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August 2016

Meet Author Amy Metz of the Wonderful and hilarious Goose Pimple Junction Series.

I am delighted that my good friend Amy Metz  has agreed to chat with me here on New York Army Mom! I know from my experience that readers love to hear personal things about their favorite authors. It doesn’t get any more personal than this. Well, maybe it can, but we won’t go there!. Please meet Amy Metz, Author of the Goose Pimple Junction Series.  There are currently 4 books in the series and what first attracted me to this series was the awesome covers. How adorable are they?

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Now on to the good stuff!!!!

Sharon: If one of your books was made into a movie, and you could be an actor, which character would you play and why?
Amy: First of all, I’d make a horrible actor, so let’s be clear that this is totally hypothetical! Having established that, I would love to be Louetta. She’s fun and wise and always the life of the party. She’s like Sara Lee. Nobody doesn’t like Louetta!
Sharon: Perhaps, but I have a feeling that you would make a good Louetta! She is definitely my favorite character.
Amy: She is definitely a character, isn’t she?!
Sharon: That she is!

 

Sharon: If you were to compare your boyfriend to any of the characters in your books who would he be?
Amy: He would definitely be Jackson, although Tom is funnier than Jack. Tom’s not a writer or a former lawyer (thank goodness!), but they both have integrity and big hearts, they’re both thoughtful, kind, charming . . . and they both treat their girlfriends like every girl wants to be treated. I thought Jack was the perfect man until I met Tom.
Sharon: Not even knowing Tom, I could have answered that question for you. And it’s real sweet that you created a character and then found him in real life!

Amy: And for my next feat, I’m going to create a character who’s a bestselling novelist. If we’re talking life imitates art, it’s worth a shot, right?
Sharon: Absolutely! 

 

Sharon: Your current WIP is the 5th book in the wonderful series of Goose Pimple Junction , have you ever considered writing a stand alone novel?
Amy: I’ve started writing two other novels that can be standalones. I may get back to them when I get writer’s block on book #5. (Which means any day now.)
Sharon: I can’t wait to read your next book. Series or stand alone.

 

Sharon: I happen to love your writing style, have you ever written a song? Or wanted to? If so, tell me about that song!
Amy: Thank you so much! To the best of my recollection, I’ve never written a song. Probably for the best!
Sharon: Smile – 🙂

 

Sharon: Do you play an instrument? If so, which one/ones? Did you take lessons or learn on your own?
Amy: Sigh. No, I don’t. I tried to learn to play the violin when I was in elementary school, but that did not last long. In college, the final in a music ed class was playing a song on a musical instrument. The only one I could handle was the recorder (and I was pretty bad at that). Math and music are foreign languages to me. Both of my sons play percussion, and my youngest son is majoring in music performance. I have no idea how that happened!
Sharon: I hear you! About the music that is. I only wished I could play the piano. I know you love that your boys are musically talented. That’s great. My oldest is a self taught guitarist. And he is pretty good at it.
Amy: I marvel at that ability!
Sharon:Me too!

 

Sharon: If you decided to pick up and move any place you want as long as it’s in the U. S. where would you want to go?
Amy: I would move to Stockbridge, Massachusetts in a heartbeat. I visited there for a month in 2014 and fell in love with it and the area. Of course, I stayed in a carriage house with a great view and a 5-minute walk to the library, but I would still love to live there. It is a beautiful, beautiful area. I’m also fond of the South, though, and I would love to live by the beach—maybe in South Carolina. How about South Carolina in the winter and Stockbridge in the summer?!
Sharon: A lady after my own heart, I will visit you in both places.

Amy: Deal!

 

Sharon: If you could sit on a bench with someone living or deceased, who would it be and what would your first comment be?
Amy: It would be the real life inspiration for my character John Hobb in Murder & Mayhem. My first comment would be, “Who murdered you?”
Sharon: I would like to know that too. But I loved how you solved it fictionally.

 

Sharon: I know you love to bake, have you baked anything exotic, if so tell me about it?
Amy: I don’t recall baking anything you would call exotic. I love good old Southern cooking. I bake pies, cakes, cookies, cupcakes, brownies/bars, cobblers, bread pudding . . . my Pinterest boards are overflowing with recipes I want to try, but I have my old favorites too. I value old family recipes—they’re like gold.
Sharon: Well, I for one, love your upside down caramel apple pie!

 

Sharon: We all know that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, what does Tom think of your abilities in the kitchen?
Amy: I think he approves. One thing we have in common is our passion for desserts. We’re a good team because he likes to cook meals and I like to bake desserts. He’s a good sport about being a guinea pig for my Pinterest experiments. And we’re a good match when it comes to brownies. He likes corners, and I like middle pieces.
Sharon: And I will take the leftovers, because I like both!
Amy: Send me your address. I will mail some to you!

