The 2012 That Was and My 10 Favorite Books of the Year!

2012 kicked ass.  Simple and awesome, it was one of the best years a person could ask for.  The writing really started to get somewhere this year and there were some great things going on along with it.  Over the course of the year, I had stories come out in six anthologies as well as a few other accepted ones that are upcoming.  I had tales in Little Stories for the Smallest Room, a short non-fiction piece in Zombie Writing!,  Short Sips: Coffee House Flash Fiction Vol. 2Father Grim’s Storybook, Undead Tales 2,and I received the honor of closing out Ten Silver BulletsThe big moment for the year was the release of my first solo work, a novella called In MemoriamThis year also saw me give my first book blurb for my friend Carl Moore on his novella Slash of Crimson (a very good read-go pick it up).  One of the most fun things I took part in however, was the book signing with my friend and fellow author Wesley Southard in October.  I finished up work on a handful of new stories and I am in the last stretch of the first Southern Devilsbook.  If you like zombies and history smashed together, this will be for you.

Here at the blog I had interviews with Nate Southard, Tim Lebbon, and Armand Rosamilia, a few different blog hops roared through, and I had my best viewer year ever because of all of you stopping by to take a look.  The Twitter, Facebook, and blog follower numbers have all increased this year and I hope the trend continues into the new year.

2013 looks promising too.  There are more anthologies on tap and some more surprises in store for you readers out there.  But first, without any more delay…my favorite books of 2012.  There are some older books, I wanted to branch it out to the books I’ve read over the last year.  Fear not, the focus is still on this year’s releases.

These are in no order at all…

1.  Edward Lee- The Infernal Series…  For this, I read the whole series back to back and the way Lee portrays Hell as a city called the Mephistopolis was amazing.  He constructed an entire working city-scape complete with a demonic caste system and even an evil economic system.  All three books are worth picking up and reading when you think society around you sucks.  Remember, it could always be worse…

2.  Anthony Kiedis w/Larry Sloman- Scar Tissue… Yes, there is a biography on the list.  The lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers gives ua a raw and no-holds-barred look into his life and his constant battle with drug addiction.  At times uplifting, sad, and horrific, Kiedis shows the reader everything that has made him who he is.

3.  J.F. Gonzalez and Wrath James White- The Killings…  A very tightly written tale about racism, murder, and evil.  The story takes place in two different timeframes, 1911 and 2011 Atlanta.  A series of killings in 2011 mirror a series of murders in 1911.  Carmen Mendoza is a reporter who thinks they have found the link between the two sets of murders as well as a string of other deaths that have occurred in the Atlanta area over the years.

4.  Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee- The Woman… This is the third book in Ketchum’s series about a tribe of feral people living in the wilds and the bloodbath that follows them.  She is alone and finds herself captured.  The woman is being broken.  A sick man and his family have made it their duty to domesticate her, to tame her wildness.  But all the best intentions never end well and the violence he showed her is about to be repaid a hundred fold.  The Cemetery Dance hardcover also includes the bonus novella “Cow”, which serves as a nice coda to the book and leaves the door open for more to come.

5.    Kelli Owen- White Picket Prisons… A tale of justice in the town of Valley Mill where there is no crime and when Detective Mark Baker tries to track down his sister there, he thinks he finds the utopia his burned out soul has been looking for.  But for Mark, things are never what they truly seem behind the false fronts and smiles.  Something lurks beyond the happy town’s front that could be his end.  This book came along at a time when I was preoccupied with justice and how things go unpunished.

6.  J.F. Gonzalez and Brian Keene- Clickers vs. Zombies… This was the most fun I had reading a book all year long.  At first, I thought the idea sounded absurd, but it turned out to be a full-on B-Movie like assault through both author’s mythologies.  When Ob and his minions begin to inhabit the dead bodies of the Clickers, characters from both worlds cross-over in a riotous time.  This is worth it to see some of your favorite characters in positions and jobs you’d never expect them to be in.

7.  Nate Southard- Something Went Wrong…  A short story collection where each story is a great read.  Nate’s short story writing is amazing and every tale is worth reading.  My favorites in the book were, “Team Building Exercise”, “In the Middle of Poplar Street”, and “Going Home, Ugly Stick in Hand”.

8.  Geoff Cooper- Answers of Silence… The second story collection on the list is a very dark and ironic look at the world around us.  Overall a strong collection where I enjoyed every story.  For a taste of how twisted Coop can be, I recommend “Latex: Like a Glove”.

9.  Jeff Strand- A Bad Day for Voodoo… A funny romp through the day that Tyler Churchill decided the best way to deal with his teacher Mr. Click is with a voodoo doll.  When the tables are turned on him, he must survive long enough to reverse the curse placed upon him…if there’s any of him left.  At times while it’s really crazy and bloody, it packs the laughs a Strand novel is known for.

10.  Brian Keene- Earthworm Gods II: Deluge…  If I had to pick a favorite, this is the one.  Picking up where the first Earthworm Gods left off, the survivors of the great rains struggle to live through the constantly rising waters and the new creatures coming up from the deep.  The book was at first a serial novel on Keene’s website, but he re-edited it and this is the collected version.  I waited until the book came out to read it and I wasn’t disappointed at all.  The novel also serves as a lead-in to the next stage in his mythos with The Lost Level, which he working on now.

And there it is my friends, this is the end for this year.  I’ll see you again in 2013 where we’ll start kicking ass again!


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