We Are the World Blogfest #WATWB

It’s the last Friday of the month–time again for some good news to take you into April with a smile.

The story I have chosen for this month is all about good news for the air we breathe and for the environment.

Click here to read the story.

Here’s how #WATWB works: On the last Friday of each month a number of bloggers participate in a blog hop in which each blogger highlights a story that spreads good news, happiness, and hope.

These are the cohosts for this month: Belinda Witzenhausen, Sylvia McGrath, Sylvia Stein, Shilpa Garg, and Eric Lahti. 

Want to join? Click this link to sign up and help spread some happiness!

 

The First Last Tuesday Book Club Meets Here Today

Welcome to the first Last Tuesday Book Club! For those of you who may not know, I’ve started a new book club on my blog. On the last Tuesday of each month, we will discuss the book we’ve read for that month.

The book for March was The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro.

For those of you who haven’t read the book yet, here’s a quick synopsis:

You may recall reading in the papers back in 1990 that paintings worth over 500 million dollars were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in a stunning heist that still baffles investigators today. The paintings were by such masters as Rembrandt, Degas, Vermeer, and Manet. The Art Forger is a fictional account of what happened following the heist.

Claire Roth, a struggling artist living in Boston, makes a meager living by reproducing famous paintings. She works for an online retailer of artistic reproductions and she is very good at her job.

Claire is somewhat of an outcast in the art community for reasons that are explained in the book. Because of her lesser stature in the art world, she is eager to score an opportunity for a one-woman art show in a famous Boston gallery. The trouble is, in exchange for being invited to do the show, she has to agree to copy one of the masterpieces allegedly stolen during the Isabella Stewart Gardner heist. When she becomes convinced the “original” which hung in the museum was actually a forgery, she becomes deeply entrenched in a web of deceit that could spell the end of her art career.

I enjoyed the book. It offers plenty of food for thought about the reasons certain artworks become “famous” or “classic.” Is it because of the inherent value of a piece of art or is it because a famous person painted it?

I’ve curated some discussion questions from several places online, and I’ve sprinkled in some of my own, too. Please feel free to join the discussion in the comments below and ask any questions you  may have.

  • Do you think Claire shares any of the blame for Isaac Cullion’s suicide?
  • Do you find Claire to be a sympathetic character? How about Aiden?
  • Can you imagine yourself in a position where you want something so badly that you would do anything–even something unethical or illegal–to get it?
  • Do you think Aiden loves Claire? Why do you have that opinion?
  • What about the lies Aiden and Claire tell each other, or the corollary of that, what about the truths they keep from each other–do you think they can love with that level of deception toward each other?
  • Who is your favorite character and why?
  • Why are Claire’s works suddenly very valuable at the end of the book? They’re the same paintings that haven’t sold for years–is it their intrinsic beauty that makes them valuable, or the artist’s reputation, or something else?
  • Did you leave a review of the book online? 🙂

I must confess that as of the writing of this post, I haven’t reviewed the book online yet. I’ve got to put that on my to-do list. I hope you enjoyed reading and discussing The Art Forger. If you have any suggestions for a May book club selection, I’d love to hear them in the comments below. In the meantime, the selection for April is Stolen Memories, a Gothic mystery by Mary Miley. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s queued up on my Kindle and ready to read.

Until next time,

Amy

Where to Find Great Book Deals

photo courtesy of pixel2013, pixabay

Today I’m sharing with you some of my favorite places to get deals on ebooks. Most of the sites listed below are subscription sites–in other words, you tell them what types of books you prefer to read, and they’ll send you a regular email (some are daily, some less often) with deals on the books in your preferred genre(s). I’ve loaded my Kindle with books from all of these sites, and they never disappoint.

Although this is a post mostly for people who read ebooks, if you prefer paper books and know someone who reads ebooks, feel free to forward it to them.

Beware! Signing up for these sites has made my To-Be-Read list a hundred miles long, so don’t be surprised if the same thing happens to you! But it’s a good problem to have, don’t you agree?

