Murder Mystery, Marketing, Second Marriages, Frozen Embryos, & Short Stories Galore Read Last Month!

As usual, I enjoyed reading a variety of books in October. By reading my blog post today, I hope you’ll discover a new book or new author to add to your TBR (To Be Read list.) There’s something here for almost everyone.


Under the Southern Sky, by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Under the Southern Sky, by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Right off the bat, this novel got into the hot button topic of frozen embryos. Parker’s wife, Greer, with whom he’d frozen those embryos has died of cancer.

Their marriage appeared to be a match made in heaven. Amelia, the proverbial girl next door during their childhoods, is a reporter researching frozen embryos for a story.

Will Amelia and Parker get together? Can Amelia overcome the idea in her head that Greer was perfect? Surely, she can’t compete with Parker’s memory of his perfect deceased wife. Or can she?

When Amelia approaches Parker with her idea of being the surrogate to give birth to one or more of those frozen embryos how will he respond? How will their families react? How will Greer’s father react?

I enjoyed the frozen embryos aspect of the novel. The on again, off again friendship and romance of Amelia and Parker was sappier than what I like to read, but that’s just me. The dynamics of their relationship are complex and they have to grapple with a lot of emotional baggage.

If you’re looking for a southern beachy story with a hefty dose of what happens to forgotten or abandoned frozen embryos, I think you’ll love this novel by Salisbury, North Carolina native Kristy Woodson Harvey.

I read this novel for the October 24th meeting of Rocky River Readers Book Club at Rocky River Presbyterian Church. We had a good discussion. Everyone read the entire book, which is a good sign. We were in agreement that the ending was predictable, but it was a good book club selection.


The Second Husband, by Kate White

The Second Husband, by Kate White

This is a murder mystery with a chilling twist. Did Emma’s second husband kill her first husband?

Emma’s 37-year-old husband is killed in an alley in the Soho section of New York City. The crime is not solved.

A few months later, Emma meets Tom through a work connection. They marry. Life is good. In fact, it’s perfect until the day a police detective shows up to ask some leading questions.

Suddenly, Emma feels like she’s Suspect #1 in Derrick’s murder. But she knows she’s innocent. She didn’t kill him and she didn’t hire a hitman.

Then, her suspicions turn to Tom.

I learned of this book by reading a review of it on the Linda’s Book Obsession blog on June 28 of this year. Thanks for bringing the book to my attention, Linda! Here’s the link to her review: Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “The Second Husband” by Kate White, Harper, June 28, 2022 – Linda’s Book Obsession: (lindasbookobsession.blog)

I think this novel would be a good choice for a book club.


Your First 1,000 Copies, by Tim Grahl

Your First 1000 Copies, by Tim Grahl

I give this nonfiction book about marketing for writers 10 stars on a scale of 1 to 5. I took copious notes. There are so many pointers in this book for someone in my position as I’m anticipating releasing several books in the coming 12 months.

Mr. Grahl has helped many authors launch their books. He’s been through the process enough times and recently enough that he knows what works and what doesn’t work. If you’re a writer hoping to publish a book – whether via the traditional publisher route or by self-publishing – you can benefit from reading this book.


Distant Flickers: Stories of Identity and Loss

Distant Flickers: Stories of Identity & Loss

Eight writers contributed short stories for this special anthology about identity and loss.

The book includes two short stories by Elizabeth Gauffreau, whose website and blog I wrote about in my September 26, 2022 blog post, Do you know about these 5 book bloggers?

Other authors featured in Distant Flickers are Donna Koros-Stramella, Keith Madsen, Carol LaHines, Jim Metzner, Joyce Yarrow, Rita Baker, and Amy E. Wallen.

Distant Flickers grew out of a spark of inspiration provided by a group of writers known as Telltale Authors. Each story ties into the subtitle. The topics are varied. There are secrets, loss, and identity issues. Each author writes in a way to pull you into the story. Soon you find yourself empathizing with the main character.

The name of that group gives me a perfect segway into the name of the other book of short stories I read in October….


Tell Tale, by Jeffrey Archer

Tell Tale: Stories, by Jeffrey Archer

Since I’m putting together a book of historical short stories, I’ve wanted to get back to reading more short stories. I need to get a handle on just what makes a good short story, right?

Although Jeffrey Archer is better known for his novels, I wanted to read some of his short stories. I found his stories in Tell Tale to be very entertaining.

My favorite stories in the collection were “The Road to Damascus,” “Who Killed the Mayor?” and “The Holiday of a Lifetime.”

Mr. Archer used a clever literary device in “The Holiday of a Lifetime.” He wrote three different endings for the story and encouraged the readers to select the one they preferred. What fun!


Until my next blog post

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post today!

I hope you have a good book to read and will find time to read it. If you have nieces, nephews, children, or grandchildren, it’s important for them to know you enjoy reading. They want to be like you.

If you live in the USA, vote tomorrow, unless you voted early. Our very democracy is on the ballot.

Don’t forget the people of Ukraine.

