Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Cindi's Favorite Books of 2012

My favorite books released in 2012.

- By Cindi

Choosing my favorite books of 2012 was difficult.  I have read a lot of books in 2012 and a considerable amount of those were published in 2012.  Also, how do I pick favorites when almost all of my favorite authors had new releases this year?  Not to mention finding a new author to add to that list?  After a lot of time and a few choice words, I found my favorite releases of 2012.  Note that with the exception of the first three listed, I would never be able to pick favorites out of this group.  They were all equally loved by me and I could never put them in any type of numerical order according to my enjoyment of each book.  The top three listed are my all-time favorites of the year and if I was placing numbers next to each book, they would be tied for first.  Three totally different books written by three unique authors.  The Zathyn Priest and T.J. Klune books are expected as most know my love for these authors.  The Christopher Allen book was a pleasant surprise and once I read it, he immediately jumped on that 'favorite author' list as well.  My 2012 list would not be complete without it. 

Kazza K and I decided to add a sentimental favorite to our lists.... a book that is extra special to us in some way. The book I chose was rated 5 stars by me on Goodreads but it does not fit into the rest of the list as it is a very short story.   It is also outside of my normal genre by being a Young Adult book.  This book is posted at the bottom of this post along with my reasons for choosing it.

Note that each book listed is in the LGBT genre.  I have read other genres during 2012 but none that compared to those on this list.  Also, not all of the books listed were reviewed by me on this blog.  I have posted the links to my Goodreads reviews in those instances.


The Statue by Zathyn Priest
Published May 24, 2012

The Statue

This book is a no-brainer for me.  It is no secret that I have been a huge fan of Zathyn Priest since the day I read his first.  If asked for a book recommendation, I always say "Zathyn Priest.  Pick one."  When he announced that he had a new release (his first in two years) I counted down the days until it would be available and I literally downloaded it within minutes of it becoming available.  As always, it was well worth the wait.  The Statue is an amazing short and it tells an amazing story.  As with others written by this author, this touches on mental illness.  One minute I was smiling and the next, tears were running down my face.  It is simply brilliant and is written by my all time favorite author.. of all genres.  Most people skip over the dedication pages in books.  Had I done so with this one, I would have missed what inspired him to write again after such a long absence.  I had not even started reading the actual book and I was already touched.  I highly, highly recommend this book and any other written by this author.  He's an amazing talent both with his writing and his art.  I can not recommend him enough.

On Top Down Under Review:

** Note that  Scarlet Tie Books is Zathyn Priest's e-publishing site.  It is one of the very few places where his books are available. **


Conversations with S. Teri O'Type (a satire) by Christopher Allen
Published August 28, 2012

Conversations with S. Teri O'Type (a Satire)

This book will go down as my biggest surprise of 2012.  While looking for something light, I went to one of the many listopia lists on Goodreads and Conversations with Teri O'Type (a satire) was number one on the LGBT Humor list so I decided to check it out.  I had never heard of the author or the book.  The cover is cute and the blurb looked interesting so why not?  That was one of the best book decisions I've ever made.  This tells the story of Curt, a gay man, who not only doesn't look gay, he doesn't act gay.  He goes to his flamboyant old friend, S. Teri O'Type (Oh Mighty Gayru ... or OMG! for short) in hopes of learning how to act gay so he can find the man of his dreams.  I don't remember the last time I laughed so hard while reading a book.  Not only is it a very funny book, but it tells a very important message... one you will be thinking about long after finishing it.  I fell in love with Curt, Teri and Cary Grant, Teri's gay dog (he has gaydoggiedar!)  Not only have I recommended this book to everyone who will listen but Christopher Allen immediately jumped on my favorite author list.  If you can read this book without cracking up, you have zero sense of humor.  Not only is this an outstanding book but it is written by (as I've learned since I read this book) a super nice guy.  Conversations with S. Teri O'Type is my most recommended book of 2012.

