Reading Round-Up: August Edition

I have some fabulous books to share with you this month! I wanted to have more than four, but that’s the way it worked out. My August reads ran the gamut from funny to suspenseful to historical to classic.

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The first book I finished this month was Jeeves and the King of Clubs. If you’ve read any of P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster books, I recommend you read this one, too. It’s a great addition to the collection. Here’s my review:

“This book, written in homage to the great P.G. Wodehouse, is a laugh-out-loud caper complete with espionage, aristocratic dalliances, clever disguises, jealous lovers, and a hard-headed aunt hell-bent on upsetting the balance of power among British condiment producers. Ben Schott did an exceptional job with his back-and-forth banter between Bertie and Jeeves. I loved every minute of this book.”

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The second book I read was I Am Mrs. Jesse James by Pat Wahler. This is an extraordinary work of historical fiction about the wife of the infamous outlaw. The amount of research that must have gone into writing the story is astonishing. Here’s my review:

“I had a hard time putting this book down for things like meals and sleeping. It is one of the best books of historical fiction that I’ve read. It tells the story of Zee James, as much as possible from the scant materials written about the wife of the infamous outlaw Jesse James. Where the historical record was too thin, the author supplemented realistic and highly likely scenarios based on her extensive research and knowledge of the time period and the real-life characters. Even though I knew how the story would end, this book kept me turning pages late into the night.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a great book of historical fiction as well as anyone interested in American society following the Civil War.

Read this book. You’ll be glad you did.”

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Many people have read Wuthering Heights, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in thinking it’s one of the best books of the nineteenth century. Interestingly, some of the other best books of that century were written by the sisters of Emily Bronte. Here’s my review:

“*sigh* There are not many books that I will re-read, simply because there are too many great books out there, but this is one of them.

It is the story of madness, romance, and revenge–cold, brutal revenge for sins of fathers (and others). Heathcliff and Catherine are unforgettable characters that meet by serendipitous or ominous chance, depending on whom you ask. The love that grows between them is both fierce and poisonous.

Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights are characters in themselves: one is light and bright, the other dark and brooding. If you’ve never read this book, I recommend it as a great study in character and setting. And if you read it way back when (maybe in high school?), read it again. There’s something new to discover with every reading.”

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I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone who has to get up early for work the next day, because you’re going to be reading past your bedtime. I can almost guarantee it. What She Knew is a fantastic psychological thriller full of twists and surprises, and I found it almost painful to have to wait to get to the last few pages to find out whodunit. Here’s my review:

“This story gripped me from page one and didn’t let go until I had read the final sentence. I felt like I couldn’t read fast enough, that I had to get to the end to see for myself how everything turns out. It was all I could do to slow down enough to digest every paragraph.

This is the story of a young boy who is abducted, his mother’s debilitating guilt over it, secrets that have the power to destroy a family, and the power of the media and, in particular, social media. This is a story that is going to stay with me.”

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What are you reading? I hope you’ll share in the comments below!

Until next time,

Amy

And Now for Some BSP: Blatant Self-Promotion

My latest release, The House on Candlewick Lane, is on sale for 99¢ and I’m trying to spread the word far and wide. If you’ve read the book, thank you very much. If you’ve read the book and left a review, you are awesome.

And if you haven’t read the book, this is your chance!!

Here’s a quick summary of the novel:

It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Greer Dobbins’ daughter has been kidnapped—and spirited across the Atlantic to a hiding place in Scotland. Greer will do anything to find her, but the streets of Edinburgh hide a thousand secrets—including some she’d rather not face.

Art historian Dr. Greer Dobbins thought her ex-husband, Neill, had his gambling addiction under control. But in fact he was spiraling deeper and deeper into debt. When a group of shady lenders threatens to harm the divorced couple’s five-year-old daughter if he doesn’t pay up, a desperate Neill abducts the girl and flees to his native Scotland. Though the trail seems cold, Greer refuses to give up and embarks on a frantic search through the medieval alleys of Edinburgh—a city as beguiling as it is dangerous. But as the nightmare thickens with cryptic messages and a mysterious attack, Greer herself will become a target, along with everyone she holds dear.

