Two Readers in the Spotlight Today: Karyne Corum and Jennifer Pero

Today I continue the series of interviews in which I introduce my readers to each other. Since these interviews were completed a few months ago, the books these women have read most recently are out of date, but hopefully they’ll each have time to stop by to update us. Welcome to two readers, Karyne Corum and Jennifer Pero!

Karyne:                                                       Jennifer:

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*I tried to get these pictures to be the same size, but I couldn’t figure it out!*

First question: How often do you read?

KaryneAs often as I can. When I’m working on my manuscript, it tends to be less because I get so sucked into whatever I’m reading that no only will I not do any writing but dishes will go unwashed, clothes will pile up and frankly, family members will starve.

Jennifer: I try to read everyday, it relaxes me and keeps my mind active. I try to be a role model for my children to read everyday (only I don’t have my hubby sign a reading log for me).

What is the name of the last book you finished?

Karyne: The Book of Beloved (Pluto’s Snitch 1) by Carolyn Haines

JenniferDebbie Macomber’s Christmas Wishes

What are you reading now?

KaryneI’m usually dipping in and out of several books at the same time depending on my mood. Currently lined up is The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King, A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught me About Love, Friendship And The Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewics and, to keep up with my ten year old son, Lockwood and Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud.

JenniferActually I teach nursing school and I am reading their textbook, but I did start Danielle Steel’s A Gift of Hope.

What is your preferred genre?

KaryneMystery and Paranormal (as in ghost stories) are my top two favorites, but they run close to Suspense/Thriller.

JenniferFiction, life is too short to read all non-fiction!

How often do you venture outside your preferred genre?

KaryneIf I see a subject or an author that intrigues me, I’m always eager to try something new.

JenniferOccasionally I will if someone recommends a book to me.

What was the last book you read outside your preferred genre?

KaryneThe one I’m reading now, A Jane Austen Education. I’m a huge fan of Austen but normally I’d steer clear of non-fiction books about her because they tend to be dry and often clinical. So far this one as is funny and very clever.

JenniferSecrets of Hallstead House by Amy Reade.

Note from Reade and Write: I think we can all agree this answer gets extra points. 🙂

Are you in a book club?

KaryneNo. I have a hard time finding one where I live and online ones have tended to be very cliquish. If someone knows of a good one, I’d love to hear about it.

JenniferNo, if I had more time, I would enjoy that “me” time.

Where do you obtain most of the books you read- from a bookstore, online, the library, borrowed from a friend, etc.?

KaryneAnywhere and everywhere, from second hand bookstores and Amazon to Biblio.com, which is a used library book recycler. You can get great books for really cheap, but a lot are hard cover so you have to be ready to make that sort of space commitment. I also have the Kindle App on my iPad so I will get some there but I’m more of a paper and ink kind of woman.

JenniferI go to the library often and borrow from my mom or mother-in-law. If I see an interesting book at the book store I will buy it and share with my family.

How do you decide which books to read?

KaryneIf it’s an author I love, I will pretty much read anything by them unless the subject doesn’t grab me. If the synopsis of a book really sounds good and the first couple of pages hook me then it’s going home with me. But I have been known to leap blindly and find a real treasure or a clunker. I’ll also go on recommendations by friends or fellow writers. I’m recommending the heck out of Book of Beloved right now because it was just such a phenomenal book.

JenniferHonestly, the title, if it is inviting, I will give it a shot. I also look at known authors’ work and read that book

What is in your To-Be-Read pile?

KaryneAlong with the books above that I mentioned I also have The Red Dahlia by Lynda La Plante, The Burning Man by Christopher Fowler and Finders Keepers by Stephen King.

JenniferIn my home office on the floor and the titles are a laundry list in length……….

Do you pay attention to especially bad reviews of books when deciding whether to buy or read them?

KaryneI don’t think that reviews have ever played a huge role in what I choose to read. If I read a review by someone on Amazon, I’m less likely to take it seriously because of all the scandal that’s been going on with paid reviews and revenge reviewing. I tend to be skeptical in general with professional reviews. Reviews in the paper or through a celebrity book club can be manipulated by the prestige of the author or the house publishing the book. I don’t mean to disparage them entirely it’s just that there are too many non-impartial forces in motion behind them. Personal recommendations are more likely to get my attention because the person giving them is usually someone I can trust. Word of mouth can sell a book far better than anything else, in my opinion.

Note from Reade and Write: Amen to that!

JenniferNo, I try to make my own opinion of the books that I read.

Lots of people don’t have a favorite book for a variety of reasons. Do you have a favorite? What is it?

