Hot reads

Cozy up with these books by Colorado authors


As seasons go, winter is tailor-made for reading. All you need is a blanket, a book and maybe a hot toddy, and you’re set. 

The added bonus of being in Colorado is that there are tons of great writers here and books set in locales across the state. 

At Boulder Weekly, we’ve featured loads of fantastic books with local tie-ins recently, including Stephen Robert Miller’s climate crisis tome Over The Seawall, Brook Eddy’s hybrid memoir and business guide Steeped, Michelle Theall’s spotlight on the foster care system The Wind Will Catch You, and Buzzy Jackson’s To Die Beautiful, a brilliant account of Dutch World War II resistance fighter Hannie Schaft

These and all the other books we’ve written about lately are worth cozying up with as the days get shorter and the snow falls. 

We also wanted to include some other books that we haven’t written about that were published this year that will make for good snow day reads. 

From a hugely popular fantasy writer’s next big book to an alien abduction yarn to thrillers and mysteries and a horror movie guide, here’s a few more to warm up inside with.

Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros

The biggest book of the year from a Colorado author is probably Iron Flame by Colorado Springs-based Rebecca Yarros. 

As of November, she’d sold an estimated half-million copies of Fourth Wing, the first installment in her fantasy series, and this second book has been getting big press. 

Yarros is known for her romantic, detailed stories that are billed as adult fantasy, and Iron Flame continues in the same vein. 

In this novel, Violet Sorrengail is in her second year at Basgiath War College, training to become a dragon-riding warrior. 

Amazon announced earlier this year that it is planning a TV series based on Yarros’ first two books. Grab yourself a copy of her latest and read what the buzz is all about before it hits your TV.

The Road to Roswell by Connie Willis

The near certainty of the presence of aliens in the American Southwest has fascinated readers for decades, and this new novel, The Road to Roswell by Colorado-based writer Connie Willis, takes us along for another delightful ride. 

When Francie shows up in Roswell, New Mexico, for her university roommate’s UFO-themed wedding she’s skeptical at best. Until an alien abducts her. 

It gets weirder as the alien keeps kidnapping people, assembling a crew of lovable, eccentric misfits. Along the way, Francie decides the alien isn’t a space invader, but instead needs her help. 

Sounds kooky, right? It is, but it’s also in the masterful hands of Willis, who is a member of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and a Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. She’s also won seven Nebula awards and eleven Hugo awards for her fiction.

Till Death Do Us Port by Kate Lansing

Award-winning Denver novelist Kate Lansing is at it again with another installment in her Colorado Wine Mystery series, Till Death Do Us Port

This time it’s June in Boulder, and wedding season is kicking off. The story sees Parker Valentine jazzed for her cousin Emma’s wedding. Parker is also in charge of bringing the wine. 

But when the wedding planner winds up dead halfway through the ceremony, Parker decides she’ll need to solve the murder. 

Lansing weaves in her wine knowledge with brisk prose, blending suspense and humor. This fun plot has more twists than a corkscrew and a wine cellar full of colorful characters.

Horror Unmasked: A History of Terror from Nosferatu to Nope by Brad Weismann

Colorado-based writer and editor Brad Weismann examines the past influences and present popularity of the horror film genre in Horror Unmasked: A History of Terror from Nosferatu to Nope

Serving as a guide that traces the lineage of scary movie culture, Weismann’s book discusses monster and B-movies, the destruction of American censorship, international horror and more. 

He even gets into the dissection of the critical reception of the most popular film genre in the U.S. It’s part reference book for horror fans, part guidebook and part celebration of the artform.

Branded Vengeance: A Contemporary Western Thriller by Randi Samuelson-Brown

Golden’s Randi Samuelson-Brown returns with the third installment in her Dark Range trilogy. 

In Branded Vengeance, Emory Cross is sent on a mission to a remote corner of Colorado where the Old West is alive and well. Owing to the fact that Emory works as a brand inspector and is the daughter of a legacy rancher, Samuelson-Brown’s writing puts Emory at the intersection of Colorado’s Wild West past and the contemporary issues facing the state. 

Emory chances upon a body hanging in the wind with a sign reading “Horse Thief” on its chest. The action-packed mystery unravels from there as Emory fights for justice.

Brittle Bones by Paulla Hunter

With this second installment in the Darcy Moreland Mysteries, Brittle Bones, clues about a homicide lead Darcy to a forensic reconstruction lab in Colorado. 

Working as a broadcast journalist, Darcy was first tipped off about the murder when she drove past an old home with caution tape. She calls for a camera crew, but her nemesis (another reporter) elbows his way in and tries to push her off the story. 

Not to be deterred, Darcy takes an assignment to do a sidebar about the murder. She finds two sets of bones in a crawl space of the old house. 

As Darcy reports on the mystery of the bones, she makes herself a target, resulting in threats to her safety and upheaval in her personal and professional life.