Jan’s Top Ten Books for 2018

I love to look back over the many books I’ve read throughout the year and put together a list of what, in my humble opinion, is the best of the best.

This year I read 37 books and let me tell you, it was no easy task coming up with only ten to put on this list.

I narrowed it down to the books that lingered with me long after the last word. I hope you enjoy my list and will find at least one new read to pick up!

As you can see, most of these authors are members of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB. It’s a great place to look for great books to read!

I have linked each box to the book on Amazon for your shopping convenience!

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The Hat by C.S. Boyack

5 star

The Hat is one of the most fun stories I have read all year! Here’s the blurb and my Five Star Review

HAT

BLURB:

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.

She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.

Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.

Lizzie gives up everything to rescue the babies. She loses her jobs, and may wind up in jail before it’s over. Along the way, she and the hat may have a new way of making ends meet.

Humorous and fun, The Hat is novella length. Wonderful escapism for an afternoon.

MY FIVE STAR REVIEW:

Lizzie St Laurent is heartbroken that her grandmother died and she got nothing from the estate. In anger, she grabs a box out of the back of a moving truck vacating her grandmother’s antique shop. Once she finally settled in with a glass of wine and opens it, she is shocked to find a fedora hat. She quickly discounts it and continues grieving the loss of her beloved grandmother. But, the hat is a living entity attached to her family through Lizzie’s grandfather and generations before him. And while it takes her a little time to adjust to it, they turn out to be quite the team. From playing the upright bass, which Lizzie has never touched in her life, to rescuing kidnapped babies, the Hat takes Lizzie on quite the journey. I loved this novella from C.S. Boyack. It has so many different elements and plot twists that it always kept me guessing. The ending couldn’t have been more perfectly executed. If you like off-the-wall stories with elements of supernatural, ghouls, witches and a Hat that can perform all sorts of magic, you’ll love this story.

About C.S. Boyack:

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I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

Craig is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.

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PICK UP YOUR COPY OF THE HAT TODAY!

 

Book Release – C.S. Boyack #RRBC

Today, it is with great pleasure that I host Author, C.S. Boyack’s latest book release The Enhanced League!

Thanks for inviting me over today, Jan. I’m here to talk about my newest release, The Enhanced League. It’s a collection of short stories and anthems that span one year in a fictional baseball league.

I keep a living document about topics for a blog tour, and an excerpt is one of the topics. It’s always tricky choosing an excerpt because you don’t want to introduce spoilers for those who may run out and buy the book. This one gives you a bit of the pomp associated with this league.

***EXCERPT ***

I threw about twenty right down the middle; all changeups to spare the bullpen catchers. It was more about loosening up than working on location at this point. I slapped my glove on my leg and headed for the dugout.

“Not you, Warren.” It was the pitching coach.

“Why not?”

“Part of the show. You get to ride in the bullpen car for your intro. You’ll be the only starter who’s ever ridden in it.”

Jesus, these people love a show. It’s more like professional wrestling than I realized. I made my way down to the tunnel.

The bullpen car was a full blown custom hot rod. It had a huge Mountie hat atop the open sides, and a chromed engine block with six chrome intake stacks. The body was the traditional red of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The field announcer named off the starting players for both teams. Boos echoed as the Las Vegas Gamblers were introduced.

The announcer continued, “Working the third base line tonight, Traci Goodbody. Roaming the infield is Daisy Farmer, and your crew chief tonight, working the first base line is Ms. Lita Von Strychnine.”

The butterflies decided to swarm when the national anthem started. O Canada! Terre de nos aïeux, Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux

I closed my eyes and took some deep breaths.

“Better climb in, and hang onto the straps.” It was my driver, but I’d never met him before.

Machines filled the tunnel with a thick fog. The stadium went silent and spotlights waved back and forth occasionally hitting the tunnel. The stadium announcer said, “Roger Warp-speeeeed WARREN!” The thundering sounds of It’s a Long Way to the Top, by AC/DC echoed through the stadium, complete with bagpipes.

The bullpen car roared to life with a sound that would shame most Harley Davidsons. We crept toward the opening, and the driver hit the lights and siren. Red and blue alternated across the fog, and the crowd screamed above the siren.

We launched from the tunnel and turned onto the warning track around the outfield. The crowd was on its feet, and I reminded myself to shut my jaw which had fallen open. No ancient gladiator would have seen a sight any more outrageous.

We toured around the outfield and past the visitors’ dugout with sirens and lights all the way. My driver deposited me beside the mound, where Montes was waiting. “You ready, man?” He asked.

“Um, yeah.” I tipped my hat to the crowd, then glanced at Daisy Farmer in her booty shorts and cropped umpire top. “Looks like the players aren’t the only thing enhanced here.”

Montes slapped me lightly on the cheek. “Head in the game, jefe.”

“Right, let’s go.”

Von Strychnine stalked down toward the plate and called, “Batter up.”

***

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Blurb: The Enhanced league is a collection of short stories and anthems centered around a year in a fictional baseball league. It has a slight science fiction background. This league has a lot more pomp than you might be used to, and nobody seems to care if the players use performance enhancing drugs.

Stories involve existing heroes, up and comers, and falling stars. While there are the obvious stories that take place on the field of play, there are also human interest stories that take place around the baseball gyrations. These stories involve scouting, trades, ruthless business decisions, and even relationships.

I enjoyed researching and bringing you The Enhanced League, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. — CB

Purchase link 

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I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

FOLLOW AUTHOR, C.S. BOYACK:

BLOG   CRAIG’S NOVELS   TWITTER   GOODREADS    FACEBOOK    PINTEREST