KaryneI could never be pinned down to one but there are several that stand out because of how they impacted me at the time I read them. My new favorite, Book of Beloved (Pluto’s Snitch #1) by Carolyn Haines, is a creepy, spine-tingling ghost story set in 1919 America amidst racial tensions, a dark and titillating legacy and a heroine who simply shines like no other. Raisa spoke to me as a woman on the cusp of voting rights struggling to find a career at a time when women were so oppressed. She never gives up or gives in, and considering how much women are fighting today for rights that should be a foregone conclusion, it’s very timely in its power and emotion. It will also scare the heck out of you. Pride and Prejudice because of how it affected me as a young woman in high school. Elizabeth Bennett became my favorite role model as I was beginning to flex my feminist muscles. Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, a powerhouse story of emotion about a small community of friends during glory days of San Francisco. Requiem for a Glass Heart by David L. Lindsey for intricate and exceptional female friendship story amidst chaos and espionage with a heart wrenching ending that will stay with you for a long time.

JenniferNo, it depends on the mood I am in, the season we are in, my life events that year.

Where is your favorite reading spot?

Karyne: On the couch, with a cup of coffee, and no one to disturb me.

JenniferAt the beach, on the deck, by the pool.

Anything else you want me to know?

KaryneI’m a writer, a mom, and a photographer. I love to offer up my services as a beta reader and interviewee.  Anyone who’d like to take me up on that just email me at karynecorum04@gmail.com.

JenniferI enjoy your books and look forward to more in the near future. Thank you for the opportunity to participate!!

Thank you both very much for participating in my reader interview series. I liked showcasing two readers today because it’s so interesting to see the differences in the books people read, how they choose those books, and their reading habits. I appreciate you both being here!

Until next time,

Amy

Reader Spotlight: Angela Holland

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As promised, this week I am featuring another reader here on Reade and Write. Welcome, Angela Holland!

How often do you read?

Every day.

What is the name of the last book you finished?

Newton & Polly by Jody Hedlund.

What are you reading now?

A Carol Christmas by Sheila Roberts.

What is your preferred genre?

Historical Fiction but I also enjoy cozy mysteries, romance and biographies.

How often do you venture outside your preferred genre?

Often.

What was the last book you read outside your preferred genre?

I am reading one now that is not historical fiction.

Are you in a book club?

Yes.

If so, what book did your club read last?

Sting by Sandra Brown

Where do you obtain most of the books you read- from a bookstore, online, the library, borrowed from a friend, etc.?

From Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

How do you decide which books to read?

First my genre and then by subject.

What is in your To-Be-Read pile?

I have many books in my TBR I am working my way through: Patience Griffin’s Quilts and Kilts Series as well as Laura Childs’s Tea Shop Mystery Series. 

Do you pay attention to especially bad reviews of books when deciding whether to buy or read them?

No. It seems that is people don’t like things, then I tend to like them.

Lots of people don’t have a favorite book for a variety of reasons. Do you have a favorite? What is it?

The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon is one of my favorites.

Where is your favorite reading spot?

Anywhere and everywhere.

Anything else you want me to know?

I have loved reading since I was little girl and never leave home without a book.

Thank you, Angela! I’ve enjoyed getting to know more about you and your reading habits!

Until next time,

Amy

Reader Spotlight: Carol Thompson

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Today on Reade and Write I welcome a dear friend, Carol Thompson. We sing in the choir together and play in the bell choir together, and she and her husband are very special people.

How often do you read?

I read everyday although sometimes it’s just a short devotional.

What is the name of the last book you finished?

The last book I finished was The Covenant by Beverly Lewis.

What are you reading now?

I am currently reading Broken Identity by Ashley Williams.

What is your preferred genre?

It’s hard to pick a preferred genre but I always like Romance or Cozy Mysteries. I stay away from books that are extremely violent or graphic. I always like to read books about the Amish as my mother’s family originated in Lancaster, PA, and many of them still live there today.

How often do you venture outside your preferred genre?

Since I have more then 1 preferred genre I rarely venture outside of it.

What was the last book you read outside your preferred genre?

Since I don’t usually read historical fiction the last time I ventured out side of my preferred genre was several months ago when I read The Red Tent.

Are you in a book club?

I am currently in a book club.

If so, what book did your club read last?

The last book my book club read was The Happiness Project.

Where do you obtain most of the books you read- from a bookstore, online, the library, borrowed from a friend, etc.?

I usually obtain my books online.

How do you decide which books to read?

When I’m deciding on books to read sometimes I go by friends’ recommendations but many times I go by price and the online description of the book.

What is in your To-Be-Read pile?

