Help Me Choose a Book Club Read

I’m hosting book club again in September! You know what that means: you all get to decide what book we read. There are five books listed below, and down at the bottom, a poll where you can cast your vote for the next book club read. As I did last time, I’ve provided the cover and the Amazon blurb for each book, so read through them and let me know which title you choose. I’ll announce the winner next Tuesday.

And thanks for your help!

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Florence Adler Swims Forever: A Novel by [Rachel Beanland]

Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland. Here’s what Amazon says about it:

Atlantic City, 1934. Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to “America’s Playground” and move into the small apartment above their bakery. Despite the cramped quarters, this is the apartment where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence, and it always feels like home.

Now Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. After Joseph insists they take in a mysterious young woman whom he recently helped emigrate from Nazi Germany, the apartment is bursting at the seams.

Esther only wants to keep her daughters close and safe but some matters are beyond her control: there’s Fannie’s risky pregnancy—not to mention her always-scheming husband, Isaac—and the fact that the handsome heir of a hotel notorious for its anti-Semitic policies, seems to be in love with Florence.

When tragedy strikes, Esther makes the shocking decision to hide the truth—at least until Fannie’s baby is born—and pulls the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, bringing long-buried tensions to the surface that reveal how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal.

Based on a true story and told in the vein of J. Courtney Sullivan’s Saints for All Occasions and Anita Diamant’s The Boston Girl, Beanland’s family saga is a breathtaking portrait of just how far we will go to in order to protect our loved ones and an uplifting portrayal of how the human spirit can endure—and even thrive—after tragedy.

 

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Mexican Gothic by [Silvia Moreno-Garcia]

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Here’s the blurb:

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

 

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The Last Train to Key West by [Chanel Cleeton]

The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton. Here’s what Amazon says about it:

For the tourists traveling on Henry Flagler’s legendary Overseas Railroad, Labor Day weekend is an opportunity to forget the economic depression gripping the nation. But one person’s paradise can be another’s prison, and Key West-native Helen Berner yearns to escape.

After the Cuban Revolution of 1933 leaves Mirta Perez’s family in a precarious position, she agrees to an arranged marriage with a notorious American. Following her wedding in HavanaMirta arrives in the Keys on her honeymoon. While she can’t deny the growing attraction to her new husband, his illicit business interests may threaten not only her relationship, but her life.

Elizabeth Preston’s trip to Key West is a chance to save her once-wealthy family from their troubles after the Wall Street crash. Her quest takes her to the camps occupied by veterans of the Great War and pairs her with an unlikely ally on a treacherous hunt of his own.

Over the course of the holiday weekend, the women’s paths cross unexpectedly, and the danger swirling around them is matched only by the terrifying force of the deadly storm threatening the Keys.

 

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The Glass Woman: A Novel by [Caroline Lea]

The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea. Here’s the blurb:

Rósa has always dreamed of living a simple life alongside her Mamma in their remote village in Iceland, where she prays to the Christian God aloud during the day, whispering enchantments to the old gods alone at night. But after her father dies abruptly and her Mamma becomes ill, Rósa marries herself off to a visiting trader in exchange for a dowry, despite rumors of mysterious circumstances surrounding his first wife’s death.

Rósa follows her new husband, Jón, across the treacherous countryside to his remote home near the sea. There Jón works the field during the day, expecting Rósa to maintain their house in his absence with the deference of a good Christian wife. What Rósa did not anticipate was the fierce loneliness she would feel in her new home, where Jón forbids her from interacting with the locals in the nearby settlement and barely speaks to her himself.

Seclusion from the outside world isn’t the only troubling aspect of her new life—Rósa is also forbidden from going into Jón’s attic. When Rósa begins to hear strange noises from upstairs, she turns to the local woman in an attempt to find solace. But the villager’s words are even more troubling—confirming many of the rumors about Jón’s first wife, Anna, including that he buried her body alone in the middle of the night.

Rósa’s isolation begins to play tricks on her mind: What—or who—is in the attic? What happened to Anna? Was she mad, a witch, or just a victim of Jón’s ruthless nature? And when Jón is brutally maimed in an accident a series of events are set in motion that will force Rósa to choose between obedience and defiance—with her own survival and the safety of the ones she loves hanging in the balance.

 

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These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901

These is My Words by Nancy Turner. Here’s the Amazon blurb:

A moving, exciting, and heartfelt American saga inspired by the author’s own family memoirs, these words belong to Sarah Prine, a woman of spirit and fire who forges a full and remarkable existence in a harsh, unfamiliar frontier. Scrupulously recording her steps down the path Providence has set her upon—from child to determined young adult to loving mother—she shares the turbulent events, both joyous and tragic, that molded her, and recalls the enduring love with cavalry officer Captain Jack Elliot that gave her strength and purpose.

Rich in authentic everyday details and alive with truly unforgettable characters, These Is My Words brilliantly brings a vanished world to breathtaking life again.

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Now you choose!

