Guest Blogger Smugglivus

Smugglivus Presents – Ciara (Ciaralira)

Day 2 of Smugglivus

Who: Ciara, the aspiring (and inspiring) author behind Ciaralira

Ciara provides great insight into writing by posting about the craft: book recommendations, thoughts and tips and desert island video interviews with other writers. She also does great reviews of romance and YA AND she is a nerd. Just like us.

Here it is folks: Ciara!


Choosing the best books released in 2008 is a daunting task. How can I melt pages and pages of vivid imagery, gripping plots, powerful emotions and compelling characters into a simple rating that is easy to compare and categorize? What makes a book “the best”? The best books are those that define the human condition and make sense of the world around us. They give us hope. We need hope in today’s war-torn, scandal-wracked, environmentally and community-degraded world. I read romance because it reaffirms “love conquers all,” and science fiction and fantasy because it reaffirms “good wins over evil.” This year many of my favorite books are Paranormal Romance, because they combine both these themes.

The heroes and heroines in my best books of 2008 face impossible odds, whether it’s fighting against demons hell-bent on world domination, facing down the loneliness and blackness of their own soul, or risking their heart. The reader shares the protagonists’ struggles and triumphs, finding hope and redemption between the pages.

“Why does anybody tell a story? It does indeed have something to do with faith. Faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically.”

– Madeleine L’Engle, 1918-2007

1. THE SPYMASTER’S LADY by Joanna Bourne
Enemy spies cross
wits, skills. Search for war plans. Love
takes no prisoners.

2. BLUE-EYED DEVIL by Lisa Kleypas
Journey of healing,
Redemption. Woman finds strength,
love in devil’s arms.

3. YOUR SCANDELOUS WAYS by Loretta Chase
Spy meets his match in
notorious lady. Wit,
charm heat up Venice.

4. PLEASURE UNBOUND by Larissa Ione
Mortal enemies
Doctor and patient heat sheets
demon hospital

5. MAGIC BURNS by Ilona Andrews
Demons hunt small girl
Kate and Currin race to save
her, stop world ruin.

6. MINE TO POSSESS by Nalini Singh
Love heals hot leopard-
shifter and soul-sick playmate.
Save children from Psy.

7. THE IRON HUNT by Marjorie M. Liu
Demons cross the veil
Only the Hunter can stop
world domination

8. DUKE OF SHADOWS by Meredith Duran
Two loners find love
amidst war in Regency
India. Solve crime.

9. LINE OF SCRIMMAGE by Marie Force
Football star given
second chance to win the heart
of his estranged wife.

10. SEA WITCH by Virginia Kantra
Selkie seduces
wounded lawman. Murderer
stalks small island town.

Thanks Ciara – your list is very interesting and it shares quite a few titles in common with Ana’s!

Next on Smugglivus Presents: Tia of Fantasy Debut

You Might Also Like


  • Katiebabs a.k.a KB
    December 27, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Ciara, you and I have many books we like in common. All great recommended reads!

  • WriteBlack
    December 27, 2008 at 10:01 am

    I loved that Loretta Chase book.

    I keep hearing wonderful things about Marjorie Liu, but haven’t picked up anything from her yet (I know, I know). She’ll be on my list in 2009.

    Thanks for the great list!

  • Kara
    December 27, 2008 at 10:21 am

    I loved Blue-Eyed Devil and Line of Scrimmage too!!! I am going to check out the other books that you have listed.

    Thanks for the great list – am looking forward to new books and new to me authors in 2009.

  • Heather
    December 27, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Evocative post!

  • Jessica
    December 27, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    I have got to try Marjorie Liu.

    And I could look at that Chase cover every day of 2009 and beyond. I just love it!

  • Marg
    December 27, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    The only one of those I have read is Blue Eyed Devil, although I own a couple of the others! I really need to read some more books I think!

  • orannia
    December 27, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Ohhh, great list Ciara! I’ve read a few on the list, others I have yet to try, for example The Spymaster’s Lady and Your Scandalous Ways….

  • Angiegirl
    December 28, 2008 at 12:58 am

    I love your creative descriptions, Ciara! Very fun post.

Leave a Reply