On Top Down Under Review:


Who We Are (Bear, Otter & the Kid #2) by T.J. Klune
Published April 27, 2012

Who We Are (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #2)

After reading Bear, Otter & the Kid, I admit to being hesitant on this one.  I bought it the day it was released after stalking the author on Goodreads until he gave his fans a release date.  I wanted the answers to everything left unanswered at the end of the first book.  But seriously, how many sequels live up to the hype of the first one?  Not many in my opinion.  I was so wrong on this one.  If you've read the first book, you are familiar with Bear, Otter & the Kid's (aka Tyson's) story and what they all went through to become a family (yes, they are nicknames and yes, there is a good explanation for each).  A lot of things were left hanging when BOATK ended.  I was happy to see that not only did T.J. Klune answer all the unanswered questions but he did so perfectly.  The classic laugh out loud Klune humor is there from the very first page.  As he is known to do, he will have you laughing and then without warning throw in an emotional moment that will have you in tears.  I have read a lot of sequels over the years and Who We Are will always remain my favorite overall and T.J. Klune will always be an auto-buy for me.

(I admit to not being a fan of the cover on this one... the old saying "don't judge a book by its cover" definitely applies in this case).


Love Comes Silently by Andrew Grey
Published October 1, 2012

My biggest tear-jerker of the year.  A beautiful story about a sick little girl, her dad and a wonderful, silent neighbor who become a family.  I don't remember the last book that had me in tears like this one.  The love story does not take center.  Hanna does.  An outstanding book that left me with a good feeling.  This book will be read again.

Love Comes Silently

On Top Down Under Review:


Frog by Mary Calmes
Published April 25, 2012

A beautiful opposites-attract story.  I've read Frog more than once and there is a phone call at the beginning of the book that gets to me every single time.  A wonderful story.



40 Souls to Keep by Libby Drew
Published November 19, 2012

Very unique mystery with a little romance and a bit of paranormal.

40 Souls to Keep

On Top Down Under Review:


Galley Proof by Eric Arvin
Published January 13, 2012

A great book about finding yourself.  Written by one of my all-time favorite authors.

Galley Proof


Stars & Stripes by Abigail Roux (Cut & Run #6)
Published August 13, 2012

My favorite (hands down) of the Cut & Run series.

Stars & Stripes (Cut & Run, #6)


Afflicted by Brandon Shire (Afflicted #1), published September 4, 2012, Afflicted II (Afflicted #2)
Published December 6, 2012

Two books, one story.  An outstanding series by a brilliant author.


On Top Down Under Reviews:


Afflicted II


A Reason to Believe by Diana Copland
Published October 22, 2012

The ghost of a murdered little girl.  A police detective who sees her.  A psychic medium.  Great mystery with a bit of romance.

A Reason To Believe

On Top Down Under Review:


One Small Thing (One Thing #1) by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O'Shea
Published May 4, 2012

A wonderful story about making a family.

One Small Thing (One Thing, #1)

**Note that Dusty's story (a secondary in this book), One True Thing, was also released in 2012.  While the story was good and Dusty was as adorable as ever (the actual inspiration for his character is on his book's cover) it did not quite rate as high for me as One Small Thing.  Dusty is my all-time favorite (real) character in an M/M book.**

On Top Down Under Review:

Garnetville by E.M. Mispiel
Published June 12, 2012

This book started it all.  Because of shared love of this particular book, two women who live over 9,000 miles away from each other became the closest of friends.  Not long after, this blog collaboration happened and the rest, as they say, is history.  The fact that the book is amazing is a huge bonus.

Garnetville: A Gay Novel

Ethan, Who Loved Carter by Ryan Loveless
Published September 17, 2012

A unusual story about two very unique individuals.

Ethan, Who Loved Carter

On Top Down Under Review:

Riding With Heaven by L.C. Chase
Published June 5, 2012

A ride share from one part of the country to the other.  Hot sex between two strangers.  An escaped serial killer.  A great mystery.

Riding With Heaven


Country Mouse by Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov
Published April 23, 2012

What happens when you put two of the most popular M/M authors together to collaborate on a book?  You get a fantastic story showcasing each unique writing style.

Country Mouse

Power Exchange by A.J. Rose
Published September 15, 2012

Disturbing.  Graphic.  Horrific.  Brilliant.  The writing, the characters, everything.  An outstanding read.

