Hello Readers and welcome to the end of the week. We hope those of you in the US had a lovely holiday and saw family in some capacity or other. As we head into the weekend we are continuing our fun and fancy 'getting to know you' blog series with another Sword & Silk Staff Recs, this time from our Marketing Intern J.M. Jinks. So, without further ado...
Let me start off by addressing the fact that two of my books are the same as MB’s. Clearly our tastes are very similar which is probably why Laynie and MB chose me as their Write Mentor mentee in 2019. But I like what I like and didn’t want to change it based on her answers. And really, can there be too much Rhys or Jamie?
This list was pretty easy for me to form, because—don’t hate me—I’m an avid eBook reader, and I only purchase physical copies of books and series I’m absolutely in love with. I know, I know. But from the age of 18 I moved 8 times before I bought my house... you only move a giant library a few times before you surrender to the digital book era. I held on to those books I knew I wanted forever and ever, so that is how this list was formed.
The Witches by Roald Dahl
Thank you, Mr. Casey, my fifth grade teacher for showing me books read in school didn’t have to be boring and could be about things I loved. As a lover of Buffy and Xena and Charmed and all the super power fantasy shows in the 90’s, I didn’t know books existed that I could love as much until my fifth grade teacher read it to us. This pivotal moment turned me from someone who didn’t care about books to an avid reader and eventual writer.
I love the revival of The Witches and remake movie on HBOMax and sharing it with my son. My son has asked to watch it at least 10 times... which I’ll take over watching the same Disney movie for the 200th time. He’s only 2.5 so reading the full book is daunting, but we regularly read the graphic novel version together by Pénélope Banieu which, bonus, includes a lot more diversity than the original.
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression Book by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
This is my writing/editing Bible. I have a digital and hard copy so I can access it any time or anywhere I’m writing. Nowadays, this comes a lot more naturally, but at the beginning of my writing career, I was at a loss. This book can help you with showing versus telling, help you ground your dialogue, and avoid repetition of the same actions over and over again. If you’re an amateur writer or seasoned looking for more ways to express emotions, this is the way to go!
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
I don’t know how many times I’ve re-read this. Fantasy Romance is my ultimate favorite. Most books MUST have a romantic element for me—even if it’s not the main plot. So, enter stage right, ACOMAF! I appreciate this book/series as both a writer and a reader. The romance arc of the MC is atypical and plotted and planned out from the very first chapter of the first book—yet it will surprise you! And swoon-worthy bad boy with secret heart of gold is one of my favorite tropes. Can’t forget the ONE BED trope either. This book has all the things I love.
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer Armentrout
I’m a J.La lover and since I can’t pick ALL her books, I’ll just pick this one. I know if I read one of her books it’ll have all the things I love. FBA, her newest series, is amazing with plotted out twists and another bad boy love interest. AND I’M HERE FOR IT.
But besides most of her books having magic, heroes I love, and kick ass women MC’s... she really writes a lot of new adult. NA holds a place in my heart and is my favorite age group to write.
Bonus: Jennifer herself interacts with her fans beyond and above most best selling authors. But the FBA series isn’t finished, so I’m excited to see where it heads.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Okay, I definitely wasn’t a “I read this before it was cool” person when it comes to Outlander. I even refused to watch it for awhile.
If you already don’t hate me for the whole eBook thing, you might when I admit this—I write historical now, but I wasn’t a huge fan of historical novels, TV, movies... for a very long time. I write and read for escape, and I thought fantasy and all things romance were the only way to do that. But I finally gave historical books and chance, and holy world building!
Then came a little book named, Outlander and a wee Highlander named James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser... and I-I... sorry I just passed out a bit thinking about him. Besides Jamie, I love this book/series because it is genre-bending brilliance. It isn’t a romance novel—it is a love story. It grows with a couple, follows their lives and adventures over a span of decades, and both the highs and the lows of their love. And their journey is often gut wrenching, heart warming, and emotional.