A Look Back at the Best of the Best of 2021

Whenever I mention working with a new author, the first question my hubby asks is, “Is this a JK?” – Meaning Rowling and having a book that can explode into the market. Well this past year I may have found four! 

According to Goodreads in 2021, I read 122 published books.  Add in about 30 more that I edited but are awaiting publication and another 20 beta reads for ones still being formed and that’s a lot of books. 

While I try not to play favorites with any of my clients, we all know that sometimes there is just something a little extra special about some people.  At the end of all of this reading, I had the pleasure of not only working with but getting to know four authors I believe could be the next great author and who have created the best books I read in 2021. 

In no particular order they are:

Anita Dickason is a bad ass – in the nicest way.  The first female sniper on the Dallas SWAT team she now takes her knowledge and precision and uses them in her stories.  This year Anita published Deadly Business that takes you into the current day world of cattle rustlers and Special Agents.  Ok she named a no-nonsense rancher Jennie – just saying I did not mind it at all but it was not part of my loving this book!  All of her books are meticulously researched and evaluated and it shows on every page.    

Aaron Gallagher is one of my original three clients and has stuck with me for about six years.  During that time I have seen an incredible evolution.  They have always had a wonderful sense of characters and plot but now, with education and about 15 books, they are creating unique quality reads.  This year’s book was a couple of years in the making, one slight argument (in public) between the author and editor and finally polished to a gem before being published by Indies United as So Much Fire and So Many Plans.  This one’s mind keeps me on my editing toes!

Winnie Winkle and I met about three years ago at an Orlando conference.  This year she set an incredible goal for herself (and this editor) and published four books.  One stand alone, To Walk In The World – that rocked me to my core and to this day is the only book I have ever cried while editing.  Her other three are in a new series – Boogie Beach – which has me laughing and enjoying her professional level of snark on every page.  Poseidon in a speedo – just think about and try not to smile.  Recently over wine (her) and cocktails (me), I learned what this year is bringing – hold on – she’s on fire.

Mario Kiefer had a booth across from me several years ago at the Texas Book Festival.  He introduced himself and handed me Ordinary Doll – with what I thought was a creepy cover.  I was leary but once I started reading I could not stop (and the cover was perfect!).  He now has four books in the genre of Hispanic Literary Fiction.  This year he jumped out of his comfort zone and published The Fifth, an Occult/Horror Fiction taking readers (and me) to a whole new level of thought about the Four Horsemen. 

Picking any book from any of these four is going to be a wonderful reading experience.  Give them a try – who knows what they will create in 2022.  I, for one, will be anxiously awaiting what will be crossing my screen and fingers crossed, I will get the opportunity to see it first and add just a tiny bit of polish to what is going to be another wonderful read.


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