read a lot of good books this month, too. Currently, I'm reading "Editor-Proof Your Writing."

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