Last Friday, Samhain Publishing announced they’d be shutting their doors (you can read the letter to their authors here). It saddened me to hear it; Samhain has maintained a stellar reputation in the industry for being one of the more author-friendly publishers to work with, and I’d long held out hope I’d land a contract with them some day. They introduced me to a number of new authors, and since I became a reviewer for Vampire Book Club, they’ve become my go-to source for paranormal and urban fantasy reads.
Amy Jo Cousins made a loooong list of books that she recommends, all written by Samhain authors. So I thought I’d post a few of my own. Links direct to Amazon and Samhain’s website, but these should also be available at other major vendors.
Rinda Elliott’s Beri O’Dell urban fantasy series starts off with Dweller on the Threshold, and right away I was taken in by the uniqueness of this world. Beri’s super strong and doesn’t quite understand why, but she uses it to her advantage as a monster hunter. There’s necromancers, astral projection, Greek mythology, and a yummy ancient warrior. There’s only two books so far, but I’m hoping Elliott will continue this series. The publishing world needs more creativity like this. AMZ | SMH
Hard Ridin’ is the first book in Em Petrova’s Country Fever series, and it was one of the first menage books I read. Holden left Laurel months ago to take a fishing job in Alaska. When he didn’t return her calls, she turned to Jens. That’s where Holden finds her – in Jens’ arms. The pair agree to share her, but soon lines are crossed and boundaries are pushed, and two pairs (with Laurel in the middle) become a threesome. I’ve read this and the other menage book in series (Unbroken) several times each, and Petrova does a fantastic job building the connections between the characters. AMZ | SMH
I freely admit to being jealous of Dana Marie Bell’s skill with witty banter, and it abounds in her Heart’s Desire series. Four magically inclined brothers who also happen to be wolves have to find their mates, or the family curse will continue. There’s an overarching storyline involving a rival magical family, so you’ll want to read them in order, but that’s no hardship. Start with Shadow of the Wolf; my favorite was Zach’s story (Hecate’s Own). AMZ | SMH
Speaking of lovable characters, can I rave for a moment about Malachi in Barbara Elsborg’s Falling? The poor guy just can’t stop rambling on and on…and on…and on. It’s not his fault that Harper makes him nervous. The story of two guys discovering that the right touch really can heal was funny and sigh-inducing, and I seriously wanted to cuddle Malachi, just like Harper got to. AMZ | SMH
Some of my favorites have already reverted to the authors (due to regular contract limitations, not because of the closure). The first couple of books in Lorelei James’ Rough Riders series have already reverted to her, but Redneck Romeo hasn’t, and while I don’t recommend reading these books out of order, this is one of the few in that series that I’ve re-read a couple of times. Dalton and Rory hurt each other, love each other, and hold each other up, and seeing how much Dalton’s changed made me damn sure he’s perfect for Rory. AMZ | SMH
It’s going to be a long winding down process for Samhain, and I’m sad to see them go. Authors need more opportunities, not fewer, and we definitely need more publishers like them.