If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our October Author Interviews--10/4 Wendy Tyson, 10/11 Marilyn Levinson, 10/18 Earl Javorski, 10/25 Linda Lovely. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


October Saturday Guest Bloggers: 10/7 Mark Bacon, 10/14 Elaine Orr, 10/21 WWK's Margaret S. Hamilton, 10/28 Kait Carson, and E. B. Davis 10/31 to fill out our fifth Tuesday.


WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla! Look for Carla's blog this month to find out the winner.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What I'm Currently Reading by WWK Authors


What I'm Currently Reading—Linda Rodriguez

Currently for work, I'm reading far too many full manuscripts of short story collections and novels for a university press' national contest. A few are dreadful, a moderate number are quite competent, so far two are outstanding, and the bulk are mediocre. I've done this for years, and I'm pretty good at it. I have an excellent track record of finding the one manuscript that will be chosen by the final judge as the winner, and many of the books I selected have gone on to win major prizes after publication. What it's taught me is that the majority of folks submitting manuscripts to contests are not really ready yet, but need to go through another major revision first.
For fun, I'm reading Virginia Woolf's Collected Letters, Vol. IV,  gossipy, funny, inspiring, infuriating, endearing letters that give a great peek into the mind of one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

For my continuing education, I'm reading Claudia Rankine's Citizen, a combination of poetry and essay that takes the best look at race in the United States I've ever seen. Ir's so full of wisdom and incredible writing that I'm taking it in small morsels to enjoy and reflect on and learn from. Here's an example that's particularly apt right now.

“Because white men
can't police their imagination,
Black men are dying.”

What I’m Currently Reading—Margaret S. Hamilton

Amp'd, by Ken Pisani
I will be attending the Midwest Writers Workshop in a few weeks, and signed up to have a SMP editor critique my query letter. What is she looking for? The next Amp'd. I read it, just in case my books are similar. Alas, they are not.

Meet Aaron, who lives with his hoarder father, exists on a diet of pain pills and medical marijuana, and counts fish in a river. He's in love with radio commentator Sunny Lee, who reveals all manner of science factoids during her daily radio spots. Add Will, a fellow amputee who dabbles in explosives, Cancer Boy, and the four foot alligator in the bathtub for a glorious romp through Paris, Illinois.

Vonnegut's world view combined with R. Crumb's cartoons and a whiff of Holden Caulfield. Hilarious despair. So it goes.
 
 What I’m Currently Reading—Shari Randall

Since I just hit SEND yesterday on my manuscript for the Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack Mystery Number One (my editor assures me that St. Martin's marketing department will eventually conjure up the perfect title) my reading has been done in stolen moments. Warren Bull’s series on classic mysteries sent me to the bookstore, where I picked up Mignon Eberharts Escape the Night. The New York Times (in 1944) promised "suspense to the very end!" Pure escapism. So far so good.


What I’m Currently Reading—E. B. Davis
 
The cover tells you this is a fun read, but The Little French Guesthouse by Helen Pollard wasn’t the romantic comedy I assumed and downloaded. What I found—the deconstruction of a woman and her subsequent reassembly. It’s about changing the focus and direction of life, finding supportive people, applying professional skills to new markets, and realizing that as we change what was once comfortable chafes. People, places, things of old no longer nurture. Growing takes guts, pain, and loss, like a snake shedding its old skin and reemerging, perhaps more vulnerable for a time but better and bigger in the long run. Due to changes in my own life, perhaps I identified with the main character’s transformation. I can only hope I reassemble as well.

What I’m Currently Listening To—Grace Topping

I love books—in any form, but I’m partial to recorded or audible books. They keep me sane when I drive long distances, stand in long airport lines, and in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep. Sometimes they put me right to sleep, and other times they keep me entertained until sleep takes hold again. Also, recorded books bring the stories to life in a way that simple reading doesn’t do. Right now I’m listening to two mysteries by Anne Perry—one in my car and one on the portable CD player on my nightstand. Perry’s two different series, one featuring William Monk/Hester Latterly and the other Thomas Pitt, are well-crafted character-driven mysteries that are compelling and reveal so much about human nature and what drives people to do the things they do. I highly recommend A Sunless Sea and Long Spoon Lane, or any book by Anne Perry.

 What I’m Currently Reading -- Julie Tollefson

After months of nonstop busy-ness, my family took a long, leisurely vacation this summer during
which I had the luxury of reading several terrific books. Two excellent but very different books stand out. The first, Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn has been on my to-read list for months. In this young adult tale inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, the teenage Shahrzad is a fierce, strong, smart protagonist who seeks to avenge her best friend’s murder at the hands of the Caliph of Khorasan but discovers things are not as they seem on the surface. Political intrigue, kissing, and sword fights--everything I love in a story. Can’t wait to read the next installment in the series, The Rose and the Dagger.

The second standout vacation book was Lou Berney’s The Long and Faraway Gone, winner of the 2016 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. This dark novel set in Oklahoma City explores the long-term consequences of two horrific events as its damaged main characters struggle to find meaning and definition in their lives three decades later. Berney masterfully weaves together the mysteries of the characters’ separate stories, the past and present. Not as much kissing and no sword fights, but a compelling story nonetheless.
   