Sharon: Smile – 🙂

 

Sharon: Is there anything else you want to share with your readers?
Amy: I just want to say thank you to readers who have spent time and/or money on my books. I truly appreciate it. Sharon, you’re great about writing reviews of books you’ve read, and I hope you’ll encourage your readers to do the same. Reviews help an author tremendously. The first book in my series, Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction, has amassed a lot of reviews (for which I am very thankful), but reviews for the other three have been slow to come in. Just a short review helps inch up the total review number for a book, which figures into a lot of factors. But mostly . . . thank you for reading my books.

 

Sharon: And there you have it. A conversation with Amy Metz, Author of the hilarious Goose Pimple Junction Series. Amy is one of my all time favorite authors. Head on over to Amazon or your favorite bookstore and pick up a copy. And by all means, do leave a review. I so often hear from people who say they can’t write reviews. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a short story. Those take time. Just answer a few questions. For example, Did you love the book? What was your favorite part? Did you love the characters? Was there enough suspense? Did you guess the plot too soon? Or perhaps not until the end? Was it a great cover? Was there anything that you could personally relate to? Characters or Setting? Did the story make you laugh out loud or cry? And perhaps why? There you go, a review in 5 minutes tops!

Amy: That is so true, Sharon. Or next time you tell a friend about a book you like, write down what you say–there’s your review! And I agree that less is more! Two recent reviews I liked are: “A great cozy mystery that had me laughing out loud.” And “One of the better ones.” Short and sweet and to the point! Love it.
Thanks for coming by, and don’t forget to:
Live, Love, Laugh and by all means READ! (and write reviews)

Sharon

It’s Time For Me To Hit My Refresh Button! A new look at an old genre. Suspense mixed with Romance

My Thoughts:

A 5-Star Review of Twin Desires, by Pamela Wight and Ashley Brandt.

As I have said before, I don’t usually read romance novels because there doesn’t seem to be anything new and exciting. REFRESH! Adding the suspense of the twin brothers brought a whole new light to the subject. There was a whole lot of suspense, and just enough romance to keep the reader interested in both. I found myself reading well into the night when I really should have been sleeping.

Being a twin myself, I was able to relate to the feelings of the twin brothers. And it is true my friends, that a twin can feel the pain of their sibling. It has happened to me on more than one occasion. Of course, in this story we have a good twin and an evil twin, constantly leaving the reader wondering what the evil twin would do next.

The authors do a great job of building not only the main characters but the secondary characters as well. As an avid reader, I enjoy getting to know each of the characters, not just the main ones, So I especially enjoyed the character development from the beginning right through til the end. I am definitely looking for more from these authors in the future and I highly recommend Twin Desires. So as not to spoil the story, I will include a synopsis from Amazon rather than writing one myself.

Amazon Synopsis:

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Twin Desires, a romantic suspense set in San Francisco and the quiet CA town of Stinson Beach, follows Sandra Eastman and the two men who almost destroy her world.
Blake Sinclair, Sandra’s boss and president of a prestigious investment firm, is successful and charismatic. But his twin brother, Alex, is his opposite – a twisted, tormented soul. Sandra becomes a pawn in a deadly game between these powerful opposing forces.
In this fast-paced thriller, Sandra is scooped up into a whirlwind of suspense from the mansions of the S.F. elite to a remote beach house 30 miles north. As each page turns, she becomes more entangled with the skeletons in the Sinclair closets while desperately confronting her own skeletons and discovering strength she never knew she possessed.

About The Authors:

Pamela Wight is a successful author of romantic suspense. Her first novel, The Right Wrong Man, published in January 2013, got rave reviews for taking readers “on an exciting adventure with lots of intrigue, unexpected plot twists, and romance.” A year later, Wight published her second novel, Twin Desires, with Ashley Brandt, as an e-book. The second edition of this book was published as a softback in June 2016. Pamela earned her Master’s in English from Drew University, continued with postgraduate work at UC Berkeley in publishing, and teaches creative writing classes in Boston and San Francisco. She lives in the Boston area with her “right man” and hikes the New England trails while concocting her third novel. Wight travels frequently to the San Francisco Bay area for additional inspiration. She speaks to book clubs in both locations. Many readers enjoy her “weekly blog on daily living” called Roughwighting (www.roughtwighting.net). Ashley Brandt (co-author with Wight in TWIN DESIRES) is the nom de plume for a San Francisco Bay Area psychotherapist who, when not in session, enjoys the freedom of writing suspenseful fiction. Ashley and Pamela have been writing creatively together for over twenty years, when Ashley joined Pamela’s creative writing class. She earned a Ph.D. in Depth Psychology and an MBA from “the past when I was in my twenties.” Ashley lives in the beautiful hills of Marin County with her husband.

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Until my next Post:

Don’t forget to:

Live, Love, Laugh, and my all means READ!

Sharon

 

 

Maggie King hits a Home Run!

A Review of Murder At The Book Group (Book Group Mysteries). By Maggie King.

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Synopsis From Amazon:

Hazel Rose never dreamed that the murder mystery book group she and her friend Carlene started would stage a real murder.

Nevertheless, the normally composed Carlene is unusually angry and rattled one night during a book group discussion and dies after drinking cyanide-spiked tea. Despite a suicide note, Hazel is skeptical; Carlene never seemed suicidal—she was busy making plans for her future. Incidentally, Carlene was married to Hazel’s ex-husband, and Hazel has always suspected there might be something more to her past than she let on.

How much does anyone really know about Carlene Arness? And did she die by her own hand or someone else’s? Hazel begins a search for the truth that produces no shortage of motives, as she unearths the past that Carlene took great pains to hide. And most of those motives belong to the members of her very own book group…

Featuring memorable characters and a wicked sense of humor, Murder at the Book Group shows the darker side of a book club where reading isn’t about pleasure—it’s about payback.

My Thoughts:

Maggie has done a beautiful job of building the characters in this story. I am partial to group settings whether they are reading groups or hobby groups, they are always entertaining.

There were twists and turns throughout the book and lots of characters filled with enough drama to keep the interest of the reader. The many characters sometimes led to a bit of confusion but overall the character development was well done. In particular, Maggie does a great job expressing Hazel’s thoughts. It was quite clear when she was thinking and when she was speaking. Sometimes an author blurs those thoughts making it hard to decipher. Thank you, Maggie, for keeping those lines clear.

Probably one of the most interesting things about this book is the number of suspects for this murder. It could have been anyone in the book club and Maggie does a good job of keeping her readers in suspense until the reveal at the end.

One of the things that I don’t want to overlook is its enticing book cover. It is very beautiful. The wind blowing through the window, The mysterious person outside the window, The tall bookshelves, and the teacups, hmm could they contain poison? The cover puts the reader right in the middle of the drama. I love it!

Overall, this is a Four Star Mystery which I highly recommend. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

About the Author:

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Maggie King grew up in North Plainfield, New Jersey, graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology, and worked as a software developer in Los Angeles for many years. She is a founding member of the Sisters in Crime Central Virginia Chapter. Her short story A Not So Genteel Murder was published in the “Virginia Is for Mysteries” anthology. Maggie lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, Glen, and two cats. Visit her at MaggieKing.com.

 

Until my next posting, Don’t forget to

LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH and by All Means READ!

 

Sharon

 

 

A Fun Conversation With One Of My Favorite People: USA Today’s Best Selling Author, Amy M. Reade

I am delighted that my good friend Amy M. Reade has agreed to chat with me here on New York Army Mom! I know from my experience that readers love to hear personal things about their favorite authors. It doesn’t get any more personal than this. Well, maybe it can, but we won’t go there!

Amy is the author of 3 stand alone novels, Secrets of Hallstead House, set in the Thousand Islands of upstate N.Y.;The Ghosts of  Peppernell Manor, set just outside Charleston South Carolina;  and House of the Hanging Jade, set in Hawaii. My review of all three can be found on my blog; all 5 Star Reviews.

Amy’s current Work In Progress is a 3 book series; the first is called The House on Candlewick Lane (A Malice Novel). It is currently available on Amazon for preorder and will be released on February 7, 2017.

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Now on to the good stuff!

Sharon: I know that for most authors writing is their Dream job! But if you were unable to write for some reason, what profession would you fall back on?

Amy: I would fall back, kicking and screaming, on my originally-chosen career of attorney. I hope it never happens!

Sharon: I hope it never happens too!

Sharon: If one of your books was made into a movie, and you could be an actor, which character would you play and why?

Amy: That’s a great twist on the who-would-play-your-characters question! I would play the part of Kailani (from House of the Hanging Jade) because she loves to cook. If there’s cooking to do on-set, send me in! I also love to kayak, which Kailani enjoys. And I love Hawaii, so I think I could bring an authentic feel for the setting to the movie. Now, if only I could act…

Sharon: Ahh! I knew the answer to that question before I even asked it! However, as far as acting, anyone who can direct a play at age 11 can probably act as well. Hmmmm…. 

Sharon: If you were to compare your husband to any of the characters in your books who would he be?

Amy: Oooh. A hard one. I compare John to Heath Peppernell, I suppose: supportive, focused on both work and family, loving, and handsome!

Sharon: Does this supportive, handsome, loving family man have an older brother? 

Sharon: I know your current WIP is a series, do you find it harder or easier to write a series versus a stand alone novel!

Amy: I don’t think one is any easier or harder than the other. There are ups and downs to writing both. Many readers have asked me to write sequels to my first three stand alone books, so at some point, I might consider writing novellas or short stories (I would just put them right on my website) to continue the tales. My series is a bit different from most series because the main characters change in each book. Characters move with me from one book to the next, but they move from main characters to minor characters and vice versa. In that way, I get to mix up the main personalities a bit.

Sharon: I like this answer, I have read books both ways, and I prefer the main character changing as long as all the other characters stay in. 

Sharon: Have you written or want to write an autobiography?

Amy: Never! My life is far too ordinary.

Sharon: I think we will have to agree to disagree on that answer. I think that your story may keep your readers laughing! 

Sharon: I happen to love your writing style, have you ever written a song? Or wanted to? If so, tell me about that song!

Amy: Thank you!! If I wrote a song, believe me, you wouldn’t want to hear it.

Sharon: Ut Oh! This could be interpreted many ways. LOL 

Sharon: Do you play an instrument? If so, which one/ones? Did you take lessons or learn on your own?

Amy: I do not play an instrument right now, but I used to. I took lessons and played oboe for years, as well as clarinet. I liked the oboe better because it was a little out-of-the-ordinary and I just love its sound. I’m trying to get my son some ukulele lessons, but I’m having a hard time finding an instructor locally. If he learns, I might just decide to learn along with him.

Sharon: Ahh, the Uke, I understand that it’s making a comeback. A year or so ago, Paul McCartney played it in a tribute to his good friend George Harrison. I hope you find an instructor. 

Sharon: If your husband came home from work and said “let’s move” any place you want (except Hawaii) as long as it’s in the U. S. where would you want to go?

Amy: You ask hard questions! I guess my first choice would be an island in the Thousand Islands. Preferably one with a castle on it. My second choice would be somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.

Sharon: I will visit you in the castle, but only in the summer; This old body can’t take the cold. :-). And thank goodness you didn’t say Nebraska, one of your kids might not be able to find his/her way home!

Sharon: If you could sit on a bench with someone living or deceased, who would it be and what would your first comment be?

Amy: I would sit on a bench with my grandmother and my first comment would be “Nana, I’ve really missed you.” Followed quickly by, “What’s it like in heaven?” then “How did you make your goulash?”

Sharon: Beautiful answer,  I hope that my grandchildren feel the same way about me

Sharon: Since my friend Amy Metz didn’t ask you during her interview with you, I am going to ask! What would you do for a Klondike Bar?

Amy: She did ask- I just opted not to answer the question! But since it’s mandatory now, I’ll tell you that I would go to the grocery store in my pajamas for a Klondike bar.

Sharon: If you make it Walmart, nobody will notice. 🙂

Sharon: Is there anything else you want to share with your readers?

Amy: I want to thank my readers and tell them how much I appreciate them. They have been supportive, encouraging, and nothing short of wonderful. I’d love to connect with each of them personally, so I invite all of them to get in touch with me via one or more of the following hangouts:

Sharon: I don’t have a clue how you keep up with it all, I get tired just thinking about all those sites. I can assure you folks, Amy does keep up, so feel free to get in touch, she will answer you! 🙂

Website: (www.amymreade.com)

Facebook: (www.facebook.com/amreadeauthor)

Twitter: (www.twitter.com/readeandwrite)

Blog: (www.amreade.wordpress.com)

Pinterest: (www.pinterest.com/amreade)

Goodreads: (www.goodreads.com/author/show/8189243.Amy_M_Reade)

Amazon author page: (www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0).

Readers can sign up for my newsletter here: http://shoutout.wix.com/so/5LDwKNN3#/main

Sharon: Did I miss anything you really want to talk about? If so, here’s your chance!

Amy: I’d like to thank you for having me on your blog, Sharon, and let you know that you’re every writer’s dream reader! I’ve enjoyed this interview immensely!

Sharon: I don’t know about the dream reader, some of my reviews might have caused nightmares (Just Kidding).  I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with you as well, and thanks for taking the time to do this.

That’s it folks, I hope you enjoyed getting to know Amy on a more personal level; I really enjoyed having her here, and as your week continues………. Don’t Forget to……….

LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH…… and by all means READ!

Sharon

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