On paper this seemed like it would be super fun and easy. Why do I think these things?? I always realize weeks later I forgot something amazing I should have mentioned, or I spend half the time writing these things agonizing because it’s like choosing a favorite child! Ahhhh. So here’s my best: hopefully I haven’t forgotten anything vital!
1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2017?
I gotta limit myself to three here. I mean. Ugh! Who can pick one?
And it Came to Pass: stunning, moving, gorgeously written. Emotional and with a lovely depth and compassion for the characters.
An Unnatural Vice: I just could *not* put this one down. It got me through a terrible week: it captured me and entertained me and kept me thinking (in a good way!).
Storm Season: gosh what beautiful prose! I loved every drop of this story. It was a luxurious read. It was rich and insightful and sexy and beautifully character driven.
2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2017?
Ghosts and Ashes by F.T. Lukens. There aren’t words for how breathlessly I waited for this sequel. And it was so much better than I could have dreamed of. It’s gripping (as is all of Lukens work). But it’s a very real look at the characters growing pains. Where they are in their journey isn’t easy. I think that the author committed to giving us this is proof of what a fantastic trilogy this will be.
3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To?
Oh man, the things waiting for me on my kindle!! I have Thaw by Elyse Springer and Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell. I also have been remiss in reading Beneath the Stars by Lynn Charles and have no idea why, I can’t wait for vacation to read all of these!
4. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2017?
Well, I am DYING for Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn’s upcoming books, as well as An Unsuitable Heir by K.J. Charles and The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic, by F.T. Lukens. Oh and American King by Sierra Simone. I am salivating for that one.
5. Biggest Disappointment?
I don’t know that I have one? I’ve had books that I didn’t like or that didn’t work for me, but thus far, nothing I was super excited for has let me down!
6. Biggest Surprise?
American Queen and American Prince by Sierra Simone. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Sierra at Romantic Times when we were signing books. I picked American Queen up because it looked good, but I had NO IDEA. I devoured it on the plane. I immediately downloaded the sequel, am waiting with baited breath for the end of the trilogy, and bought about four of her other books. I really had no idea what I was getting into — on paper, insta-love semi-menage BDSM with American politicians doesn’t seem like my thing but holy hellballs is it amazing and sexy and gripping.
7. Favourite New (or New to You) Author?
Annabeth Albert took my life by storm this year!! I discovered her through Off Base, and enjoyed it enough to go back and read all of her Gaymers Series books, which quickly became comfort, re-read during a rough period books. I love her stuff and look forward to each of her books.
Taylor Brooke. Y’all haven’t met her yet, as her book Fortitude Smashed isn’t out (although soon). I was hella lucky and scored an ARC at Book Con this year and lemme tell you. Wow. Just. I cannot even, this author is fucking gifted with lyrical prose. I can’t wait to review this one for everyone.
8. Newest Fictional Crush?
Christopher from Small Change kind of destroyed me in all kinds of sweet, steady, fucking sensual as hell ways.
Dylan in At Attention by Annabeth Albert. I just. A confident man, who goes after what he wants, isn’t willing to compromise in asking for what’s best for him, and is good with children? BAM.
9. Newest Favorite Character?
Brandon in Laura Stone’s And it Came to Pass inspired so many deep love feelings from me. I cannot express just how much I want to roll around in being near him.
Also, can I semi cheat and say Garvy from Hard Wired? We didn’t really technically *know* him until his book. And I really just loved so much about him. His adorable dorkyness, his imperfections, his sweetness, his growth arc. Sigh. Hearteyes.
10. Book That Made You Cry?
What is crying? I’m sure I don’t know what that is or how it is done! I kid. This is a hard one. I try not to read romance novels that are going to destroy me. I am sure I *did* this year, but I may have blocked the memory? I know that And it Came to Pass really fucking moved me.
11. Book That Made You Happy?
Oh man, BOOKS make me happy. Their existence brings me joy! While not technically a book, I have to pick Tamryn Eradani‘s serial fic, the Daniel and Eric series. Each month I eagerly await the new installment. I look forward to them all month: ask Annie, whenever a new one is available for review I get flailing emails because she knows how excited I get.
Also, Avon Gale’s novella Whiskey Business. I laughed out loud several times. It was overall just so enjoyable.
12. Favourite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year?
Oh. Huh. I’m not sure I’ve seen any?
13. Favourite Review You’ve Written This Year?
Oh. That’s hard! I think that Ghosts and Ashes by F.T. Lukens and Peter Darling by Austin Chant were good reviews. But you all can tell me if you like. I’d love feedback on what works in my reviews for you all.
14. Most Beautiful Book You Bought So Far This Year?
Do we mean covers? Because I love the cover for And it Came to Pass (and the story behind it is adorable, ask Carrie Pack — the author of In the Present Tense and Grrrls on the Side — about it sometime, as she helped. Storm Season is also just gorgeous. Small Change by Roan Parrish — I really loved it. Oh and Peter Darling. That cover is beautiful.
15. What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year?
Oh good god. Every book in existence? I have a list as long as my arm! On my current to-read list (AKA what’s on my kindle right now): Santino Hassel’s Illegal Contact, Lilah Suzanne’s After the Sunset, Lynn Charles’s Beneath the Stars, Carrie Pack’s Grrrls on the Side, Elyse Springer’s Thaw, K.A. Mitchell’s Relationship Status, and K.J. Charles Spectred Isle. After that, my wishlist is insane.
Genre: Contemporary Genre: Historical Genre: Paranormal Genre: Sci-Fi Identity: Transgender Orientation: Asexual (+ace-spec) Orientation: Bisexual Orientation: Gay Orientation: Lesbian Pairing: F/F Pairing: M/F Pairing: M/M Publisher: Carina Press Publisher: Dreamspinner Press Publisher: Interlude Press Publisher: InterMix Publisher: Loveswept Publisher: Nine Star Press Publisher: Riptide Publishing Review Self Published Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag
Jude Sierra is a Latinx poet, author, academic and mother who began her writing career at the age of eight when she immortalized her summer vacation with ten entries in a row that read “pool+tv”. Jude began writing long-form fiction by tackling her first National Novel Writing Month project in 2007.
Jude is currently working toward her PhD in Writing and Rhetoric, looking at the intersections of Queer, Feminist and Pop Culture Studies. She also works as an LGBTQAI+ book reviewer for From Top to Bottom Reviews. Her novels include Hush, What it Takes, and Idlewild, a contemporary LGBT romance set in Detroit’s renaissance, which was named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews. Her upcoming novel, A Tiny Piece of Something Greater will be available in May of 2018.