I have a ton of favorite authors. Which almost sounds ridiculous. Whenever my youngest daughter is asked a question like, "What is your favorite subject in school?" she always answers, "All of them." Or, if someone asks what her favorite song is, she'll list at least thirty before you finally tell her you've given up listening because you're pretty sure she's just listing every song she knows at that point.
Well. I have to say...I get it. I started making myself a list of my "favorite" authors, and I realized I was quite possibly just writing down every author I've ever read.
To solve my 'problem,' I decided that in order to be on my list of favorites, authors had to meet a few criteria. First, I have to have read more than one of their books (or more than one of their series). Second, I have to LOVE the books/series that I've read. Third, I have to have recommended the author's books to someone else. Fourth, they have a book released or getting ready to be released that I really want to read (like, REALLY want to read). Fifth, I would willingly read anything they write without hesitation whether I know what the book is about or not.
That being said, in no particular order, here is my top eight list of favorite authors and their books I love:
1 - Clare Sager. I first ran across Clare Sager when I was searching for pirate books. Yes, I'm a sucker for pirates. I told my husband that if Jack Sparrow were a real person, I may have to leave my husband to sail around the world with him. My husband informed me that Johnny Depp is, in fact, real; however, I literally need Jack Sparrow, not Johnny (sorry, Johnny). I'm in love with Vee and Knigh in her series Beneath Black Sails. Fae and pirates, steamy romantic scenes, and high seas adventures are all in store for anyone who picks up these books--and you won't want to put them down. I've read all three books more than once and am currently im-patiently waiting for book four. But Clare's wonderfulness doesn't stop there. Her The Prince and the Thief series is pretty amazing as well, and I loved her standalone, Stolen Threadwitch Bride which was part of an 8-book collection, Stolen Brides of the Fae. I keep hoping she'll return to that world and give us readers more. One can hope and dream, right? I read her Counterfeit Contessa books, but I think those are being revamped into The Prince and the Thief series.
2 - Sylvia Mercedes. I read all seven books in her Ventarix Chronicles series and could hardly stop reading. Then, she had to start releasing even more amazing books to lure me in and keep me reading. The Scarred Mage of Roseward series was so addicting that when she participated in the Stolen Brides of the Fae collection, I could barely wait until Stolen Mage Bride released. Even though Stolen Mage Bride is a standalone, it was basically a prelude to The Scarred Mage of Rosward series, and I was in heaven. Then, she has the Candlelight and Shadows series which starts off with The Moonfire Bride. Loved it! Then, ugh...she's releasing all of these books I cannot figure out how she manages to write when I can barely keep up with reading. She has three series I cannot wait to get my hands on: Once in the Whispering Woods, Prince of the Doomed City, and Consorting with the Fae. Sylvia, how do you do it? You're impressive!
3 - S.M. Gaither. The Queen of Cursed Things was my first exposure to this author. It is the first book in her Serpents and Kings trilogy. Wow. It was so good and the world she created was fascinating with a religious and belief system that confused me at first but now I totally get it...and love it. I read the entire series and have moved on to the Shadows and Crowns series which features different characters in that same world. Ooooo...its so good! To my delight, she participated in the Stolen Brides of the Fae collection as well with Stolen Shadow Bride--super good. Her Drowning Empire series is on my backlog of TBR stuff, and I cannot wait to get at it. And she always has fun stickers and artwork to share on her Facebook page that make me happy.
4 - The Robin D. Mahle and Elle Madison duo. Who doesn't love these two authors? My first exposure to them was with the four-book The Lochlann Treaty series. Blew me away! Now, they're winding me back up with The Lochlann Feud series. I'm currently reading The Scarlett Princess and am ready to blow through the series like an addict. But Robin has a four-book series she released by herself that I'm in love with, too. The World Apart series is so addictively amazing that I'd recommend it to anyone. On top of that, these two have done the Twisted Pages series. I've only read Of Thorns and Beauty, but I want to finish the series. That will have to wait, however, until I've finished The Lochlann Feud series.
5 - Shari L. Tapscott. Her four-book series, Silver and Orchids, is by far one of my favorite fantasy romance series out there. It has quests and sailing and sword fighting and a swoon-worthy captain who makes me happy. Then, there is The Riven Kingdom series which was an exciting read. After that, she has an eight-book series, The Eldentimber series, which has something for everyone. But let's talk about her new series she's working on with her husband: Crown and Crest. These are fun, too, and I'm excited about them. Next, she's going to be releasing a new book, The Masked Fae in her new series, Royal Fae of Rose Briar Woods. Ugh. I cannot keep up with all of the amazingness! Between her and Sylvia Mercedes, I'm going to have my face stuck in a book for the rest of my life.
6 - Jennifer Anne Davis. I started off with her series Knights of the Realm. The thing about this author is that she combined my love of historical fiction with fantasy, so I'm addicted to her a little bit. I've read two other series by her: The True Reign Series and Order of the Krigers series. Fantastic reads. I really want to read Reigning Kingdoms series which keeps up with Ackley from Knights of the Realm. I put this series on my Christmas Wish List as a hint-hint to the hubby.
7 - Audrey Grey. Her Kingdom of Runes series has drawn me in to her world of writing. It has also kept me waiting in anxious excitement for the final installment of the series. It is sooooo good that it is my firm belief that anyone who has a love for fantasy should read these books. During a lull between Curse Breaker and King Maker, I decided to give some of her other books a try. Oh, my. I thoroughly enjoyed Evermore Academy and I don't usually like the academy-type books. It was good. Her Shadowfall series was also pretty good. I'm still waiting and longing for book five in the Kingdom of Runes, though, and I will be super excited when it releases.
8 - Scarlett Scott. Now, she's not a fantasy writer which is weird of me, I know. But I like to get outside of the fantasy genre every once in a while, and Scarlett Scott's thirteen-book The Wicked Winters series was pretty good. I'm currently reading her Sinful Suttons series as she releases them, and I'd like to give her Notorious Ladies of London series a go.
I have a few honorable mentions: Everly Frost, Jenna Wolfhart, Carissa Broadbent, Helena Rookwood, Andy Peloquin, Frost Kay, A.E. Rayne, Michael Wisehart, S.L. Prater, Val Saintcrowe, K.L. Kolarich, and S.G. Prince. I've read at least one series written by these authors that I truly LOVE, but they didn't meet all of the criteria I listed above--some because they're newer authors and only have one series or because they write other books that aren't in my preferred reading niche.