Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Books, Books, and More Books

Anyone who has been checking up knows that thinks the release date for The Desert Hedge Murders is August 31st, and Barnes & Noble online thinks the release date is September 9th. Just between you and me, Five Star still had it listed as August 19th the last time I looked. I choose to celebrate today, and since I'm having my own private little celebration, it doesn't really matter at all.

I'm going to read for fun today. All day. I'm reading Inhuman Remains by Quintin Jardine, the first book in his new Primavera Blackstone Mystery Series. I've not read this author before, but I'm happy to say he has a long list of mysteries from which to choose if I like this one. Don't you just love discovering new authors?

By taking an online class about Blog Book Tours, I discovered quite a few authors who have been published (or soon will be) and I'm gradually requesting their books at my library as well as buying the ones that sound like my kind of good read. So far, I've read two of the mysteries, and am slowly working my way through a nonfiction book, starting, oddly enough, with Chapter 20.

I resolved early on that I wasn't going to do professional in-depth book reviews on my blog. There are plenty of places you can get reviews written by far more accomplished reviewers than I would be. Besides, I have a heck of a time reading books for fun these days. I read as though the author just joined my critique group. It takes solid effort to get past that, relax, and focus on the story.

That's why the only thing you'll get from me is the fact that I'm recommending the book (otherwise I wouldn't be talking about it on my blog) and what I liked the most.

The first one I read was Pretty Is As Pretty Dies by Elizabeth Spann Craig. Loved it! The North Carolina setting is enhanced by prose that reads as though it has a Southern accent. My favorite thing about this Myrtle Clover Mystery is Myrtle Clover, octogenarian who lives across the street from her police chief son, Red. When he displeases Myrtle, she tortures him by filling her lawn with garden gnomes. I love quirky elders in any kind of story, but they're extra fun when you throw in a little murder and mayhem. Since Myrtle picks up a male sidekick during the course of this story, it doubles the pleasure.

The second book on the list was also a mystery, Freezer Burn by Gayle Carline. Another loved it! Gayle's protagonist is Peri Minneopa who left her exciting career as a house cleaner to become a licensed Private Investigator. To the sometimes annoyance of her guy, a detective in the Placentia (CA) Police Department, fifty year old Peri rarely follows instructions (not even from her doctor after she's beaten up by a creepy scoundrel). Along with the other interesting (I hate to use the word quirky again, although it would apply) characters and the unfortunate human hand in the freezer incident, I had a lot of trouble putting the book down and tending to other business.

I'm taking a lot more time with the third book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Preserving Food by Karen K. Brees, Ph.D. No one dies in this book, we don't have a protagonist, and the only mystery I need to solve is whether or not I can successfully dry some of the fruits and vegetables available now from our local Farmers' Markets. After that I want to try the Pumpkin Butter recipe on page 273. The topics Karen covers in this book range from canning and freezing to pickling, salting and smoking. I think she has everything covered.

I hope there's something on that list that appeals to you. And always remember, if you'd like to support your writer friends but you just can't buy everyone's book, it's a powerful thing to visit your local library (some will let you do this online) and request that they order your friend's book. Give the library the book title, author name, and the ISBN number (available on amazon and B&N) and then cross your fingers.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Thanks so much for the review, Patricia! And congratulations on your release (no matter the date.) I've got "Freezer Burn" and Karen's book on preserving on my to-read list. Thanks!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Galen Kindley--Author said...

I've just started Elizabeth's book, "Pretty is as Pretty dies." As a former small southern town guy, I can vouch for its authentic flavor. Myrtle is very much my favorite character as well. Of course, Elizabeth's writing skills sparkle throughout. Very recommended—even though I’ve not yet finished it. Hey, some things you just know from a sample.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Karen Walker said...

Enjoy your private celebration today, Patricia. And thanks for these endorsements. They're already on my "to-do" list to obtain. There's one other way we can support each other as writers. Someone suggested we do a book swap - I sent him my book, he sent me his. We don't make any money, but it's one more reader of our work.

Alan Orloff said...

Hey, having three release dates means three days of celebration! Congrats!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi everyone, thanks for being such sweet and regular visitors. Since we're all readers, isn't it fun being in the company of writers?

The book trade idea is a good one, Karen, but an even better idea is to have a few heavily promoted contests or giveaways. You'll still get the extra readers, but in the process you'll introduce a bunch of readers to your website or blog and make them aware of you and your book.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I think the opportunity to discover wonderful new authors is the real fun of blogging. I have two of these books on my ‘to buy’ list. If I spent time in my kitchen, I’d probably have all three! Enjoy your celebration.

The Old Silly said...

Thanks for the recommendations. And nice of you to help promote the books of you BBT classmates, too.

Marvin D Wilson

Holly Jahangiri said...

The thought of preserving food has scared me ever since I learned to say the word "ptomaine." But seriously, all of these books look interesting - thanks for the suggestions!