  1. BookBub. BookBub is choosy about the books they promote, and in general the book has to be on a pretty good sale in order for them to send it out to their subscribers. I told BookBub I prefer mysteries, so every day of the week I get an email from them with some great mysteries on sale. Here’s the link if you want to check it out for yourself.
  2. EReader News Today. Like BookBub, you sign up for this newsletter by sharing your reading preferences with the good people at ENT–then you sit back and wait for their recommendations to roll into your inbox. Click here to visit EReader News Today.
  3. The Fussy Librarian. The Fussy Librarian has two email lists–one for bargain ebooks and one for only free ebooks. You can sign up for either or both. It works the same as ENT and BookBub–sign up, give them your preferences, and wait for the emails. You won’t have to wait long, I promise. Here’s the link for The Fussy Librarian.
  4. Book Gorilla. I don’t know where the name “Book Gorilla” came from, but it’s a great site. It works like the others I’ve listed, and you can choose how many bargain books you see in any email from them. You can choose to see 12, 25, or 50 books in each email. Click here to be redirected to Book Gorilla.
  5. Instafreebie. As its name suggests, this site is primarily for free ebooks. There are some great free books out there, and I recommend that you visit Instafreebie to check out their page. There are featured giveaways each week, as well as giveaways categorized by genre. Take a look here.
  6. Must Read Mysteries. This is a site which specializes in mysteries for Kindle. You can visit the website here and all you have to do is click on the Deals of the Day box. You’ll be sent directly to the Must Read Mysteries Amazon page, where you can click to order scores of discounted and featured books. Click here for the direct link to the Must Read Mysteries Amazon page.
  7. Book Cave. The last site I’ll introduce you to today is Book Cave. Like most of the sites above, this site works on an email system where you provide them with your genre preferences and they match you with free and reduced-price ebooks. One great feature of Book Cave is that you can also provide them with your preferences for certain things like levels of violence, sex, and swearing in your reading. This allows them to narrow down the books they suggest to you. Click here to be redirected to Book Cave.

I hope you’ll take a look at some or all of these sites and see what you think. Let me know in the comments below what other sites you visit to find out about free or discounted ebooks.

Two reminders:

First, next week is our first Last Tuesday Book Club! We’re reading The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro– there have been lots of people who have expressed interest in joining the conversation, so I’m hoping we get lots of participation! The book for April will be Stolen Memories by Mary Miley.

Second, if you have any recipes you’d like to share for April’s First Tuesday Recipes post, don’t forget to send them to me at amymreadeauthor@gmail.com so I can get the post formatted. Thank you!

Until next time,

Amy

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Post #1: Author Spotlight on Elaine Faber

Today I welcome Elaine Faber back to Reade and Write. Elaine has been my guest once before, when she was here to talk about her book Mrs. Oddbody–Home Town Patriot. You can read that post here.

She’s here today to talk about a new book, All Things Cat.

Hi, Elaine! Tell us about your new book.

All Things Cat contains 21 heart-warming short stories, some about cats, and some written by the cat. Imagine how a cat feels when a burglar breaks into a WWII butcher shop and he is the only thing standing in the way of his master losing his money? What reward might he expect for his heroism?

How long did it take you to write the new book?

All these cat stories were written over many years. I have now compiled them into a fun and charming book of short cat stories.

Do you write linearly, or do you write each scene separately and then piece them together like a puzzle? Or is there some other path you take to writing a novel?

I have an overall idea of the story and begin at the beginning and let the cat tell the story as it plays out. Sometimes the cat takes the story to unexpected places.

Tell us a secret about one of your characters- something that’s not in the book.

Since the book contains the story of 21 different characters, this is difficult. One of my characters, a cat named Tinkleberry, is a ‘conscientious objector’ and refuses to kill, until circumstances demand that he reconsider his position and in order to save his mistress’ life, he must forgo his own moral objections. Sounds grim, but it is a humorous story.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I have to have complete silence to write. No music, no TV. If hubby gets on the phone I have to stop until he’s through talking. If my kitty wants attention, I have to stop and play.

What time of day do you do your best writing?

Early in the morning is best, but since these stories were written over the past twenty years, it’s likely that some were written in the afternoon.

Have you ever been on a writing retreat? And if so, where did you go?

I have been to writing conferences with Sisters in Crime and Inspire Writers, but not a ‘writing retreat.’

Can you tell us what you’re working on now?

just finished my fourth cozy cat mystery book, Black Cat and the Key to the Treasure, a story that takes place here at home and also a mystery simultaneously in Austria. Look for it next year. My next published novel will be the third Mrs. Odboddy adventure, Mrs. Odboddy–And Then There Was a Tiger, a WWII humorous mystery adventure, to be published in 2018, mid-summer.

Tell us about the dedication in your new book, if you wish.

Since this was a compilation of my own works over many years, I didn’t dedicate it to a specific person.

Do you prefer to read a physical book (with paper pages that really turn), or do you prefer an e-reader, or perhaps audio books?

I do not have an e-reader so definitely, prefer a paper book.

If you had an unlimited budget, is there something special you would do for your readers?

I make my books free on Amazon from time to time. Hopefully this will make it possible for those on a limited budget to enjoy my books. Also, a portion of my sales is donated to Cat Rescue organizations here in California.

Remind us where we can connect with you.

Facebook

Where is the new book available?

It is on Amazon. If you click the link, it will take you to Amazon’s All Things Cat page. The first complete story can be read for free in the LOOK INSIDE feature. If you like what you see, All Things Cat in e-book can be purchased for $2.99. Please check out my three other cozy cat mysteries, and two WWII humorous mystery adventures.
Thanks for visiting again, Elaine! I think your idea of cat stories is great and I wish you lots of success!

Stay tuned for the First Tuesday Recipe post, which will post shortly.

Until next time,
Amy