2010’s New To You Authors

Book Cover Rather than do a recap of 2010, which would probably break my brain because I’ve done a lot of high-impact computer work this week (no, really, not even kidding) and because I can’t remember what I was wearing yesterday, let alone remember what I was reading eight months ago, I wanted to look back on the authors I discovered this year that rocked my world.

These aren’t debut authors, not all of them, anyway. I don’t actually think being a debut author causes any more of a ripple in my consciousness than any other author or book that catches my attention. Any author I discover is new to me – even if they were first published in 1989 or something. So here, in no particular order, are the authors I am SO GIDDYPANTS that I discovered this year:

Shannon Stacey: I really really really really like her contemporary novels, particularly “Exclusively Yours,” and “Holiday Sparks,” the Christmas novella that Carina published as part of the Naughty and Nice” anthology. I don’t know what it is about small frigid cold New England town settings and ATVing, but I’m all over it. Mor pleez.

Nalini Singh: Jane from Dear Author convinced me to try the Psy-Changeling series and the Archangel series, even though at the time I was so burned out on anything paranormal I couldn’t fathom that I might possibly enjoy reading them. These books are cold brilliant. I sat there reading and while one half of my brain was gorging on the text like it was Ritz crackers (yum), the other half of my brain was frozen with the wowOMGagog at the worldbuilding. My only sadness: they can be very cold and dark, and there are some moments of terrible bleakness, and though they balance with burning white scenes of hotty mc hotness, I can’t read one after another without feeling mentally pressed flat. I need recovery books in between, so I can savor these without mental exhaustion.

Ilona Andrews: Lo, though I have seen enough low-slung leather-pants and sword-wielding heroines with nary a glimpse of future muffin-top to last me until I find leather pants (and the UF Belt) of my own, I was convinced to try Andrews’ Kate Daniels series.  I tend to do this, actually – wait to start a series so that there’s five or six books to devour one after another – NOM. Kate’s changing role and authority level, her belief in herself and her ability to care for others, and the very, very painstakingly slow revelations about each of the major characters make this a series worth reading in one sitting (Ok, fine, it’s a bunch of books. You are allowed to use the rest room and get some food. Then, back in the chair!). My favorite part is how little tiny moments from earlier books appear in later stories with a nuanced significance.

Julie James: I love smart contemporary romance. James writes a LOT of it, including “Something About You,” which rocked my socks something fierce. James’ characters talk like real people – and dialogue is something that, as I’ve mentioned frequently, can really make or break a book for me. Not only are James’ characters funny and sharp, they’re intelligent, and they don’t play stupid games or play dumb. They’re wonderful examples of savvy character building skills. 

Patricia Briggs: I think I read all of them this year, then read them all again, from the Mercy Thompson series to the Alpha-Omega series, and anything else I could get my hands on. Briggs’ books are so meticulously good, they knocked me over, then dragged me back into the book to re-savor what I’d just read. Briggs’ romance writing skill is so good, I totally make the “Romance Novel Noise” (it’s something between a gasp and a sigh – you know you’ve made that noise) when I talk about them.

I started a hashtag on Twitter, #new2me2010 and asked folks what authors they discovered this year. The answers are varied and interesting and awesome. Some folks discovered J.R. Ward, Lorelei James, Erica Hayes and Gemma Files. Other discovered Sarah Waters, Karina Bliss, and Janet Evanovich.

Folks on Facebook have their own (HUGE) list of authors they found this year – including some guy named Stieg Larrson, and authors such as C.L. Wilson, Kresley Cole, and Robyn Carr.

I love how romance novels can be abidingly awesome, just waiting to be rediscovered by new readers to the genre, or longtime romance fans looking for something they haven’t experienced before. Good books are an enduring awesomeness, and I wish you a 2011 filled with authors, books and experiences that are new to you – and worth re-reading over and over. Happy New Year!

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Maria says:

    Thank you all for adding lots of great-sounding books to my TBR list, the comments, things to ponder, and the laughs. Wishing everyone a good new year.

  2. 2
    Carolyn says:

    I ? you Sarah.

    Your list could have been mine – it IS mine, with the addition of Deanna Rayborn and her Lady Julia Gray books. And PB Ryan with her Nell Sweeney mysteries.  And Meljean Brook (Iron Duke was the first time I’d read her). And Lisa Kleypas (I also ? Sebastian in The Devil in Winter).