Janet

This Week: An Additional 5 Book Bloggers

Last week my blog was about five book bloggers I follow. I promised to highlight more such book reviewers in the coming weeks. Today’s blog post is about five other online book reviewers.

As with last week’s list, I selected these five in random order. I hope at least one of them will appeal to you enough that you’ll start following it.


Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

LizGauffreau.com

At https://lizgauffreau.com/, you will find book reviews as well as a variety of other blog posts and information. Liz is a writer and blogger who lives in New Hampshire. As you can tell from her blog topics, she’s not a full-time book review blogger. I’ve included her on this list, though, because she sometimes reviews fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Her website is well-organized. You can click on her blog posts by month, or you can click on her Fiction Book Reviews, her Nonfiction Book Reviews, or her Poetry Reviews.

Here’s the link to one of her recent book reviews: #bookreview: Village Teacher – Elizabeth Gauffreau (lizgauffreau.com), in which she reviewed Village Teacher, by neihtn (Nguyen Trong Hien).

If you’re a fan of short stories, here’s a head’s up. Two of Liz’s short stories will be in the new anthology, Distant Flickers: Stories of Identity and Loss. It’s set for release on October 1. Look for it wherever you buy your books. If your local independent bookstore and public library haven’t ordered copies, ask them to consider doing so.


Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

As you can guess from the name, Smorgasbord Blog Magazine is an online magazine that covers just about everything. It also covers just about everything very well.

Sally Cronin is the powerhouse behind this online magazine. I marvel at the variety of topics Sally tackles. She not only reviews books. She also reviews music and does excellent posts about popular music from different decades. She also has a post once a week that offers four or five cartoons. As you can see, there’s something for everyone in Smorgasbord Blog Magazine.

You’re reading this, though, because my post today is supposed to be about book bloggers. Here’s the link to one of Sally’s recent book reviews: Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Historical #1920s Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks , in which she reviewed Jazz Baby, by Beem Weeks.

Sally blogs from Ireland. Her almost daily blog posts are always entertaining.


Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

Amorina Rose’s Blog

Barbara Strickland is the voice behind Amorina Rose’s Blog. Barbara’s website address is https://brstrickland.com/. She is an author as well as a blogger. Through her website you can access her blog archives.

May, June, and July Chilling with Books Corner 2022, being real and finding inspiration – Barbara Strickland – Author & Blogger (brstrickland.com) is a good example of one of her blogs about books and other things, such as movies she’d been watching. In it, she also reviews the historical novel, The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle, by Jennifer Ryan.

Barbara is of Italian and Australian ancestry. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree with TESOL (English as a Second Language) qualifications. She’s had a varied career and enjoys music, dance, art, and literature. She’s in the editing stages of her second novel.


Photo by Gülfer ERGİN on Unsplash

Linda’s Book Obsession

Linda Zagon is the book reviewer behind Linda’s Book Obcession. She is a retired teacher with a massive book collection, including signed first editions.

Reviewing books is Linda’s hobby. She is a Top Reviewer on NetGalley and has also reviewed books on Facebook, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Twitter (as @peachyteach), Amazon (as teachlz) and BookBrowse.

You can find her current and past book reviews on her website, https://lindasbookobsession.blog/. She has been known to blog twice in one day about two different books.

Go to her website and click on her September 22, 2022 blog post in which she gives a rave review of The Child Between Us, by Alison Ragsdale.


Photo by Ed Robertson on Unsplash

Portobello Book Blog

Joanne is passionate about books, and it shows in her book reviews on https://portobellobookblog.com/. She especially likes contemporary fiction and historical fiction but also enjoys a good love story, according to the bio on her website.

There, you can easily scroll down through a list of her recent blog posts. Each one includes an opening paragraph or two from the post. Just click on “more” if you want to continue reading one of them. You can also click on any of give option at the top of her landing page. One of them is “Book Reviews, A to Z.” That will give you a drop-down menu where you can click on her book reviews from any year back to 2015 and get a list of the books she reviewed that year in alphabetical order by the authors’ last names. You can tell by the lengthy lists that Joanne is a voracious reader.

Her site also includes author interviews.

Go to Joanne’s website, https://portobellobookblog.com/, and I suggest you click on her September 20, 2022 blog post in which she reviewed The Dead Romantics, by Ashley Poston. I suggest you click on that one because through it you can read the first chapter of Ashley Poston’s novel. What can beat that in a book review?


Since my last blog post

Last week I mentioned that I’d run into a bit of a roadblock on the cover I wanted for the cover of the e-book I’m working on. I was discouraged, but things opened up this past week. I was contacted by the son of the deceased artist whose painting I wanted for the book cover. He couldn’t have been more accommodating! What a relief! I literally cried tears of joy after talking to him.

I’m still formatting my local history newspaper column articles for that book, Harrisburg, Did You Know? – Book 1. I’ll keep you posted as I reach publication.


Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read and an enjoyable hobby.

Find the good in the coming week. I’ll look for you back here next Monday. Please tell your friends about my blog.

Don’t forget the courageous people of Ukraine and the grieving people of Uvalde.

Janet