Reading Roundup Feed

What Would You Like to Read on the Blog?

 

Feedback-1977986_1280
Image courtesy of Pixabay.

It's been a while--since January, actually--since I've posted on the blog, and for that I apologize.

Long story short, I've struggled with what amounted to two full-time jobs for the past year, since I took that visiting professorship at Webster University, AND AT THE SAME TIME, MY INDIE GAME STUDIO BLEW UP. Don't get me wrong; this is a good problem to have these days. But when your priority list exceeds the number of hours in a given week, some things need to drop off, and sadly, this blog was one of them. 

But I've missed it. And you--its reason for being. As I look ahead to hopefully a more life-balanced rest of the year, I'm mulling over what this blog should and shouldn't be, and I'd love to get your opinion. So I created a survey.

It's short. Survey Monkey tells me you can take it in two minutes. If you've got two minutes to spare, please weigh in on the types of topics and guests you'd like to see on the blog.

The survey is completely anonymous. I'm not collecting any data on who fills it out or when or why or what your first-born child's name is, I promise. I will analyze the results in the aggregate and pay attention to any "other" comments you've written, no names or strings attached.

And if you'd rather share your opinion in the comment section below this post, feel free. The survey asks general questions about reading and gaming habits and interests, and then basically asks what you'd like to see here on the blog in the future. I'm all ears. Thank you!

In case you missed that survey link above, here's a button! Go ahead and push it! Or click on it! Just go there!

 

Button_Survey_Layers

 

 


Something Mysterious: December Reading Roundup

Reading-roundup-Dec
 

 This month I offer you books in two's: two indie/small press books by authors I know and two Christmas-themed novels just in time for the holidays. First, Martha Crites is the author of Grave Disturbance, put out by new Seattle indie Rat City Publishing. She and I were both finalists for the Nancy Pearl Book Award this year. Next is Karen Musser Nortman, the indie author of a quirky camping mystery series. She was also the first-ever recipient of the Granny Grace Award for Outstanding Women 40+. The other two books that caught my fancy are from rock-star big names.

 When you read these, tell us what you think in the comments, and as always, review the books on Amazon and anywhere else you can. Studies show reviews sell books, and that when books sell, authors can afford to write more of them!

 Grave Disturbance by Martha Crites

Grave_disturbance

 Grace Vaccaro works as a mental health evaluator--if a person is a danger to self or others, she orders hospitalization. When a paranoid man she just released is found bludgeoned to death on the banks of the Snoqualmie River, Grace wonders if she could have done more to help him. When her neighbor is found dead in the same location, she suspects a connection.

 Grace's search for answers leads her from a Seattle homeless encampment to the rainy forests of the Cascade foothills. The results are never clear. A Mexican immigrant fears deportation and refuses to talk to the police. A Native American elder works to conceal the location of ancestral gravesites. And a pregnant woman Grace just evaluated is terrified. Are her statements delusional or does she have information leading to the murderer?

 As Grace comes closer to the truth, her quiet home is invaded and she is the next target. She must face the killer alone and learn how far she will go to protect herself and others.

Review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Follow Martha Crites on Twitter and Facebook.

 A Campy Christmas by Karen Musser Nortman

Campy_christmas

 This is book six in the Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mysteries Series.

 A holiday novella. The Shoemakers and Ferraros plan to spend Christmas in Texas with Larry and Jane Ann’s brother and then take a camping trip through the Southwest. But those plans are stopped cold when they hit a rogue ice storm in Missouri and they end up snowbound in a campground. And that’s just the beginning. Includes recipes and winter camping tips.

Review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Follow Karen Musser Nortman on Facebook and Twitter.

The Mistletoe Murder by P.D. James

Mistletoe_murder

 The newly appointed Sgt. Dalgliesh is drawn into a case that is "pure Agatha Christie." . . . A "pedantic, respectable, censorious" clerk's secret taste for pornography is only the first reason he finds for not coming forward as a witness to a murder . . . A best-selling crime novelist describes the crime she herself was involved in fifty years earlier . . . Dalgliesh's godfather implores him to reinvestigate a notorious murder that might ease the godfather's mind about an inheritance, but which will reveal a truth that even the supremely upstanding Adam Dalgliesh will keep to himself. Each of these stories is as playful as it is ingeniously plotted, the author's sly humor as evident as her hallmark narrative elegance and shrewd understanding of some of the most complex--not to say the most damning--aspects of human nature. A treat for P. D. James's legions of fans and anyone who enjoys the pleasures of a masterfully wrought whodunit.

