I'm not sure about where you live, but here in Vermont, "buying local" is a big thing. It usually refers to food (we have a lot of great farms in the state) but sometimes refers to other things such as buying from your local, small business instead of a big box store.
Reading local is something that I'm interested in. Turns out, I'm not the only one. I'm seeing more and more libraries in the area with special displays of local authors, and small, independent book stores, too.
Wouldn't it be fun to create a challenge and try to read more local authors? I'm still toying with ideas of how to do this...
In the meantime I learned that semi-local author, Louise Penny, has a new book coming out this year. Kay at Kay's Reading Life just posted about it. If you're a fan of Ms. Penny's then you'll definitely want to snag a copy when Kingdom of the Blind comes out.
Another local author whose book I'm enjoying right now is Beth Kanell's. Her most recent novel is called, The Long Shadow, and is a historical YA mystery. I'd started this book, gotten bogged down with other things and just picked it up again. I'm so glad that I did! Ms. Kanell's voice is true and pure, her attention to historical detail is mind-blowing and the story is thoroughly enjoyable.
What local books do you like? Is there a local author who you'd love to meet? Please share in the comments.
Suspense I'm reading:
Whew! Are you struggling as I am right now with the heat and humidity? In Vermont, we normally enjoy green, cool'ish summers, full of rainy days, sunny days and very often, a mix of the two in the same 24-hours. Not this year! This summer has been hot...really hot for our northern climate, and extra muggy too. I have to admit--this is my least favorite weather. This and the sub-zero temperatures that we often get in January and February. But then at least you don't feel guilty for not going outside! I'm definitely a 60s and 70s degree kinda girl and LOVE autumn and spring.
Despite the weather (or because of it?), I've been able to lose myself in some great suspense books lately. I just finished The House of Closed Doors by Jane Steen. As you know, I don't do book reviews here on the blog, only recommendations. I really enjoyed this novel. It's historical fiction (as you probably guessed from the lovely cover) and I did a little blurb about it recently in my video newsletter. I found The House of Closed Doors to be a great mix of family drama, history, and mystery. Check it out for yourself via the author's website, on Amazon or your local indie bookstore.
I've just delved into Ruth Ware's, The Death of Mrs. Westaway. I first fell in love with Ruth's work when I heard the audio version of her book The Woman in Cabin 10. I thoroughly enjoyed it and when on to read more books by this author. This is my fourth Ruth Ware novel and I have not been disappointed!
The Death of Mrs. Westaway follows a 20-something woman, "Hal" Westaway who works as a (skeptical) psychic, following in her deceased mother's footsteps. When Hal receives a letter notifying her that her grandmother has died and that she is a beneficiary, Hal is perplexed. Her grandmother has already died, so clearly this letter is a mistake.
Still, she's excited (Hal has serious money problems) but also filled with unease. While this woman wasn't her actual grandmother, Hal journeys to the estate anyway. It's a dark, creepy place swamped with magpies--the perfect Gothic setting. :) There she meets her "family" a mix of dark and light characters, each with their own mysterious issues...
Have you heard of this book yet? Want to check it out? Learn more about it via the author's website, on Goodreads, or snag a copy on Amazon or at your local bookshop.
Suspense I'm Writing:
I have to admit something here and now: I've never been a fan of short stories. I don't like reading them. Just when I'm getting really into the story, it's done. I don't like writing them. Very often it's harder to condense a story into 2000-10,000 words than it is to flesh out a full novel.
But, I do love to try experiments. And one of my newest is playing with short stories in between writing novels. I wrote one recently called, Runaway Train, for a contest (the first I've entered in many years--still just as nerve-wracking as I remember!). And now I'm working on one that has a working title of The Mansion. (Original title, I know.) I'm learning some fun facts about slang of the 1920s, as both stories are set there--not on purpose, it just turned out that way. Here are a few of my favorite slang terms from the Roaring 20s:
What are you reading this week? Or what's in your #TBR pile that you can't wait to start?
Had to share a picture of my "new" reading room (OK, it's a corner of my office). I nabbed a free bookcase last week and partnered it with another, older bookcase I inherited. Added in my grandmother's recovered (and super comfortable) chair and voila! A new reading nook. My kid pointed out that I need more books. Just what every bookworm dreams of hearing!
This week I'm doing something a little different: video book recommendations. You can check out my newest video on YouTube. I discuss two great suspense books I recently read and two more on my TBR list. Where's YOUR favorite place to curl up with a good book?
Happy Independence Day! If you know a veteran or someone currently serving in the military, why not thank them this week?
In my own bookish version of this theme, I'm celebrating a couple of wonderful indie authors. Read the full newsletter here with book recommendations for two stellar indie authors, Kathryn Guare and Steve Robinson.
I have to admit something here and now: I wanted to like this book. I read another book by Jenny Milchman, Cover of Snow, and really enjoyed it. I was honored to share space over at Kingdom Mysteries with Ms. Milchman recently. And I love, love, love suspense novels set in the great outdoors. This one, Wicked River, combines two of my passions: suspense and survival stories in one.
So what were my thoughts on this novel, set in the neighboring New York state? I loved it!
Not only did Ms. Milchman deliver a well-thought out story full of twists and (sometimes very) unexpected turns, but she also had a cast of really interesting and well-developed characters. The suspense was taut. The action was prevalent. And there was ample opportunity for the reader to wonder, "what ELSE can possibly go wrong?" just before the bottom fell out...again.
Want to learn more? Here's a description of Wicked River from the author's website:
"Six million acres of Adirondack forest separate Natalie and Doug Larson from civilization. For the newlyweds, an isolated, back country honeymoon seems ideal: a chance to start their lives together with an adventure, on their own. But just as Natalie and Doug begin to explore the dark interiors of their own hearts, as well as the depths of their love for each other, it becomes clear that they are not alone in the woods.
Because six million acres makes it easy for the wicked to hide. And even easier for someone to go missing for good."
Highly recommend this great book, Wicked River, which you can find via the usual online shopping channels, your local library or your favorite indie bookstore. Enjoy!
Welcome to the website of author J.P. Choquette (pronounced, "show-kett"). Join the Reader Group and nab a free short story, along with the latest news, goodies, upcoming event announcements and more.
Already read a book? Have you checked out her other suspense novels?