Book Buzz | December 18th, 2014

Will Travel for Words: A Mindful Place by Karen A. Chase

Karen - Happy Holidays

Where is your happy place? You know it well. It’s that spot on the planet where your memory takes you when you’re stressed or need a break. Perhaps it’s a beach. A forest? Home?

For writers, our happy place can be a reprieve from the time we spend with our shoulders scrunched up. Our backs are often hunched over a keyboard, tapping words on to pages. Breath quick. Sometimes worried. Sometimes blocked.

In those stressful writing moments, it helps me to go to my happy place. For a long time, that spot has been a lush green path on the eastern side of Emerald Lake in British Columbia. There, the air is Canadian clean. Not another soul rustles a single leaf. The sky above is wide. Expansive.

Snapped | December 16th, 2014

A Daughter of the South’s Old New York by Heath Hardage Lee

Winnie Davis

Just last week, I went to New York City to promote my new biography Winnie Davis: Daughter of the Lost Cause. Winnie was the youngest daughter of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his second wife, Varina. This young woman unwittingly became a symbol of the Confederate Lost Cause. I was thrilled to be able to promote Winnie at a holiday book fair at the Union League Club in NYC alongside such authors as Lee Child, Dorothea Benton Frank, and Nelson DeMille.


Nightstand | December 15th, 2014

Ann Lewis Hamilton’s Nightstand


I saw a photo of a bed once – a platform bed with bookshelves lined all around the bottom. Who cares if the bed is uncomfortable? The ability to lean over and grab a book, any book, without having to get out of bed? Nirvana.

The table beside my bed isn’t very big. There’s enough room for a lamp and only a book or two – any more and our spiteful cats would knock them over. Right now there’s a Daily Guideposts Devotional 2014 – something my mother would send me every Christmas and after she passed away, I started getting it myself, because it was a lovely way to remember her. Below that is Colleen McCullough’s Caesar, from her Masters of Rome series. I’m a sucker for a book series and after I read The First Man in Rome, I had to zip through the rest. Caesar was my favorite and it’s still by my bed. Tempting me to read the entire series again.

Book Buzz | December 11th, 2014 | 2 responses

The Best Books of 2014

As we get ready to close out 2014, here is a look back at our favorite reads of the year. Don’t forget to share your picks below!

The Long Way Home

The Long Way Home by Louise Penny

Armand Gamache is happily retired, giving up the crime world where he was formerly Chief Inspector of Homicide…until his neighbor Clara asks his help in finding her missing husband.

Rants/Raves | December 10th, 2014

My Journey of Embroidering Words


My maternal grandmother was the owner of the Pepsi Cola factory in Vietnam before the Communists took over. Barely able to read, she took over the business after my grandfather died suddenly of a stroke in his early 40s. My mother always boasted about Grandma’s success and showed me pictures of her with celebrities including Hollywood star Joan Crawford and the Vietnamese president.

Book Buzz | June 25th, 2013 | 39 responses

Warning: This Book Will Change Your Life by Kelly Watts

Kelly Watts

I am beginning to think that books should carry warning labels, like cigarettes and alcohol. Several years ago, I bought a seemingly benign book for my depressed husband and after he read it, he announced that we should quit our jobs and sail around the world. Now that book – Tania Aebi’s Maiden Voyage – should come with a “Reader Beware” sticker. And if books need warnings, perhaps life should come with flashing lights and a siren because we actually did it. We quit our jobs, sold our house and set sail – but we weren’t sailors.

Rants/Raves | September 22nd, 2013 | 38 responses

Too Bad Romantic Suspense is Dead By Dana Marton

Dana Marton

In a recent interview, I was asked how I felt about romantic suspense being dead. This was new to me, since I published six romantic suspense novels in 2012 and will be publishing six again in 2013. In fact, I have a new book out every month from August to December.

But yes, if someone really looked at the last couple of years, the star of romantic suspense appears to be waning. After the genre became a huge trend a few years ago, publishers decided that the market was now glutted and did not sign new romantic suspense authors. This meant, if you looked on review sites or in review magazines like Romantic Times Book Review, you saw the romantic suspense reviews page shrink, then disappear.

Rants/Raves | April 5th, 2013 | 36 responses

What Is A Good Read Worth? by Laurie Stevens

Laurie Stevens

I’m primarily an author, but I enjoy working in business, too. My husband and I buy closeouts from major U.S. manufacturers and resell them to discount stores.

Book Buzz | November 14th, 2012 | 27 responses

Fall is a Great Time for a Lowcountry Boil

Lowcountry BoilSusan M. Boyer’s Lowcountry Boil is the first in a delicious new mystery series featuring private eye and modern Southern Belle Liz Talbot. When Liz’s beloved grandmother is murdered, she hightails it back to South Carolina to find the killer – and things get even more complicated when her long dead best friend pops up. Liz took a break from detecting to pop by Shelf Pleasure and share her recipe for a true Lowcountry Boil. 


Book Buzz | March 27th, 2014 | 20 responses

Newport, Rhode Island – a Love Story! by Alyssa Maxwell

Murder at the Breakers

The first book in Alyssa Maxwell’s Gilded Mystery Series, Murder at the Breakers, features 21-year old Emma Cross who is reporting on a grand ball at the Vanderbilts’ summer home for the society page of the Newport Observer. But that takes a backseat when she witnesses a murder and her black sheep brother is framed as the killer. Emma must find out what really happened no matter what the cost. The author fills us in on her love for Newport, the setting for this fabulous and fun new series.

Nightstand | October 25th, 2012 | 19 responses

Toby Neal’s Picks


I’m a mystery/suspense writer and diagnostic mental health therapist, and I began my “profiling” of people very early—as an 11-year-old babysitter.