Review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse

Mycroft_holmes

 Fresh out of Cambridge University, the young Mycroft Holmes is already making a name for himself in government, working for the Secretary of State for War. Yet this most British of civil servants has strong ties to the faraway island of Trinidad, the birthplace of his best friend, Cyrus Douglas, a man of African descent, and where his fiancée Georgiana Sutton was raised.

 Mycroft’s comfortable existence is overturned when Douglas receives troubling reports from home. There are rumors of mysterious disappearances, strange footprints in the sand, and spirits enticing children to their deaths, their bodies found drained of blood. Upon hearing the news, Georgiana abruptly departs for Trinidad. Near panic, Mycroft convinces Douglas that they should follow her, drawing the two men into a web of dark secrets that grows more treacherous with each step they take...

 Written by NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and screenwriter Anna Waterhouse, Mycroft Holmes reveals the untold story of Sherlock’s older brother. This harrowing adventure changed his life, and set the stage for the man Mycroft would become: founder of the famous Diogenes Club and the hidden power behind the British government.

Review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Follow Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Twitter and Anna Waterhouse on Twitter, too.

 


Something Mysterious: October Reading Roundup

  All books oct

This month I've got two hot, current mysteries and two vintage classics harkening back to my bookworm childhood. Because I listened to that part of me who wishes to avoid a nervous breakdown, I took a vacation recently, during which I plowed through many a book. That means everything from August's Reading Roundup as well as the four books below. There's a "girl" theme at work here, with the so-called "girl" on the train (who is really a woman, by the way), the eighteen-year-old who disappears in Faithful Place, and the two girls in the vintage books, which I read as a girl. The contrast between those early mysteries and what's hot now is startling. 

If you've read any of these, tell us what you think in the comments, and as always, review the books on Amazon and anywhere else you can. Studies show reviews sell books, and that when books sell, authors can afford to write more of them!

Faithful Place by Tana French 

Tana french

Back in 1985, Frank Mackey was a nineteen-year-old kid with a dream of escaping his family's cramped flat on Faithful Place and running away to London with his girl, Rosie Daly. But on the night they were supposed to leave, Rosie didn't show. Frank took it for granted that she'd dumped him-probably because of his alcoholic father, nutcase mother, and generally dysfunctional family. He never went home again. Neither did Rosie. Then, twenty-two years later, Rosie's suitcase shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place, and Frank, now a detective in the Sublin Undercover squad, is going home whether he likes it or not.

Getting sucked in is a lot easier than getting out again. Frank finds himself straight back in the dark tangle of relationships he left behind. The cops working the case want him out of the way, in case loyalty to his family and community makes him a liability. Faithful Place wants him out because he's a detective now, and the Place has never liked cops. Frank just wants to find out what happened to Rosie Daly-and he's willing to do whatever it takes, to himself or anyone else, to get the job done.

Review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Follow Tana French on Twitter.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

  The girl on the train

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Follow Paula Hawkins on Twitter.

The Mystery of the Fire Dragon by Carolyn Keene

Nancy drew dragon

Nancy receives an urgent call from her Aunt Eloise in New York, requesting her help in solving a mystery. Her neighbor's granddaughter, Chi Che Soong, has gone missing! Nancy and her friends fly to New York to help track down the missing girl.

Review on Amazon.

Trixie Belden's Mystery in Arizona by Julie Campbell

Trixiebelden

Di Lynch’s Uncle Monty has invited Trixie, Honey, and the rest of the Bob-Whites to his Arizona dude ranch for winter vacation. There will be lots to do—horseback riding, swimming, festivals—but Trixie is hoping for an activity that isn’t on the usual list. She wants another mystery.