    Okay, I’ll stop now …

  3. 3
    library addict says:

    I started reading Shannon Stacey and KS Augustin both because of Carina. 

    I’ve read all of Stacey’s backlist, except the two historicals which are in my calibre TBR “pile.”  Also read most of Augustin’s backlist. 

    Read Alissa Johnson‘s Providence series, though I suppose technically I discovered her in late 2009 with her novella in A Christmas Ball.

    Also read my first Jess Granger book and have the sequel to read.

    Hope45: Yes, I hope discover 4 or 5 good new-to-me authors in 2011

  4. 4
    Holly says:

    Its amazing how many authors I’ve read this year just because they were highlighted in SBTB—-all the years I’ve read romance I never picked up a Nora Roberts or her alter ego JD Robb – now I’ve read all the JD Robb and am working my way through the rest.  I concur with Julie James/MelJean Brooks and Shannon Stacey – my TBR books are many that I’ve picked up at garage sales, used book stores or electronically that If I were stuck at home in a snow storm for 2 months – I would be content. 
    I’m normally a lurker but I did want to say Thank You for opening new horizons for me.

  5. 5
    Wanda says:

    I think the big one for me this year was Zoe Archer, thanks in no small part to the book club choice here. I just finished the last book today, and I really enjoyed all of the books.

    I want to say I discovered Erin McCarthy and Julie James this year, but I suspect that I read at least one of their books before this year. I just really liked the books that I read by them this year, and I read more than one.

    I also discovered the young adult Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead this year. The first book was slow to get into but by the third book, it was hard to put the books down.

    I am sure there are more, but none that I can think of at the moment.

  6. 6
    Sitka says:

    Discoveries for this year? Hmm . . . I really liked Diana Rowland’s Demon series – I gobbled those up like candy. Very delicious candy. Excellent police procedural and hot demon sexxor! If you like Briggs, etc then you will like her.

    I enjoyed Richelle Mead’s Succubus series A LOT. Excellent! Like those above, I also tried her YA Series Vampire Academy and enjoyed that too (especially after the 3rd book). The only Mead books I disliked were the Dark Swan series – really hated the heroine to be honest.

    That’s all I can think of for now . . .

  7. 7
    Brigit says:

    Thanks to the recommendations here on SBTB, I discovered Loretta Chase and Julie Miller (esp the Taylor-Clan series), and am working my way through their respective backlists.

    I’m especially glad about having started reading Chase – I never would have started to read historicals without this site here!

    Keep up the good work, and a Happy New Year to everybody!

  8. 8

    Discovered a few amazing debut authors this year. Sarah MacLean and Keiran Kramer as well as Vicky Dreiling (whose book came out like 3 days before 2011).
    Also Miranda Neville, Alexandra Hawkins, Christie Kelley, Jennifer Ashley, Karen Robards, Lisa Valdez, and Victoria Dahl who aren’t new authors, but were new to me.

  9. 9
    Tae/Booklust says:

    without you and Dear Author I never would have discovered Suzanne Collins, which I finally broke down and bought the Hunger Games after the second book was released.  I have all three in Hardcover now and pimped them out to all my friends. 

    Nalini Singh was a name that kept popping up but I read her this year and everything she wrote.  Looking forward to her in 2011.

    I. Andrews is another name that keeps popping up so I think that means I need to look into the Kate Daniels books this year.

    I think the book that I was most happy to discover was Meljean Brook and the Iron Seas series.  The Iron Duke might be my favorite romance book of the year.  I’m not so keen on the Guardian series, but I keep going back and re-reading sections of the Iron Duke and it make me CRY!  I never cry and the fact that I know what’s coming and it still makes me cry!

  10. 10
    Bri says:

    more and more to add to the TBR :)

    I first read both Robb and roberts this year – so glad i did.  I love the robb books and the bride quartet made an impression at a needed time

    thanks!

  11. 11
    OutlandishSam says:

    LORETTA CHASE!!! Yes, I’m late to the party, but I definitely didn’t start reading her books until the past few months. So tremendously happy that I did! I love her heroines… Oh, and the heroes aren’t too shabby themselves.

  12. 12
    orangehands says:

    I would list all the “new” authors I discovered this year, but the only ones I can think of came into my life within the last three months. I know I read plenty of new (to me, at least) authors before that, I just can’t remember them. So I’ll just woot over the first one that came to mind: Amy Lane. Talker’s Redemption is probably the first book I’ll be buying in 2011 (barring any library/estate/garage sales).