I have lots of books in my to be read pile. Hester on the Run, Seek Me With All Your Heart, and Dying to Read to name a few. Of course The House On Candlewick Lane is on my to read list and I’m just waiting for it to come out. Please note, I did not pay Carol to say that!! And I’m thrilled to hear it!

Do you pay attention to especially bad reviews of books when deciding whether to buy or read them?

I really don’t pay attention to reviews when choosing a book unless someone I know has read it and gave it a bad review.

Lots of people don’t have a favorite book for a variety of reasons. Do you have a favorite? What is it?

My favorite book is The Bible but in fiction there are too many for me to choose just one.

Where is your favorite reading spot?

My glider in my living room is my favorite spot for reading or on the beach.

Anything else you want me to know?

I think it might interest you to know that I got my love of reading from my mother. She always read to us even after we learned to read. She would read 1 chapter of a book to us each morning before we went to school. Usually it was a chapter from Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, or The Boxcar Children. When I was a child I wanted to live in a boxcar. Lots of mornings other neighborhood children would stop by to hear the story. What a great way to start the day. I agree. What a wonderful memory!

Thanks for stopping in to talk today, Carol. I enjoyed having you here!

Until next time,

Amy

P.S. My publisher is giving away two copies of The House on Candlewick Lane on Goodreads! If you’d like to enter, click here.

Spotlight: Rabbi Ilene Schneider

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Today on Reade and Write I welcome Rabbi Ilene Schneider, who is both an author and an avid reader. I had the pleasure of meeting her at a Malice Domestic convention in Bethesda, Maryland, and I’m thrilled to finally host her here. Ilene answers my questions for readers today, but I hope to have her back soon to answer my questions for writers, too!

Welcome to Reade and Write, Ilene!

How often do you read?

Constantly. When do I not read is easier to answer: when I’m talking with someone, when I’m driving, when I’m sleeping, when I’m in the shower, when I’m at the movies or a play or concert, when I’m at religious services … I can’t think of any other times I don’t read. I even read while watching TV. 

What is the name of the last book you finished?

The Cat in the Living Room, a natural and cultural history of house cats.

What are you reading now?

I just started Alexandra Sokoloff’s Huntress Moon.

What is your preferred genre?

Cozy mysteries, with ventures into natural history books (recently reread John McPhee’s Pine Barrens for the umpteenth time) and popular history (anything by Erik Larson).

What was the last book you read outside your preferred genre?

The Cat in the Living Room.

Are you in a book club?

No.

Where do you obtain most of the books you read- from a bookstore, online, the library, borrowed from a friend, etc.?

Kindle. I’m addicted to it. I realized a while ago it’s not books I love but reading.

How do you decide which books to read?

Recommendations, reviews, new releases by authors I’ve enjoyed in the past, books by authors I’ve met.

What is in your To-Be-Read pile?

How much time and space do you have? 28 on my to-be-read list, 39 on my “classics” (books I may reread, including such books as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Maltese Falcon, as well as Sherlock Holmes, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, etc.), 26 nature, history, biography, and research.

Do you pay attention to especially bad reviews of books when deciding whether to buy or read them?

Yes, I want to see if any of the negative reviews contain criticisms of things I dislike, like excessively gory or gratuitous violence, explicit or gratuitous sex, lack of character development, stilted dialogue …

Lots of people don’t have a favorite book for a variety of reasons. Do you have a favorite? What is it?

Whatever I’m currently reading. Assuming I like it to begin with.

Where is your favorite reading spot?

Wherever I am.

Anything else you want me to know?

If I have to lose a sense, I’d prefer anything but sight. I am a visual learner, so audio books won’t do it for me.

 

Rabbi Ilene Schneider, Ed.D., one of the first six women rabbis ordained in the U.S., has finally decided what she wants to be when she grows up. She retired from her day job to devote full time to writing. She is the author of the Rabbi Aviva Cohen mysteries: Chanukah Guilt, which was nominated for the Deadly Ink David Award for Best Mystery of 2007, was one of My Shelf’s 2007 Top Ten Reads, and was a Midwest Book Review Reviewers Choice Book; and Unleavened Dead, which won First Place from the Public Safety Writers Association, and was nominated for the Deadly Ink David Award for Best Mystery of 2012. Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine called Unleavened Dead “… a solid, funny mystery that provides an insider’s look at Jewish life.” A resident of Marlton, NJ, near Philadelphia, she has completed  the third book in the series, Yom Killer, and is also the author of Talk Dirty Yiddish.

new-cg-front-cover          unleaveneddead-cover

Please visit her website/blog: http://rabbiauthor.com or email her at rabbi.author@yahoo.com.

