What did I read in 2016?
It was a strange year for me and I don’t think I read quite as many books as in years past, but I’ve compiled a list of those I’ve read in my Kindle and can tell you what I did read was pretty great.
I have a wide variety of genres in there, but tend to lean toward Post Apoc it seems; though that’s predictable. This list is in ascending order; starting in January. In years past, I was able to pick one or two standout favorites…this was not that year. Some of them linger with me like Alas Babylon, a book I reread this year. This entire list is excellent. If there was a book I didn’t particularly enjoy, I didn’t list it. So I just cannot pick a favorite this year. Instead, I’ll say a few words about each below…whatever comes to mind from the memory of having read the book. If it’s on this list…I enjoyed the book very much and totally recommend the read.
Corina Bomann, Alison Layland
A lovely tale of loss and love again.
Surrender the Sun will release August 4th!
Download your copy of Surrender the Sun today and it will magically appear on your Kindle app the night of the 3rd in most cases.
After the beta readers read Surrender the Sun, I received a lot of encouraging feedback. I hope you will enjoy the first book in this new series. I plan to continue the adventures of Maeve and Bishop through this catastrophic weather encounter.
I just finished reading Fractured State by my friend, Author Steven Konkoly. I’ve looked forward to this one for a while.
I can never get enough of the survival genre and Fractured State is one heck of a survival story. This one is set in the near future, a future set up as bleak of freedoms any American would shutter; the rules no man could truly live by, willingly, for long. And yet, it’s a reality so close to the truth and only a step away in time.
This is the first installment in the series, one that I’ll keep up on. I hope you too will consider reading Fractured State. And imagine a place where personal water reclamation is as common as recycling and succession is a topic outside of Texas
Canine Plague by Burt Walker – A Refreshing Addition to the Prepper Genre
I was elated when I discovered that my long time fan, Burt Walker, surprised us all with his own novel. He’s a sly, ingenious fellow, much like his main character. So good at his deception he even left his wife out of the loop, surprising her along with the rest of us. I have no idea how you can conceal the workings of a novel from those living in your own space, I for one shout out questions and pull my hair out…my family happily supplying suggestions just to quiet me up.
Moving the Canine Plague up on my TBR (to be read) list, was no problem. I finished my latest read and then quickly opened Canine Plague. I must say I was a little apprehensive about the premise of the book. I mean a dog plague causing a national crisis? I had nothing to fear. Not only did Author Burt Walker pull off the premise, he did so beautifully. You wouldn’t think something like this could spawn a national catastrophe but in the story, you see how easily our system can be manipulated. It’s a scary and realistic scenario, one that I fear is only too easily set in motion.
The research conducted in this novel is apparent in detail. This isn’t a fly by source of information. Burt Walker put a lot of research hours into this book which also astounds me how he kept it from his wife.
If you’re into the prepper genre, this is a must read. I would only suggest you hold off on any assumptions when starting the novel. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. I do hope Author Burt Walker has a series in mind for this scenario. I can certainly see a world behind the Canine Plague.
Tomorrow night, Tuesday, October 27th at 10EST I’ll be with host Annie Berdel on the Prepper Chicks Podcast Radio Show.
It’s finally here! The last book in the Graham’s Resolution series releases this Saturday, September 12th.
I was able to move the date up and as it turns out I will be attending the Southern Preppers Expo this Saturday in Alabama. So come down and meet me if you’re in the Oxford, Alabama area; it’s FREE to attend. I won’t have a physical copy of the paperback at that time but you can download the ebook from Amazon on that day.
It’s a bittersweet completion. I certainly feel accomplished but at the same time I’m leaving characters I’ve come to love. When I set out to write my version of a postapocalyptic adventure, I never thought it would turn out this successful. I didn’t intend to write a series, but I felt once The China Pandemic was complete that there was more to their story and so I found myself writing the rest.
Now, I’m ready to move on, sorta. I’m ready to start new projects. I’ve already begun a fresh idea. I hope that you’ll enjoy this series and realize my final goal was to show what I believed the worst catastrophe to our world would result in. I think I did that after all. There will be tremendous heartache and pain and successes coupled with grief along the way.
To me, this is the realistic version. It’s what could happen… Let’s hope it never does.
I’m a self confessed diet bouncer. What I mean by that is, I go from months of eating vegetarian and then switch to Paleo for a few weeks, basically meaning carb free and bring on the meat, then I go back to vegetarian because I love bread and animals; it’s a vicious cycle of guilt I tell you. I’m currently in the Paleo window, but I’m cheating with this bread recipe…and ice cream…
You might ask…How do you have the time to make bread? Where’s that next novel?
