Happy Friday! It’s my turn to put together some book recommendations. Fortunately for me, I have a few readers who are helping me out. Before I started writing full-time, I was a voracious reader, but these days, my time is spent writing, and alas, the books I have yet to read are stacking up! You see, I’m very careful about not picking up ideas (consciously or subconsciously) from other writers so I avoid reading in my genre. I do read, but I keep to areas that don’t cross over into the paranormal world.
I’m going to start with a good friend of PEEPs, Amanda. She has two books she would like to recommend.
1. Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova. Amanda said, “Loved this beautiful story about family and unconditional love.”
2. The Widow by Fiona Barton. Amanda wrote: “This is a psychological thriller (so may not be for everyone). I however couldn’t put it down even though I didn’t like any of the main characters.”
Next up is Jennifer, she has two authors you may want to check out.
Jana DeLeon’s Mudbug series: Amazon classifies them as Ghost-in-law Mystery/Romance. There looks to be six or seven books in this series, excellent for binge readers!
T.M. Simmons: T.M. has two series: Dead Man Mysteries and Ghost Hunting Diaries.
Now’s my turn.
I have had the pleasure to get to know the following authors. Their novels range from Young Adult, True Crime, Slice of Life, Historical Sagas, Mystery, and a good Southern Ghost Story.
Sara Zaske debuted The First on Earth Day. Being a fan of Mother Nature, I followed my instincts and picked it up. Not normally a YA reader, I trod carefully through the first two chapters, taking in the good characterization and atypical teenage angst. I found myself enjoying the book as the plot unfolded. Vivid descriptions, great dialog and multidimensional main characters accompanied my journey through this fast-paced young adult adventure. I couldn't put it down, and when it was finished I wanted more.
This is a story with a conscience. It's about friendships lost and gained. Cassie finds herself intrigued by Violet, the silent girl in her class. Whether driven by curiosity or pity, a friendship is formed, and the journey begins. The First is an Earth Day adventure tale that will stay with you long after you read the last page.
*Sara’s German-parenting article caught the eye of a publisher, and she recently received a contract to write a book expanding on the information she has learned firsthand living and raising a family in Berlin, Germany.
Readers who have followed me for a while may have noticed that I have had some lively banter with Margaret Callow. She and I met on a now-defunct writers site aptly called Slush Pile Reader. Award winner Margaret Callow takes historical crimes and conflicts and melds them with her beautiful descriptions in order to produce her fine books. She unfortunately only has one book available in Kindle, Rust.
There are many reasons Alfred Rust graced the Chamber of Horrors at Tussauds for over 70 years. Margaret Callow illustrates these reasons to her readers with forensic precision and her artful narrative talents.
Judging from the author's psychological treatment of Mr. Rust, I dare say the scoundrel himself would be much impressed with her colorful description of his despicable life.
There's a delightful bit of irony at the end, too, so the readers can cleanse their palates after consuming tale after distasteful tale of his treachery and cunning.
I have been a fan of this author for years. Her ability to draw me into the story is magical.
There are two additional paperbacks of Margaret’s well-worth ordering for. They are A Pardon Too Few and A Rebellious Oak.
Ian (Stewart) Roberts is an Englishman living in Wales. I have been on the receiving end of many of Ian’s zingers over the internet, so I know how funny he can be. Thankfully, his wit is very apparent in The Emperor of Brazil Street. This is a great slice of life book about a retired teacher who finds himself in charge of a community center. If you like British situational comedies like I do, you’re going to love this book. It has love, adventure, and some very witty scenes. The Emperor of Brazil Street is full of over-the-top characters. I would love to see it made into a series.
Ian’s forte, however, is writing historical sagas: Catch the Sun and The Colour of Mud at Night (I love this title). He has a villain so vile in these novels that I wanted to have Murphy jump books and take him out with an axe! These books will take you from the Boer Wars in South Africa to the Major’s English estate where you will meet my favorite character DeCosta. Catch the Sun is about Jan Willem’s journey from a war-torn childhood to adjusting to the gentile life of the English countryside. The Colour of Mud at Night, the second book, picks up during World War I, with very vivid descriptions of a war that should have never happened, and the journey Jan took with his beloved friend Pincher to get back home to his family. There is everything in this book: heart, tragedy, honor, and a twist, I didn’t see coming. It is written so well and the characters are so engaging, that I’m surprised it hasn’t been picked up by Masterpiece Theatre yet.
I have mentioned Janice Ivy before. She is a great friend of mine. Just to remind you, Janice has a delightful mystery series, Taking out the Trash, Unlikely Angel, a paranormal angel romance, and a wonderful southern ghost story called Wisteria and Wood Smoke. If you haven’t yet, check her out. You won’t be disappointed!
I hope there is something for everybody in these lists. Thank you, Jennifer and Amanda, for your suggestions. The edits continue, and The Red Pen hasn’t gone out for another barrel of red ink yet, so I’m confident she’s liking the book. In the meanwhile, I’m working on a novella. Yes, finally. More news to come in future posts.
Have a wonderful week!