Today I am over at one of my favorite blogs, The Book Smugglers, talking about some of my favorite books of 2011, which I was lucky enough to have a HORRIBLE time narrowing down this year. Since I talked about 8 books with 3 honorable mentions narrowed down from 5 I’d been considering, I’m still not sure which other 2 books are going to end up on my top 10 list I’ll put up here!

While you’re over there, I recommend checking out some of the other posts for Smugglivus, which includes a lot of bloggers and authors. I was particularly thrilled to see posts by Martha Wells, Kate Elliott, and N. K. Jemisin this year. And definitely check out some reviews as well if you haven’t already – Ana and Thea write in-depth, very helpful reviews for a LOT of books!

Magic Gifts by Ilona Andrews

For Christmas, Ilona Andrews has a free Kate Daniels novella, Magic Gifts, available to download for a limited time! It comes right after the latest book in the series, Magic Slays, and crosses over with Gunmetal Magic, the novel about Andrea that will be coming out next year. This novella will also be included with Gunmetal Magic when it is released, but for now it can be downloaded in several different formats to read as an ebook. It is only available for two weeks from when it was put up on December 24, so if you want to read it early, don’t delay too long in getting it!

About Magic Gifts:

A dinner date after a hard day at work sounds heavenly. Of course, when that date is between the Beast Lord and Kate Daniels, things don’t go as planned. Before you know it, undead are running amok, heads are being chopped off, lawyers are deployed and used with extereme prejudice, and drunk vikings are calling people out.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.

There will probably be a Christmas edition of this next week, but since that’s today I haven’t found out what the books are, if any. In the meantime, one ARC did show up that I was as excited about as I could possibly be since it is one of my most anticipated releases of next year.

Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuireDiscount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire

Eeeee! It’s the first book in Seanan McGuire’s new urban fantasy series, InCryptid! And after looking through the beginning, it looks even more awesome than I’d hoped for! Sure, my husband has been picking on me all week for being excited about a book that looks like it has Catholic Schoolgirl Barbie on the cover, but I don’t care because it looks like such fun!

This showing up unexpectedly made my week and it is a definite read and review. In fact, I’d probably be reading it now had I been in between books or close to finished with one when it arrived. I love Seanan McGuire’s Toby Daye books. They have  just been getting better and better and it is one of the urban fantasy series I most enjoy.

Discount Armageddon will be released in mass market paperback and ebook formats on March 6, 2012.

Ghoulies. Ghosties. Long-legged beasties. Things that go bump in the night… The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity-and humanity from them. Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she’d rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and is spending a year in Manhattan while she pursues her career in professional ballroom dance. Sounds pretty simple, right? It would be, if it weren’t for the talking mice, the telepathic mathematicians, the asbestos supermodels, and the trained monster-hunter sent by the Price family’s old enemies, the Covenant of St. George. When a Price girl meets a Covenant boy, high stakes, high heels, and a lot of collateral damage are almost guaranteed. To complicate matters further, local cryptids are disappearing, strange lizard-men are appearing in the sewers, and someone’s spreading rumors about a dragon sleeping underneath the city…

Instead of writing one huge post of all the books I’m looking forward to in 2012, I decided to highlight some of these books in their own posts throughout the rest of this year. That way I can include as much information as I want about each one without it being an 8-mile long post and can just compile a list of links to these posts at the end of the year.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

This is a companion book that goes with Kristin Cashore’s other two YA fantasy books, Graceling (review) and Fire (review). Bitterblue will be published in May 2012.

I’m really looking forward to this one because I enjoyed Graceling and I LOVED Fire, which was one of my favorite books of 2009.

About Bitterblue:

Bitterblue is a companion book to both Graceling and Fire and takes place in the seven kingdoms eight years after Graceling. This third book will tie all three books together in some way. Bitterblue is the eighteen-year-old protagonist, and Katsa, Po, Giddon, Helda, and other characters from Graceling will be part of the fabric of the book.

More information can be found on the Publishers Weekly article about Bitterblue.

Other Books of 2012:

Instead of writing one huge post of all the books I’m looking forward to in 2012, I decided to highlight some of these books in their own posts throughout the rest of this year. That way I can include as much information as I want about each one without it being an 8-mile long post and can just compile a list of links to these posts at the end of the year.

The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin

This is the first book in Dreamblood, a new duology by N. K. Jemisin. The Killing Moon will be released in May 2012 with The Shadowed Sun following in June 2012. I LOVED the first two books in N. K. Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy and I enjoyed the third one so I cannot wait for these new books from her! The description makes it sound really interesting, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what N. K. Jemisin does with a new set of books.

About The Killing Moon:

The city burned beneath the Dreaming Moon.

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers – the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe . . . and kill those judged corrupt.

But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh’s great temple, Ehiru – the most famous of the city’s Gatherers – must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering dreamers in the goddess’ name, stalking its prey both in Gujaareh’s alleys and the realm of dreams. Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill – or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.

Other Books of 2012:

Instead of writing one huge post of all the books I’m looking forward to in 2012, I decided to highlight some of these books in their own posts throughout the rest of this year. That way I can include as much information as I want about each one without it being an 8-mile long post and can just compile a list of links to these posts at the end of the year.

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed

Book I in the Crescent Moon Kingdoms is scheduled for release in February 2012. Chapter One can be read online.

There are many reasons I want to read Throne of the Crescent Moon. I’ve been hearing good things about Saladin Ahmed’s short fiction as well as some good advance buzz for this book, his debut novel. The chapter one excerpt looked promising, plus I just love the description of the characters in the book blurb… Although, honestly, the blurb had me somewhere around the first line when it called it “a fantasy adventure with all the magic of The Arabian Nights.”

About Throne of the Crescent Moon:
From Saladin Ahmed, finalist for the Nebula and Campbell Awards, comes one of the year’s most anticipated fantasy debuts, THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, a fantasy adventure with all the magic of The Arabian Nights.

The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, land of djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, Khalifs and killers, is at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron-fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince.  In the midst of this brewing rebellion a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. It is up to a handful of heroes to learn the truth behind these killings:

Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, “The last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat,” just wants a quiet cup of tea.  Three score and more years old, he has grown weary of hunting monsters and saving lives, and is more than ready to retire from his dangerous and demanding vocation. But when an old flame’s family is murdered, Adoulla is drawn back to the hunter’s path.

Raseed bas Raseed, Adoulla’s young assistant, a hidebound holy warrior whose prowess is matched only by his piety, is eager to deliver God’s justice. But even as Raseed’s sword is tested by ghuls and manjackals, his soul is tested when he and Adoulla cross paths with the tribeswoman Zamia.

Zamia Badawi, Protector of the Band, has been gifted with the near-mythical power of the Lion-Shape, but shunned by her people for daring to take up a man’s title. She lives only to avenge her father’s death. Until she learns that Adoulla and his allies also hunt her father’s killer. Until she meets Raseed.

When they learn that the murders and the Falcon Prince’s brewing revolution are connected, the companions must race against time–and struggle against their own misgivings–to save the life of a vicious despot.  In so doing they discover a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn Dhamsawaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.

Other Books of 2012: