Good Morning All!

As I begin posting on my blog, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I have chosen to write about authors, books, and reading.

I am starting with three of my favorite authors, in alphabetical order: Mollie Cox Bryan, Amy Metz, and Amy Reade.

Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of the Cumberland Creek Mystery Series set in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. There are five books and two novellas in the series. Hopefully, I am getting these in order: Scrapbook of Secrets, Scrapped, Death of an Irish Diva, A Crafty Christmas and Scrapbook of the Dead… The Novellas: Scrappy Summer and Scrappily Ever After.  I would be lying if I said I have read all of them because Scrapbook of the Dead has not been released yet. I am impatiently waiting for September 29th. In addition to this series, Mollie has also penned two cookbooks: Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies and Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant Cookbook.

So, let’s talk about this series and why I picked it up in the first place. I can sum it up in one quick statement: Scrapbooking, Murder, and a little Romance. Definitely cozy mysteries, the series gives the reader a look at a group of ladies who get together quite often to scrapbook, discuss life and eventually get involved in murder. Each book tells a new story with one or two characters moving to the forefront. In one of them, one of our scrappers actually becomes a suspect in the murder…. Hmmmm!  The characters are well-developed from the beginning, and the plots are fun and easy to read. You know the old saying, “you can never judge a book by its cover.” Well, I can honestly say that you most certainly can with this series. Lots of color and craftiness fills the covers. And to be honest, being a scrapbooker myself, it was the covers that drew me in. Once I began, I could not stop. I love the characters and the stories, and if that isn’t enough, Mollie offers scrapbooking tips at the end of each book.  If you are looking for a lighthearted fun read, then this series is for you. Pick up the first one, and you will be hooked!

On to Amy Metz who is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries. Currently there are three books in this series: Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction (Book 1), Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction (Book 2) and Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction (Book 3). The third book is actually five short stories, one novella, and three recipes. And, it develops the characters from book 1 beautifully, and probably should be read between Book 1 and Book 2. I have read and loved all three of them.

So, how did I find this series? I first learned of it on Amy Reade’s Blog (Reade and Write). I immediately headed over to Amazon and downloaded the first book. Why? Because in the interview Amy Reade asks Amy Metz to describe herself in three words… her answer “Crazy Old Lady”.  I know this is one crazy reason for wanting to read the books, but it’s true and I guess that makes me one crazy old lady too! (p.s. I have not met Amy in person, so I don’t know if she is crazy or not, but I can tell you if you look at her recent pictures, she is far from OLD!)

Once I started reading the first book, it was over.  I knew I would have to read them all. I am truly a GPJ fan; I actually looked it up to see if it was a real town… Yep, it is! This series is filled with southern phrases, (some I had to look up) that made me laugh out loud. The characters are fun, and the stories are unique. In book 1, Amy undertakes a real unsolved 75-year-old murder and fictionally solves it. Quite impressive, don’t you think?  Stealing some words from a review of the book, Amy has created a town with a personality of its own with lots of humor, romance, and southern charm. Oh, and I believe quirky was a word used to describe this series… I agree! It’s well written and lots of fun. Do pick it up, you will love it!

Last, but certainly not least, Amy M. Reade, is the author of Secrets of Hallstead House, set in the beautiful 1000 Islands, and The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, set Outside of Charleston, South Carolina. Amy’s writing style is absolutely beautiful, and she has been compared to Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. I am no writing expert, but I would venture to say this is quite flattering for an author!

How and why did I choose this author? Simply put, she was recommended by my step-daughter, Diane Aguanno Knox. Diane met Amy at one of her book-signings (for Secrets of Hallstead House) in Clayton, NY. Of course I would have read it just on Diane’s recommendation alone, but when she told me it was set in the 1000 Islands, I could not wait to read it. After reading it, for the first time ever, I contacted an author with a question I had about the book. Amy answered very quickly and I am happy to say a much-cherished friendship was formed.

From the minute I picked up Secrets of Hallstead House, I could not put it down. From the first chapter, the descriptions of the area and the house make the reader feel part of the scene. The characters are developed beautifully and the plot had me guessing right through till the end. If you have been to the 1000 Islands, or even if you haven’t, pick this book up it is well worth it.

Now it’s time for a confession. Between Amy’s first book and her second, she and I had lots of communication through facebook and her blog and we became friends. Although I was very excited about reading her second book, I was a little nervous too. What if I didn’t like it? How do you tell somebody you didn’t like their book! LOL… not to worry, the second book, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor was as good, if not better than Amy’s first book. I am pulling the next section directly from my review of the book. “I love to read a book that I can relate to personally. This is one of those books. I related to Carleigh’s experience as a divorced mom, cried with Evie over her loss, and got angry with Vivian for her actions toward Phyllis. As far as ghosts; we all have them in our closets. Maybe they don’t talk to us on a daily basis, but they are surely there, reminding us of the ups and downs of life.”  I am predicting that if you read either one of Amy’s books, you will definitely want more from her!

To sum it all up, I have lots of authors I love, but these three ladies, are right up there on the top of my list. It was harder to write this than I thought it would be and I probably should have done one at a time. However, I am hoping that some of my friends will take the time to read it, and perhaps pick up some of the books I have highlighted today!

Many thanks to Mollie, Amy M and Amy R for allowing me to write about them! In August, I actually met Amy Reade and enjoyed her company over lunch. This was a thrill for me, and meeting Mollie and Amy M. is on my bucket list.

You can find all of these books on. Amazon.com. Once you locate the authors, you can be directed to their websites/blogs. If you have any problems finding them, feel free to send me a message and I will send you a link. Thanks

Live, Love and Laugh… and by all means… READ!

Sharon

 

 

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