Thursday, February 2, 2012

Taking Time for Mom Thursdays

Taking Time for Mom Thursdays is back. This topic is almost like cheating considering my profession, but I have to admit I find reading, writing and editing relaxing. Now, part of the reason reading is relaxing to me is because most of my book time takes place in the tub, but there is nothing like sitting anywhere with a fabulous book you simply can't put down.

I've been an avid reader my entire life, but my years of experience--good and bad--have allowed me to become a character driven reader and now I appreciate dissecting every aspect of my characters' lives. How else could I write fan fiction stories if I didn't consider other parts of characters I have come to know and love from my favorite TV shows.

I'm not an envious writer. I don't get jealous over another writer's success or wish his success could be mine. I do, however, appreciate a great book that captivates me so completely I am willing to push aside my responsibilities to read just one more chapter. Here are a few of those books:

Defending Jacob is a book I will review next week for William Landay's virtual book tour through Pump Up Your Book. In the interest of full disclosure, Bill is one of my clients. This is the first book of his that I've read or helped promote, but now I want to pick up his other two books:  Mission Flats and The Strangler.  Defending Jacob was just released on January 31st and it's already claimed the number 2 spot for Amazon's legal thriller category for printed and Kindle book sales, and is also #3 for printed book sales in the psychological thriller category.

This is the story of a district attorney's son who is accused of killing a classmate. D.A. Andrew Barber unfolds this story for us showing how he struggles to clear his son's name while his past is coming back to bite him in the rear end. Also considered a family drama, the reader gets a chance to witness the terrible impact Jason Barber's trial has on his family. This is without a doubt one of the best books I've ever read.

Kathi Macias has been a client of mine over the past four years. This amazing writer releases multiple titles a year. In October, I helped her promote two of them. While I enjoyed A Christmas Journey Home more, Deliver Me From Evil truly captured my heart.

Years ago, Maria was sold by her parents in Mexico and smuggled across the border into San Diego where her name is changed to Mara and she is forced into sexual slavery.

Jonathan is eyeing graduation with anxiety. His dream of a professional baseball career gone, he is unenthusiastically planning to attend Bible-college. When Jonathan's and Mara's paths cross, their lives are changed forever. Unable to forget the girl whose face haunts him, he is pulled back to the place where their eyes met.

Across the world in Thailand, another young woman in captivity is mysteriously connected to the young people of San Diego.

As a mother of two young girls, this story is frightening. To think one day your daughter could be abducted and used as a sex slave is sickening. This is definitely a story that will make you want to hug your children more often.

The House on Tradd Street was the first book by Karen White that I read. I haven't missed one since.

Real estate agent Melanie Middleton visits with elderly Nevin Vanderhorst just days before his unexpected death. When she inherits Vanderhorst's historic Tradd Street home she is less than thrilled, but Nevin's letter about the mother he is sure would never have abandoned him encourage her to restore the house at 55 Tradd Street and try to unravel the mystery surrounding Louisa Vanderhorst's sudden disappearance.

True crime writer Jack Trenholm is obsessed with unsolved mysteries. He believes the diamonds from the missing Confederate Treasury are stashed inside Melanie's house. Using Louisa's story, Jack is able to convince her to let him help with the restoration in exchange for allowing him to perform research for his next book.

Neither of them quite knows what they are getting into. An evil ghost also resides in the house on Tradd Street and it doesn't want Melanie or Jack telling Louisa's story.
This one captured me right away. As a Civil War buff, I was drawn to it for the plot, but the mixture of family secrets, love, legends, and the charm of the South, create an emotional tale that turned me into a Karen White fan.

I read Finding Chandra by Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz a few months before Ingmar Guandique was put on trial for her murder.

Based upon a request from the investigative editors of the Washington Post, Higham and Horwitz revisited the cold Chandra Levy case six years after her disappearance, compiling a thirteen-part series for the paper, which focused on the prime suspect the police and FBI had passed over years before. In Finding Chandra, readers are witness to their investigation: interviews with police, the FBI, Chandra's parents, the man who discovered the remains that were later identified as Chandra Levy's, former Congressman Gary Condit, people who knew Guandique--the man serving time for stalking and assaulting women in Rock Creek Park around the time of Chandra's disappearance--and more.

Finding Chandra reminds people of the young promising intern, a congressman's fall from grace, the crimes against women that occurred in Rock Creek Park, and that two parents sought justice for their beloved daughter.

It's an excellent piece of investigative journalism.

Inspired by Dickinson's letters and poetry, this novel blends fact and fiction in a seamless way that allows the reader to believe every word author Jerome Charyn has written is how it occurred.

The book opens in 1848, with a young Emily Dickinson as a seminarian at Mount Holyoke, where she falls in love with a fictional handyman known as Tom. Dickinson serves as the narrator of this tale, and Charyn emulated her voice to tell the story.

The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson portrays a passionate, witty woman who lived life fully, despite the confines of the society and times within which she was born and lived.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my library. What are some of your favorite books? What did you love most about them?

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