I hear you…I’m not cheating my readers. This is the easiest, most labor free bread recipe ever and it’s fantastic and I must eat occasionally.
Mix reasonably well with a fork until all the ingredients are combined into a lumpy dough. Then cover with the lid and leave it on the counter overnight. 12-18 hours. I know, crazy right?
No Knead Dutch Oven Crusty Bread
- 3 cups white flour
- 1 teaspoons of active or rapid rise yeast
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 1/2 cups of warm water
The first time I made this is cam out perfect. The secon time, I used a different metal bowl with an ill fitting lid and I think that was why it nearly rolled off the counter. For some reason, it didn’t rise nearly as well.
The next day…after you’ve written yourself silly, heat your oven to 450 degrees and pull out your Dutch oven with a lid. I used this one
But you can use a round one or a rustic cast iron one like this
Put the Dutch oven into the oven with the lid on. Now set the timer for 30 minutes. You want it to get good and hot. (Please be careful not to burn yourself.)
Then rip off a good size piece of parchment paper, 15 inches or so and lay it on the counter. Now, stir down the dough in the bowl and lay it in the center of the parchment paper forming a round loaf. Don’t roll it out or anything, I just stir it with a wooden spoon and dump it onto the paper. Let the dough rest on the paper while the pot is heating up.
when the timer goes off, obviously use pot holders, and lift off the Dutch oven lid and then use the corners of the parchment to lift the dough and place the whole thing into the pot. Replace the hot lid and let the bread cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the lid from the pot and let it brown for another 15 minutes.
Then remove from the oven and pull out the loaf. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before you attempt to slice it open and spread butter over each slice. It’s crunch and chewy just like a homemade loaf should be and it’s easy. Just remember to mix the simple ingredients the night before and voila, warm bread with dinner and toast for breakfast the next day.
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I’m not certain if it’s several authors that get together in a smokey room with whispered voices and agree to work on a particular moment in history or if authors are all just a little bit seer and the scenarios we write about are warnings or signs of times to come; a little like the guy driven to sculpt mashed potatoes in Close Encounters. In any event, Kristin Hanna is an author to applaud. There’s a good reason this one is on bestseller lists.
Like All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, it’s written during the horrible human atrocities of occupied France and it leaves me in a delimma. You see, when I read an amazing book in a particular year I can easily say…This is the best book of 20whatever. It’s my own little way of bringing authenticity to the various best seller lists.
As you may know, I’ve already announced All the Light We Cannot See as my best read this year. It’s was only June. I was confident no better novel could be as good this year. I was kind of wrong because The Nightingale is just as good in my opinion. It’s a tie. Anthony Doerr’s writing talent wins, but Kristin Hannah has brought back to life the lessons we should have learned from the pain and suffering of not only the Jews, but of all those who suffered.
Like All the Light we Cannot See, The Nightingale is a masterpiece. It’s the kind of manuscript one would call a career capstone. I’m enthralled and I cried for the sisters. I hope everyone reads it. We need to. We have to see it again to do all we can to avoid a reoccurrence of what drove man to the worst we can be.
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The Graham’s Resolution series is complete. It’s a bittersweet realization that you’ve finished a series you love.
Like naming Sheriff, picking the virus, the position of Hope; everything seemed to fall into place as if it was meant to be there. So too was the finality of the last line I wrote today; it felt right. It’s the end of the Graham’s Resolution series. And, I’m a little crushed.
I’ll move on. I’ve got more ideas. But, I think I’m mourning a little over it all. Of course, I left a little opening to go back and do a sequel for the next generation at a later date, but it won’t be the same and I know this.
To me, this story was one bursting to life. There were times, I couldn’t keep up. My characters let me know when I went off track. My fan encouraged me to go on. And I did…until it was done and now I’m a little at a loss. I think it will take me a day or two. I’ll clean off my desk and wait for the Beta readers to finish and offer any suggestions, then it’s off to my editor. I’ll implement the edits and then The Malefic Nation will become live, the last in the series of Graham’s Resolution.
I don’t think I could have made the story better. Of course, in the beginning the editing could have been a lot better. But the story itself, it’s what it needed to be and I hope everyone enjoys the ending as well. I believe in human evil and I believe in the human spirit. The battle of good and evil is real in fiction and it’s real in reality. Either can win. My hope is that no matter how evil the world becomes, there’s a way to win it over and strong people willing to make the sacrifice to bring it back at any cost.
Now what? Now, I think I’ll take a long walk and try to let those old ideas flood back in. I’ll let you know. Perhaps a quick sequel to Deception on Durham Road before I start the next big novel? Apparently, I need to blow up the neighborhood on my way out. 🙂 Might be fun.
In any event, I’ll keep you informed.