Let Me Introduce You To…My Favorite Authors!

So you guys know what I do by now. Usually, on Wednesday, I feature a different author for your consideration. I try to vary up the genres for you…but it doesn’t always work out that way. But I do my best. Usually, I tell you a bit about the author, give you some details about their latest or greatest book, and cap it off with an informative interview. Well, that’s not going to happen this week. lol My current featured author is still hammering away at my questions, so I thought I’d answer a question I hear a lot. Kent? Who are YOUR favorite authors alive today?

You’d think that you guys would know the answer to that by now, but honestly…I don’t think you could. I try to be as unbiased in my choices of featured authors as I can. And I’ve told you that a number of the authors I’ve presented, I’ve never even read their books. So, today, I’m going to give you the low-down on my top five favorite authors and why. I mean these are the people that I actually mark on my calendar when their next book is coming out so I don’t miss it!! So, let’s begin, shall we? [I’ll share my favorite deceased authors another time.]
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1. JIM BUTCHER
Yes, it’s no secret. Jim Butcher is, by far, my favorite author living today. His seminal character, Harry Dresden…a powerful wizard and private detective in Chicago…is one of the most humorous, exciting literary characters on the market today. Butcher does a fantastic job blending fantasy (he uses all the classic fantasy creatures from faeries to goblins to demons to wizards…all in our modern day world), mystery, humor, and, sometimes, heart. By “heart”, I mean simply that his stories often have very touching moments that I’ve only dreamed of doing in my own books. 
In the very first Dresden story ever written, Harry risks life and limb to save a little girl (a runaway) from being killed by a troll. Classic fantasy stuff, right? Well, Butcher’s expert writing actually brought a lump to my throat in one scene, where the bitter, worldly 10-year-old realizes that there really was someone in the world who cared for her. 
His latest release, “SIDE JOBS”, would be the PERFECT book for you to pick up if you wanted to see if Dresden was the wizard for your needs! It’s basically a compilation of various Dresden Files short stories and novellas that Butcher has written over the years…and let me tell you, each one that I’ve read so far (I’m halfway finished with the book now) has left me craving more and more! If you like urban fantasy, wizards, hard-boiled detectives, and lots of humor…then Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files are definitely for you!

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2. ANTON STROUT
Okay. So I’m a sucker for good urban fantasies! But I’d have to say that Anton Strout is my second favorite modern author to date. Strout writes about a special organization in New York City called the Department of Extraordinary Affairs and features Simon Canderous, a man gifted with psychometry (the ability to read the psychic vibes of various objects and determine the object’s past or the location of owners, etc.). Simon, along with his Elvis loving, no-nonsense, ghost-whispering partner tackle some of the meanest baddies you could shake a stake at! Vampires. Zombies (my favorite of Strout’s monsters). Chupacabras. And lots and lots and lots and lots of ghosts!
Packed with very similar humor as Butcher’s Dresden Files, the Simon Canderous series is funny, action packed, and usually contain some really great mysteries to go along with it. And for you romance fans out there…Simon even has himself a pretty heated relationship with a former villain hottie! And imagine how tough it would be to have a physical relationship with someone when you can read anything you touch! This gives the series some great tension.
No, I highly recommend Anton Strout and his Simon Canderous series! Check it out today!

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3. SEAN ELLIS
 
Now, Sean, don’t get the “big head” here! In all honesty, there’s an up-and-comer who has quickly risen in the ranks of my favorite authors alive today. And it’s both an incredible honor and exciting to me that I have become his current publisher and share his work with avid readers everywhere. Now I’m not just saying these things to sell more of Sean Ellis’ books. That’s not what this blog post is about. But Sean’s books simply captivate me.
 
The first time I read one of his books, it was the manuscript for Seven Realms Publishing’s “The Adventures of Dodge Dalton in the Shadow of Falcon’s Wings.” He had approached me to see if I would be interested in publishing it…and like most submissions, I took a look with a healthy dose of skepticism. But after the first chapter, I was completely hooked. I knew that Dodge Dalton was my new literary hero and I jumped at the chance to publish it. I’m also excited to announce we’ll be publishing the second Dodge Dalton book (The Outpost of Fate) in early summer 2011!
 