Thanks for stopping by, Ilene!

Until next time,

Amy

Reader Spotlight: Dru Ann Love

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It is my pleasure to welcome Dru Ann Love to Reade and Write today. If you follow any mystery writers online, you may have heard of Dru. She hosts a blog, Dru’s Book Musings (more about that below), where she reviews many of the books she reads and where authors regularly contribute posts about a day in the life of one of their characters. I’ve had the honor of meeting Dru several times at Malice and Bouchercon conventions.

Welcome, Dru!

How often do you read?

I read 2-4 books per week.

 

What is the name of the last book you finished?

The Queen’s Accomplice by Susan Elia MacNeal.

 

What are you reading now?

Literary Dead by Lois Winston, the second book in the “Empty Nest” series.

 

What is your preferred genre?

Cozy mysteries.

 

How often do you venture outside your preferred genre?

For every 10 cozy mystery books I read, I’ll read another genre. That’s a great way to get out of a comfort zone!

 

What was the last book you read outside your preferred genre?

The Queen’s Accomplice by Susan Elia MacNeal.

 

Are you in a book club?

No, I’m not. I used to be.

 

Where do you obtain most of the books you read- from a bookstore, online, the library, borrowed from a friend, etc.?

I buy most of the cozy mysteries I read. If not, I get from the library.

 

How do you decide which books to read?

If it’s a first book in a new series, I’ll read that first and then it’s whatever mood I’m in for the other books. There are some people who like to read series in the order in which the books are written, then there are others who don’t really care. I have to say for me, it depends on the series. Sometimes I read in order, sometimes I jump around.

 

What is in your To-Be-Read pile?

Too many books to count (cozies, thrillers, suspense and women’s lit).

 

Do you pay attention to especially bad reviews of books when deciding whether to buy or read them?

No, I do not. I know what I like to read.

 

Lots of people don’t have a favorite book for a variety of reasons. Do you have a favorite? What is it?

My favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird.

 

Where is your favorite reading spot?

The love seat in my living room.

 

Anything else you want me to know?

I’m owner of Dru’s Book Musings (https://drusbookmusing.com/). I’m an avid reader and I love attending author/reader fan conventions. I also love meeting other readers and sharing our love of books.

Thanks for being part of the Reader Spotlight series, Dru!

 

I’ve gotten a great response from people who’d like to be included in the Reader Spotlights. One of the things I like best about interviewing readers is learning about books and authors that are new to me. I also love to know more about people’s reading habits.

Until next week,

Amy

 

 

Reader Spotlight: Fiona McVie

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In the second installment of my Reader Spotlight series, I’d like to introduce everyone to Fiona McVie, probably the most prolific author interviewer I’ve ever known! Fiona lives in Scotland and has an impressive portfolio of interviews on her website and Facebook page. Welcome, Fiona!

How often do you read?

I read every day, I always take a book when travelling on the bus to work or train to the city.

 

What is the name of the last book you finished?

Gabriel by M.A Abraham

 

What are you reading now?

Marious’ Story by M.A Abraham and Temptation in a Kilt by Victoria Roberts.

 

What is your preferred genre?

I read all genre as long as the book is well written I will read it.

 

Are you in a book club?

No.

 

Where do you obtain most of the books you read- from a bookstore, online, the library, borrowed from a friend, etc.?

I buy my books from book shops, supermarkets and Amazon.

 

How do you decide which books to read?
Cover most times.

 

What is in your To-Be-Read pile?
Too many to count I have over 200 on my wish list at Amazon and slowly buying a few each month.

 

Do you pay attention to especially bad reviews of books when deciding whether to buy or read them?

No everyone has a different thought about a book. One person might hate it while another will love the book. I make up my own mind.

 

Lots of people don’t have a favorite book for a variety of reasons. Do you have a favorite? What is it?

I don’t have any favorite book. I like so far all the books I have brought over the years.

 

Where is your favorite reading spot?
Nope I read anywhere: bus, train, bed, on a hill.

 

Anything else you want me to know?

I love reading so much I started a blog where I interview authors. You can check it out here: www.authorsinterviews.wordpress.com. I also write poems. Here are 2 of my poems:
Hero

You are my hero, Dad
You’re my secure foundation.
When I think of you, I’m filled with love
And fond appreciation.
You make me feel protected;
I’m sheltered by your care.
You’re always my true friend; and Dad,
When I need you, you’re always there.
You have a place of honor
Deep within my heart.
You’ve been my superhero, Dad,
Right from the very start.