Doesn’t that sound like something you want to read TODAY?!

Here’s the Amazon link if you’re interested: http://amzn.to/2ruijTR

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2kJMNLO

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2s3VUKO

Google: http://bit.ly/2kV6JNQ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2rkeD7M

Thank you! If you’re inclined to share this post, I would be most grateful!

Until next week,

Amy

Author Spotlight: Patricia Gligor, Part II

Today on Reade and Write I’m thrilled to welcome Patricia Gligor back for another interview! She’s here to discuss her brand-new, just-out-today book, Marnie Malone. Happy Book Birthday, Pat!

Tell us about Marnie Malone.

Marnie Malone is my fifth Malone mystery. I think the best way to tell you about it is through the blurb:

Someone is stalking Marnie.

It’s Marnie’s last week at the law firm of Cliburn & Reeves and she feels like she’s riding an emotional roller coaster. Up when she wins the divorce and custody battle for Callie Jackson against her abusive husband, Jed. And plummeting down when one witness after another decides not to testify against Mark Hall, an attorney at another Charleston firm and an “alleged” serial rapist.

Marnie receives one threat after another and she constantly feels the need to look over her shoulder, convinced that someone is stalking her. With Sam out of town on business, she’s alone in the big, old farmhouse and strange things are happening. Noises in the attic, creaking floorboards and someone watching her from the woods.

As she tries to determine the identity of the stalker, the list of men who have grudges against her grows longer each day. In her line of work she’s made enemies. Is the stalker someone from the past or one of the men on her list? And, how far will he go?

It sounds exciting! How long did it take you to write?

I started writing Marnie Malone in the early summer of 2015, after the release of Mistaken Identity. I was making progress when, unexpectedly, my mother sold her house and I had to move both of us into apartments. So, from October until the beginning of January 2016, I put the book on hold; there was simply no time to write. I finished writing and proof-reading the manuscript and I sent it to my publisher this past August.

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?

For each of my Malone mysteries, I started with a stack of notes, ideas for the book. Then I compiled them and created a chapter-by-chapter outline, listing what absolutely had to happen in each chapter. I guess you could say I wrote the book in my head first – to a degree. As I wrote, the outline was updated as necessary because, as in life, things didn’t always work out the way I’d originally planned. Often, my characters had other ideas.

This is my favorite question: Tell us a secret about one of your characters- something that’s not in the book.

I wracked my brain trying to answer this question and then I had to smile. Because I realized that any secrets my characters had were revealed by the end of Marnie Malone. A fitting and necessary conclusion (at least for now) to a series I’ve loved writing.

What time of day do you do your best writing?

I’m a morning person so I do my best writing then. As the day progresses and other responsibilities pop up, my creativity lessens. By evening, I’m lucky to write a cohesive sentence. Or my name. LOL

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

I’m currently working on something different. A mystery/suspense standalone told in the first person. I hesitate at this point to call it a Romantic Suspense novel but there will be a strong romantic element, which has a huge impact on the plot.

Tell us about the dedication in Marnie Malone, if you wish.

I’m dedicating Marnie Malone to my brother, Steve, and my two beautiful nieces, Amber and Kelly. Family and friends mean everything to me!

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 definitely prefer a physical (paper) book. However, I read a lot of books on my Kindle, only because I’m on a limited budget and I can get so many more books for my money.

Remind us where we can connect with you.

You can connect with me (and I hope you will) at:

My blog: http://pat-writersforum.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patricia.gligor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PatriciaGligor

Where is the new book available?

Marnie Malone can be ordered through your local book store and is available online at:

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/gnvn4kq

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Patricia+Gligor/_/N-8qa?_requestid=305533

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/search?Query=Patricia%20Gligor&ac.morein=true&ac.title=Patricia%20Gligor

   

Thank you for inviting me to be your guest, Amy. I had a lot of fun responding to your questions.