But I wondered if Dodge was just a fluke. I wondered if I was more captivated by the character than the author. Well, then Sean sent me the manuscript to the second book in his Nick Kismet adventure series, entitled “Into the Black.” Once again, I was absolutely captivated with the story and rushed out and read the first book in the series, The Shroud of Heaven, published by Samhain Publishers (before they went exclusively romance).
 
So, yeah, I proudly claim Sean Ellis as one of my favorite authors and I’m very proud to be the one introducing the entire world to him. I guarantee you…you’ll be hearing much more about him in the future.
 

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4. TED DEKkER
 

For years, I would only read Christian Fiction…but let’s face it. Much of what’s out there in the Christian Fiction market is either uber boring or theologically questionable. With the exception of Frank Peretti, I just wasn’t able to really find a good Christian author that I could follow, ahem, religiously. That is, until I discovered Ted Dekker. I first discovered Dekker around 2003, as I prepared to go to seminary. I happened to be living in D.C. at the time, helping my brother-in-law with his business while I earned some extra cash, and found myself reading voraciously during that time. I stumbled on a strangely titled novel by Dekker and Campus Crusade for Christ’s Bill Bright called “Blessed Child.” I didn’t know who Dekker was, but I knew Bright, so I thought I’d check it out. And wow. Wow. Let me tell you, I was hooked.
 
The way Dekker was able to wrap the themes of parental love, Middle Eastern turmoil, action/adventure, and amazing child-like faith…it had me riveted. Well, I immediately went out and bought the sequel called “A Man Called Blessed” which was every bit as awesome as the first.
 
From the moment on, I’ve picked up every Ted Dekker novel. Some have been better than others. Some are blatantly Christian. Others not so much. His latest suspense novels (Three, Boneman’s Daughters, and the Bride Collector) will leave you sweating and on the edge of your seat. While his Circle Trilogy (which, oddly enough, has four books, Black, Red, White, and Green (which can be read either before Black or after White) is an incredibly fun romp for ANY fantasy lover. No, there’s something for everyone in Dekker’s bag of books! Check him out!
 

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5. JEREMY ROBINSON
 

Jeremy Robinson is the fifth author that I tend to mark my calendar over. There may be several reasons for that. The first is that his story…the story of his rise in the ranks of authors…is just plain inspirational to me. Starting out as a self-publisher with Lulu, his first novel “The Didymus Contingency” rose to the ranks to become a huge success and Robinson was on his way.
 
Since then, he has released quite a few other novels featuring action, adventure, and not a few monsters to boot. I’d say without a doubt, my favorite of his novels so far is Kronos…a book about a giant sea serpent terrorizing the New England coast and a former Navy Seal that will stop at nothing to kill the beast. The book, with plenty of twists and turns, will keep you entertained immensely. I’d say if you were going to check out a Jeremy Robinson book, Kronos is the one to start with.
 
Of course, there’s also Pulse…book one of the Jack Sigler novels (originally, it was called a “Chess Team Adventure”, which I like better…but his publishers got all stupid and decided to make him change the subtitle to Jack Sigler). Anyway, Pulse (and the sequel Instinct) follow a special group of highly trained Delta Operatives known as the Chess Team. Each member of the team have cool call signs such as King, Queen, Bishop, Knight, and Rook (see why I prefer A Chess Team Adventure as the subtitle?). In Pulse, a powerful billionaire has tracked down the remains of the actual Hydra from Greek mythology for one, diabolical purpose…the produce immortality! As a result of his experiments however, he produces some really nasty human hybrids that give the team a major pain in the butt! Check out Pulse and Instinct and you won’t regret it!
 

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Well, there you have it! My FIVE favorite living authors! I hope you’ll find something to check out and hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Oh, and remember…I’d love you to do two things for me if you will: 1) Always leave comments. I love hearing what you guys think about what I blog about and 2) Share this blog with your friends! Invite them to follow me.
 
I truly appreciate the time you take to read me each week! And I will strive to always provide something worth reading. Thanks again!

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