Power Exchange

On Top Down Under Review:

Lazy Sundays by K-lee Klein
Published 2012

The ultimate opposites-attract story. 

Lazy Sundays

On Top Down Under Review:

This book was written for the Goodreads M/M Romance group's Love Is Always Write event.  It is a free download.

Goodreads Link (Free Download)


Frat Boy and Toppy (Theta Alpha Gamma #1) by Anne Tenino
Published March 26, 2012

This book has the best straight friend ever.  There is a coming out scene and descriptions of gay terms (to the straight friend) that had me laughing so hard I almost dropped my Kindle.  Great book.

Frat Boy and Toppy


Blood in the Sand (Sanguis Noctis #2) by Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell
Published June 1, 2012

I cannot describe this book without going way back to the first one and that would be too difficult as the plot is complex.  It has werewolves, vampires, and various other creatures that I normally avoid like the plague.  I found these authors by accident and absolutely loved this book as well as the first in the series, Blood Howl.  A very nice surprise.  

Blood in the Sand


Written in the Stars by Alix Bekins
Published April 2, 2012

A hilarious tale of a disgraced genius scientist who embarks on an astrological experiment to prove Astrology is bogus.  A nice friends-to-lovers story.

Written in the Stars


My Sentimental Favorite of 2012

Sock it to Me, Santa! by Madison Parker
Published November 12, 2012

Sock it to Me, Santa!

This is a great little story about doing the right thing.  Jamie is openly gay and is not ashamed of it.  Ryan is closeted and does all he can to avoid Jamie because even speaking to him would be social suicide for Ryan.  It takes a Secret Santa gift exchange to make Ryan finally see that what matters is what is in his heart, not what others think.

My blog partner will not be surprised that I chose this particular book as my sentimental favorite.  Or should I say this type of book.  I am not a fan of Young Adult books but I read a lot of books about children and family and this has both..  It is about the bullying of a gay teenager and the closeted teen who secretly cares for him.  This is short but so much is said in those few pages.  Ryan finally steps up and stands up for Jamie.  It means destroying his reputation at the school but he doesn't care.  He is tired of hiding and he will never again stand by and watch the boy he cares about being bullied.  

I smiled.  I cried.  I ended this with a good feeling.  I highly recommend this book to everyone, regardless of your age.

Why I chose this book as my sentimental favorite of 2012:  All three of my (now grown) sons were popular athletes in school.  They all (at one time or another) risked losing friends, their popularity and their positions in whatever sport they were playing at the time to stand up for their gay friends who were bullied by teammates. They set an example.  In this short story, Jamie is bullied and Ryan is scared to stand up for him.  He eventually does the right thing.  I thought of my boys and my pride at being told how they were good examples to others.  They stood up for their friends in a town that is not that accepting. They were not (nor are they now) embarrassed to have gay friends.  My youngest (who is now 18) put it best years ago.  He said "What's the big deal, Mom?  We're all the same.  We just love different people."   

That's why this story is very close to my heart.

On Top Down Under Review:


  1. Oh, Cindi. I loved your Sentimental Fave for the reasons you discussed about your wonderful sons. I have to read more than a few of these books. I must, must, must read The Statue first of all. S Teri O'Type IS a hoot, and Garnetville is more than just a book for me and you as well it seems. Nice succinct list. I swear I'm coming to you for lessons on how to stop typing, lol. Great list. Great diversity within your favourite genre. We did it! Yay.....

    1. Ha! You should see all my other drafts... lol. Much longer than yours. Yours was perfect and I've now got a lot of new books I am eager to read.

      Yes, I am very proud of my boys. I'll tell you the stories some day. My sentimental favorite reminded me of those days. I couldn't be a prouder mom.

      The Statue is wonderful. You'll appreciate it. It's short, has little or no sex but it is a beautiful story (and duh... it's written by ZP... hehe)

      Garnetville is special in all kinds of ways. I love telling people that story. :)

      I'm glad you finally read Teri O'Type and that you appreciated the humor like I did. Some don't get it but I knew you would.