 

Until next time,

Amy

 

Trudy’s Diary

If you receive my newsletter, you’re going to get a note today that looks suspiciously like this post. But bear with me, because I’m so excited to announce that Trudy’s Diary: A Libraries of the World Mystery is finally available for pre-order!

Here’s what you need to know:

Daisy Carruthers is an anthropologist who moves to Washington, DC, for a new start following an emotionally-wrenching period in her life. 

After her boss’s wife and the wife’s paramour are found dead within days of each other, Daisy finds herself thrust into the investigation when both her boss and her best friend are implicated in the crimes. 

And when she comes across a diary and an antique novel with suspiciously similar stories and unknown origins, she knows all the mysteries are somehow connected.

Can she figure out the identity of the killer–or killers–before it’s too late?

Trudy’s Diary is available for pre-order on ebook and in paperback. Click the following links to reserve your copy!

Kindle ebook

Amazon paperback

Nook, Kobo, iTunes

Thanks for your support! I am very grateful for it.

Until next time,

Amy

Meet Densie Webb!

You'll Be Thinking of Me
This week I welcome Densie Webb, author of You’ll Be Thinking of Me. Nice to have you here on Reade and Write, Densie!
Tell me about your new book.
My novel, You’ll Be Thinking of Me, is the story of a young woman who has a chance encounter with a celebrity, takes an innocent video of the two of them and when it gets posted online, she becomes the target of celebrity stalker, who thinks the young woman is interfering with her relationship with the celebrity. There’s a healthy dose of both suspense and romance and, I’ve been told, a very surprising ending.
Who is the audience for the book?
I’ve had women ranging in age from 19 to 60 read it and say they enjoyed it. I’ve even had a few male readers. But women are the primary audience.
Tell me about the setting of your book—how did you choose it, what kind of research did you have to do, why did you choose it?
Everything takes place in New Jersey, Manhattan and Brooklyn. I lived in all 3 places and have a good friend who lives in the town where one of the main characters is from. I didn’t really have to do much research on the setting, since I lived it.
What was the hardest thing about writing the book?
Everything! I rewrote the beginning and the ending countless times. The time line with seasons changing was tough to keep track of after a certain point. I don’t like using outlines, but I did eventually have to lay out the months, so there wasn’t ice on the steps in August!
If your book were made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the main characters?
I think every author thinks about that. For the main male character, Mick Sullivan, I would say someone like Robert Pattinson (Edward from “Twilight”), Kit Harrington (Jon Snow on “Game of Thrones”) or Max Irons (son of Jeremy). They all have that tortured pout down pat. For the female lead, I’ve thought about Dakota Johnson (“50 Shades of Grey)”, she has a very girl next door look about her; maybe Jenifer awrence, she can be dressed up or down; and Analeigh Tipton (“Stupid, Crazy Love,” “The Two Night Stand,” and “Warm Bodies”). These are all comedies, but she’s great in drama too and very girl next door.
Have you written any other books?
This is my debut novel, but I’m working on two others. One is a contemporary paranormal romance, which may or may not have a sequel, and the other is women’s fiction—a family drama.
Are you in one or more critique groups or partnerships?
I have an awesome critique partner. We meet once or twice a week. We get each other’s writing and it just works. I’ve belonged to several critique groups, but I’ve found that the one-on-one is working best.
Do you write every day?
No. I wish I did. I write and edit non-fiction for a living and sometimes by the end of the day, I’ve got nothing left. But I try to squeeze in a few words whenever I can and the brain is willing to cooperate.
When you read a book, what authors do you like best? What genres do you like best?
I hate answering this question. There are so many wonderful authors out there. But if forced to answer, I’d say Liane Moriorty, Jo Jo Moyes, Emily Giffin, Mary Kubica. I love women’s fiction, and I like it to have some romance and heartache or, I guess I should say I like books that contain some relationship back and forth, which all of these books do in some form or another. I prefer a Happy For Now or a heartbreak ending over a Happily Ever After ending. But a tortuous road to Happily Ever After works too.
Where would you like to go more than anywhere else on earth?
I don’t get to travel outside the U.S. much, so I haven’t given it much thought. But if
someone were to hand me a ticket to anywhere, I guess I’d like to visit Croatia or maybe
Prague (in the summertime, of course).
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Never give up and be prepared for criticism and rejection. It comes with the territory.
What is your favorite movie and why?
That’s just as hard as picking a favorite book. I love movies. I’m a sucker for “The Notebook;” I cry my eyes out every time. “When Harry Met Sally” is just a feel-good movie that I never tire of watching. “Jumper” is a sci-fi movie about moving through space at will. I’ve watched it countless times. “500 Days of Summer” is romantic comedy with a dash of sadness. I’m sure I’m missing some.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Start writing sooner!!
Describe yourself in three words.
Laid back, accepting, flexible.
Is there anything I haven’t asked that you wanted me to?
I think that about covers it.
Where can readers connect with you?
My website: www.densiewebb.com
Where can readers find your books? 
Densie Webb_2013