2ed of June 1940 to 31st of December 1991 RIP

 
My little angel above
My little angel above
My heart sinks when I think
That God took you away from me
At 12 hours old

He must have something special for you
As it is just the good he takes
And I know your dad
Will look after you up there

I know you are looking down on me
On your angel cloud
But it does not stop me
Being heartbroken

John-Andrew 24/12/1980 – 25/121980

 

Those are beautiful. Thanks for being on Reade and Write, Fiona.

Until next week,

Amy

Meet a Reader: Sharon Aguanno

  • Sharon Aguanno Reader interview
  • Here on Reade and Write I’m trying out a new idea- I’ve had such a great response from my interviews of authors that I thought it would be fun to interview readers, too! My first reader interviewee is Sharon Aguanno, a woman I met just after my first book, Secrets of Hallstead House, came out. She sent me a message on Facebook asking a question about the book and we’ve been in online contact almost every day since then. If you read the comments after each post here on my blog, you’ll notice that Sharon has been a faithful commenter every week. I’m so grateful for her friendship. Welcome, Sharon!
  • How often do you read?
    I try to read daily. If I am not reading a book, I am reading blogs, which I love!
    What is the name of the last book you finished?
    If audio counts, I just finished listening to Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction, by Amy Metz. Although I had previously read it, I wanted to hear the southern speak. And I just finished Maggie King’s Murder At The Book Group.
    Audio books definitely count! What are you reading now?
    I just downloaded Memory of Light, by Mollie Cox Bryan (This is outside of my genre, but I love Mollie’s writing style, so I am going to read it.)\
    I’m also looking forward to reading Memory of Light. What is your preferred genre?
    Mysteries, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Crime, Detective stories and Law and Order.
    How often do you venture outside your preferred genre?
    That’s a good question. A year ago I would have said never. However, last year I read 75 books- 40 new (to me) authors and many genres. The only genre I will stay completely away from is horror. I am a big
    scaredy-cat.
    What was the last book you read outside your preferred genre?
    The Retreat, by Chariss K. Walker.
    Are you in a book club?
    No, I don’t have the patience to read a book at a slow pace. However, I do like when an author adds discussion questions at the end of the book.
    Where do you obtain most of the books you read- from a bookstore, online, the library, borrowed from a friend, etc.?
    Online, and occasionally someone will send me a book via mail.
    How do you decide which books to read?
    I follow lots of author and Facebook pages. When I need a book, I go out to the blogs and pick one.
    What is in your To-Be-Read pile?
    I was upset in January and I discarded my TBR. I figured I would never get to them. Now it’s July and I realize I should have kept it… LOL. There are a handful of books that I downloaded when they were free. Mostly cozies! Kathi Daley, Mollie Cox Bryan, Sarah Hobart, just to name a few. Also, my TBR usually contains authors and books. I see an author on a blog or Facebook page and I go out to Amazon and check them out. For example, if it’s a series, I like to start with the first book rather than their Work-in-Progress.
    Do you pay attention to especially bad reviews of books when deciding whether to buy or read them?
    Absolutely NOT. I have found that bad reviews usually come from people who haven’t even finished the book. A little criticism or suggestion of what a reader would like to see is one thing, but rudeness in a review is unacceptable!
    Amen to that! Lots of people don’t have a favorite book for a variety of reasons. Do you have a favorite? What is it?
    Reading is my passion; I don’t have a favorite book, but lots of favorite authors. When I find somebody I like, I will read everything they write!
    Where is your favorite reading spot? 
    My bedroom. I have a cozy chair and I face a big window looking out onto the street. Since I am on the second floor, I look at roof tops and trees, and I love the sunrise as it comes over the homes in the morning.
  • Anything else you want me to know?
    Yes; since reading is my all time favorite thing to do, I follow many authors and blogs. Occasionally I will come across one that I disagree with and I don’t have a problem stating that. Having said that, I want you and all authors to know that I have the utmost respect for your profession. Being able to create characters, dream up a plot and tie it all together is a talent that the avid reader, like me, only dreams about!
    Thank you! That’s such a nice way to end the interview. I loved having you on Reade and Write! Sharon didn’t mention it, but she has her own blog where she talks about all things books. You can check it out by clicking the following link: https://newyorkarmymom.wordpress.com/.
  • I’m looking for more readers who would like to share their love of reading! If you’re interested in being interviewed, let me know in the comments below and I’ll be in touch. Authors, you’re welcome to put on your reader hats and join in!
  • Until next week,
  • Amy
  • P.S. You may have noticed these bullet points throughout my last several posts. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how to get rid of them. I’ve tried everything.