What I'm Currently Reading—KM Rockwood

I'm just finishing up The Never-Open Desert Diner by James Anderson. The environment is a major character. It's very interesting. He continually disregards the "show, don't tell" advice, but the book works, and it's a successful novel.

Next, I've chosen The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths for my "beach read" this year. Tomorrow we are joining my husband's extended family for their every-few-years gathering at Ocean City, NJ, which is where they went for a week every year as a young family living in a tiny south Philadelphia row house. I know I will need a book that will keep me interested but not require a great deal of concentration, since I will be constantly interrupted. 

The story is set in Brighton in 1950. The body of a girl is found cut into three pieces. Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is convinced the killer is mimicking a famous magic trick—the Zig Zag Girl. The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old war friend of Edgar’s. They served together in a shadowy unit called the Magic Men, a special ops troop that used stage tricks to confound the enemy.

What I’m currently Reading—Gloria Alden

I’m currently reading two mysteries and an older classic. First, I’ll write about the one I’m reading downstairs in my nesting chair. It is The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson. I’m finding it fascinating and hard to put down. The blurb inside says Eden was its name. “An alternative school for happy children.” But it closed in disgrace after a student’s suicide. Now it’s a care home, the grounds neglected and overgrown. Gloria Harkness is the only neighbor, staying close to her son who lives in the home, lighting up her life and breaking her heart each day.  It gets spookier and spookier the further I read. The whole setting is scary and when someone from her childhood shows up, Stig of the Dump, and claims he’s being stalked by a woman from their class, they go to where the she was to meet him and find her murdered.  Gloria starts in investigate and finds that four had committed suicide from that class, but were they suicides or murder? Library Journal writes “A terrific stand-alone that is complex, haunting and magical.” And the praise from other sources goes on and on.

The mystery I’m reading upstairs is Carolyn Mulford’s Show Me the Ashes, The fourth in her Phoenix Smith mysteries. I enjoyed the first three books with Phoenix , an ex CIA agent who is now living in a small Missouri town where no one except her closest friend knows she was once a CIA agent. Even though she’s not connected with that past life anymore, she finds a lot to keep her busy solving crimes and getting into dangerous situation.  The first three books elicited lots of praise, and I’m sure this one will, too. I know it has me reading long past the time when I should be turning off the light and going to sleep.         

11 comments:

Warren Bull said...

I am currently reading The Seventh Trumpet by Peter Tremayne, which I believe is the twenty third book about seventh century Ireland and Sister Fielma a detective and court advocate. The author is a scholar and a great bard.

Grace Topping said...

This was so much fun! I enjoy hearing about what other people are reading. It's true what they say about books becoming best-sellers because people recommended them to others--word of mouth. The Harry Potter books became hits because kids told other kids how terrific the books were.

Jim Jackson said...

There's a reason I didn't join in the group blog -- all I'm reading right now are the almost final, well, nearly final, geez I hope they are final, yep, this-is-the-last-time-before-I-have-to press-the-print-button final versions of my forthcoming novel, and so pleasure reading has dropped to zilch.

Art Taylor said...

Such a fun list! And Shari, I've been thinking about Mignon Eberhart lately--an old favorite (her short stories) I need to revisit.

Gloria Alden said...

Linda, I really enjoyed reading this list, and I'm going to write down most of those books so I can read them. I just finished the first two books in Linda Castillo's Amish series. The main character is a female police chief in an English/Amish community. She grew up Amish and left it in her late teens. They're not cozies, but riveting mysteries. I went to a nearby library where she spoke about her road to writing and publishing and I bought her first two books there. It's a series I want to follow.

Margaret Turkevich said...

Gloria, I'm on the hunt for Ohio books. Here are two new releases:

TIffany McDaniel, The Summer that Melted Everything

Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris, A Killing in Amish Country: Sex, Betrayal, and Cold-Blooded Murder.

KM Rockwood said...

Just started "Princess Elizabeth's Spy" by Susan Macneal. Sometimes she seems to step out of period with her vocabulary, etc, but since I'm not an expert on England in WWII it doesn't really bother me. They're great stories.

Shari Randall said...

Oh, boy, my TBR is now tottering with even more great titles!

Kait said...

Oh, I missed participating in this blog post. Dang. I'm blaming the day job. What I'm reading? I just finished Hunted by Elizabeth Heiter. It was wonderful. I'm still reading the bonbons in Writes of Passage. It's a wonderful book of shorts on the reality of writing life and I've just begun Hallie Ephron's night night, sleep tight. So far, I'm loving it.

Julie Tollefson said...

Warren - I really enjoy the Sister Fidelma series. The time period and the character are fascinating.

Good luck, Jim! Think how great reading for pleasure will be when you hit that button!

I'm with you, Shari - the TBR pile just grows and grows.

Linda Rodriguez said...

And now, as opposed to when we wrote that blog, I've had to put all reading on hold while I finish the final chapters of the current book.I'll be so glad to have this finished and be able to pick up my books again.