Pat, it’s always a pleasure to talk to you and I look forward to having you here again! Best wishes and congratulations on Marnie Malone!

Until next week,

Amy

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Release Day!

Good Tuesday morning! When I started working on The House on Candlewick Lane a million years ago (at least it seems that way), it felt like February 7, 2017, would never arrive. But here it is, and I’m thrilled to have the book out in the world!

amy-reade

For those readers who may not be familiar with what the book is about, here’s the Amazon teaser, along with the link to purchase the book if you’re interested:

“It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Greer Dobbins’ daughter has been kidnapped—and spirited across the Atlantic to a hiding place in Scotland. Greer will do anything to find her, but the streets of Edinburgh hide a thousand secrets—including some she’d rather not face.

Art historian Dr. Greer Dobbins thought her ex-husband, Neill, had his gambling addiction under control. But in fact he was spiraling deeper and deeper into debt. When a group of shady lenders threatens to harm the divorced couple’s five-year-old daughter if he doesn’t pay up, a desperate Neill abducts the girl and flees to his native Scotland. Though the trail seems cold, Greer refuses to give up and embarks on a frantic search through the medieval alleys of Edinburgh—a city as beguiling as it is dangerous. But as the nightmare thickens with cryptic messages and a mysterious attack, Greer herself will become a target, along with everyone she holds dear.”

Link: click here

If you read my guest post on Just 4 My Books last week, you’ll know that I spent one semester in college as an intern at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. And even though I was only there for a few months, the organization and the work it does for families made a lasting impact on me. I learned that familial kidnapping is far more prevalent than stranger kidnapping, even though stranger kidnappings are almost always the ones we hear about on the news. The topic of familial kidnapping is explored in the book, albeit in the wrapping of a larger, more far-reaching mystery.

The House on Candlewick Lane is the first book in the Malice series, which currently consists of three books. Each book has a different main character, but you’ll find some characters that drop in throughout the series (some more than others). The second book in the series is called Highland Peril and will be out in the fall. The third book, with a working title of Death Comes to Thistlecross, will be out next year. I sincerely hope you’ll read the books and enjoy them as they introduce you (or take you back, if you’ve been there) to some of the most beautiful places in the United Kingdom.

Until next time,

Amy

P.S. Please feel free to (read: you’ll have my eternal gratitude!) spread this post far and wide!

Book Recommendation: Death Runs in the Family

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Ready for another good book recommendation? I just finished Death Runs in the Family by Heather Haven and I really enjoyed it.

Death Runs in the Family is the third book in the Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries series, the first two being Murder is a Family Business and A Wedding to Die For. I first heard of Heather Haven when Death Runs in the Family was available for a free download on Kindle, and I’m happy to report that I will gladly purchase the other books in the series.

It is the story of Lee Alvarez (short for Liana) who, along with her mother and brother, works for Discretionary Inquiries, their family-owned investigative service.

When the story opens, Lee is being rudely awakened by the appearance at her front door of her ex-husband’s current wife, a beautiful and beguiling young woman who is desperate for Lee’s help.

The young wife has arrived simultaneously with some very bad news for Lee and her family, and the two events dovetail to create a whirlwind of danger, revenge, and villainy. I don’t want to get into a plot summary and spoil any of the details, but I will say that there’s murder, gambling, and catnapping.

Need I say more?

I loved the mystery. I loved the characters and the way the author developed their relationships, I thought the pacing of the story was perfect, and I even learned some Spanish! I found the family threads easy to follow, even though this was the third mystery in the series (normally I like to start at the beginning of a series, but there’s really no need to with this one).

The story takes place in several spots, including Las Vegas, Palo Alto, and one other locale that would spoil the ending if I reveal it. And speaking of Las Vegas, I learned about some of the seedier business deals that are transacted in Sin City, too.

The author ties all the plot lines together nicely at the end, so I put the book down feeling satisfied and ready to pick up some of her other novels. I hope you’ll give Heather Haven’s books a look and let me know what you think!

Until next week,

Amy