  13. 13
    Amitatuq says:

    I have others, but the Loretta Chase comments just made me want to add mine.  I can’t remember the title but I think I first read her this year.  The heroine had sex with the hero in a carriage and when he said they had to marry she agreed with him!  I remember being so flabbergasted that a historical heroine was behaving so rationally about the matter!  There was none of the arguing about being trapped or wanting to marry for love, she recognized that their actions could have *gasp* consequences and she was willing to do what was needed.  It came as such a shock it jolted me out of the book and made me call the friend who lent it to me.

    Captcha phrase: meeting79 I wouldn’t mind “meeting” 79 books that make me “squee!” this new year.

  14. 14
    Jen B. says:

    I actually won both of the Shannon Stacey books during December.  So, yeah me, I am really looking forward to reading those.  Of course, I have added all of the authors listed above to my list if I don’t already read them.  2011 is going to be busy.
    In 2010 I discovered Lori Armstrong (the mystery nom de plume for Lorelei James).  Brilliant.  Not fluffy bunny slippers, actually kinda dark but really good.
    Hands down my favorite discovery this year was Gail Carriger.  I loved the covers, thought the description was a riot and the little bit I read whilst sipping coffee in Borders was brilliant.  I recommend the Parasol Protectorate to EVERYONE!  Even if you don’t like Steampunk or paranormal.  The books are so darn funny!  Oh, and the heroine kicks ass!

  15. 15
    Carin says:

    This year I fell in love with Shannon Stacey and Karina Bliss, too.  I can’t remember if my JD Robb glom started in 2009 or 2010, but it was fun to come late to that party – a nearly never ending list of books!

    I also found Jennifer Estep’s Spider series and oh how I love it!  Reminds me of Patricia Briggs, and both those authors have me waiting impatiently for their next book!

    In 2010 I found Heidi Betts’ contemporaries and enjoyed her writing a lot.

    Sarah Maclean was a good find this year, too.

  16. 16
    AnnieJ says:

    De-lurking here to add my fave new-to-me authors of 2010: GA Aiken/Shelly Laurenston, PB Ryan, Sherry Thomas, Zoe Archer, Devon Monk and CL Wilson. Living in Singapore means I get books much later, and DRM limits my e-reading choices too. (which also means that whenever you talk enthusiastically about any particular book or author, I sometimes go ‘grrrr’). I do look forward to visiting SBTB, so thanks, Sarah!

  17. 17
    TaraL says:

    The only new-ish author that immediately comes to mind as having knocked my socks off is Courtney Milan. The two new-to-me finds that fall under the “Oh my God, how did I miss this?” category are Julia Spencer-Fleming and JD Robb. I had never read anything from either of them before this year(yes, I’ve read some Nora), and couldn’t glom fast enough. And then had withdrawals when I finished and had to go back and do some re-reading to wean myself off of them.

    Having said all of that, I do have many of the authors others have mentioned on my “to buy” list but just haven’t gotten there yet, so I’m pretty sure 2011 is going to be a good reading year, too.

  18. 18
    Lora says:

    This year, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters blew the top of my head right off and made glitter confetti of wonderfullness spill out. Her writing was so delicate and the central relationship soooo romantic and realistic and intimate that i was still talking about the characters a week later.

  19. 19
    ev says:

    @bri- I just finished the Bridal Quartet last night, right before midnight. I only feel cheated that we don’t get to see the other 3 weddings damnitall!!  I have always loved the JD Robb and am now working my way thru her Roberts backlist and loving it all!

    I discovered Robyn Carr this year and read the entire backlist including the out of prints they just re-released. With an ereader you don’t always have to look as hard for those out of prints.

    I also won a box o’goodness from another blog that was delivered over Xmas and many of them I haven’t read! Can’t wait to sit and plow my way through it.

    I am looking forward to slow months at work for jan and feb so I can catch up on my reading!!

    Happy New Year everyone!

  20. 20
    toni says:

    Through the Bitchery I discovered Sarah MacLean, Tessa Dare, Kresley Cole, HelenKay Dimon, Kate Noble, Jennifer Estep, Seanan McGuire, Olivia Parker, Lisa Kleypas (how on earth I missed her books for so long is beyond me), and Julie Anne Long- Like No Other Lover has two scenes of such surpassing hilarity that even my husband laughed when I made him read those scenes.

    We moved to Germany from Oklahoma in 2010 and the escape offered by romance novels (not to mention my Kindle and a fond hubby who never so much as blinks at my book budget anymore) helped to keep me sane while my life underwent a major upheaval.

  21. 21
    Julie L says:

    I totally agree with you about Julie James – I’ve loved everything she’s written!  I discovered some new to me authors this year that I loved, Karen Hawkins, Sabrina Jeffries, Sherry Thomas, Jennifer Ashley and Elizabeth Peters (her Elizabeth Peabody series).  Everyone’s talking about Courtney Milan, I must check her out now.  Thanks for your wrap up – Happy New Year, I love your blog – keep it up!

  22. 22
    Danielle D says:

    For me it was Kaki Warner, Sarah MacLean, Kieran Kramer and Caroline Richards.

  23. 23
    JoAnn says:

    I have others, but the Loretta Chase comments just made me want to add mine.  I can’t remember the title but I think I first read her this year.

    I think that was Don’t Tempt Me. Loretta Chase is a recent (2009) discovery for me. Still catching up.
    For 2010, Eloisa James and Julia Quinn are my most memorable discoveries.
    The best thing about finding an author after they’ve been writing awhile is the lovely, long backlist and not having to wait for the next book.

  24. 24
    Lil' Deviant says:

    New authors to me?  Oh my so many!  I have to say Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. (cracktastic)  My new favorite. 
    Also Nina Bruhns, Gail Carriger, Sarah McLean (love love love her)  Jo Davis Fire Fighter series, Ava Gray Skin Game and Jill Myles. 
    I can’t wait to see what you have new in 2011.  Happy New Year!

  25. 25
    Kaye says:

    I was glad to see 2010 go, but two bright spots to my year were Carrie Vaughn and Jennifer Armintrout. They’re both awesome writers, and I’m glad I found their books.

  26. 26
    ev says:

    Now this a list of comments I will print off so that I can have all the authors in case I miss some.

  27. 27
    Wendy says:

    The Smart Bitches introduced me to SO MANY new authors in 2010: Patricia Briggs, Lisa Kleypas, Alexis Harrington, Jennifer Crusie, Lynne Connolly, Loretta Chase, Mary Balogh, Sherry Thomas, and (I think) Eloisa James (or did that come from my friend Kim?). And, actually, Nora Roberts (I know, late to the party, right?).

    THANK YOU, Bitches, for the valuable service you provide, and sorting the wheat from the chaff so I can make informed choices. :)

  28. 28
    Pam says:

    New to me authors discovered in the last couple of months in roughly reverse order….
    Nicole Peeler (finished Tempest Rising an hour ago)
    Patricia Briggs (my daughter gave me the 1st two Mercy Thompson books—thanks, Jess)
    Laura London (finally ILL-ed The Windflower from the public library—yay!)
    Liz Williams (Inspector Chen novels—truly incredible sf/fantasy novels based on an Asian mythos)
    Connie Willis (time=travel, philosophical sf)
    Meljean Brook
    Rick Riordan
    Scott Westerfeld

    Most of this reading bounty is thanks to SBTB.  Not only do I get great recommendations for my TBR list from this site, but the process has opened my mind incredibly to new possibilities.  I can’t believe what a rut I was in.  Thanks to all, and a very happy new year!

  29. 29
    Literary Slut says:

    2010 was a crappy year redeemed by the fact that I discovered Abraham Verghese, Wallace Stegner, Jennifer Crusie, Gail Carriger, Amanda Quick, Kazuo Ishiguro, Hilary Mantel, Colm Toibin, Mercedes Lackey, Ian McEwan, Kristin Cashore and Margaret Drabble. All in all, not a bad year from a literary standpoint.  Can’t wait to find out what the Smart Bitches will bring in 2011, and I’m sure it will be good.

  30. 30
    Literary Slut says:

    2010 was a crappy year redeemed by the fact that I discovered Abraham Verghese, Wallace Stegner, Jennifer Crusie, Gail Carriger, Amanda Quick, Kazuo Ishiguro, Hilary Mantel, Colm Toibin, Mercedes Lackey, Ian McEwan, Kristin Cashore and Margaret Drabble. All in all, not a bad year from a reading standpoint.  Can’t wait to find out what the Smart Bitches will bring in 2011, and I’m sure it will be good.

    needed39 – I need 39 more months in the year to work on my TBR pile

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