Book Buzz | May 18th, 2015

New Releases 5.19.15

After months of freezing temps, mountains of snow, and icy roads, the unofficial start of summer is almost here! These are the new releases we’ll be reading this Memorial Day weekend.


Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews

Greer Hennessy has a pretty cool job as a movie location scout. Unfortunately for Greer, her last project ended in disaster and her entire career is on the line if she can’t find just the right spot for a big blockbuster movie in the works.

Book Buzz | May 14th, 2015

5 Must-Read Midwest Books by Mary McNear


Although I’ve lived in San Francisco for the last 20 years, I have deep ties to the Midwest. I grew up in Chicago and Wisconsin and spent my childhood summers at the lake cabin my grandfather built in the northern Midwest. Even now, we still visit this cabin every summer. My parents, my sisters, and all our children arrive in July and August and set off from the dock in old canoes, taking in the tranquil beauty of the lake. We reconnect with old neighbors and friends and visit the variety store, the cafés, and the shops in the nearby town, all of which has been an inspiration for the town in my Butternut Lake series.

But that’s not all that influenced my decision to set my series in the Midwest. Long before I began writing novels, I read books that inspired me to become a writer. Five books that I read before the age of 18 come to mind. They are all set in small towns in the Midwest from the 1850s to the 1950s. In fact, I can’t imagine a list of books set in the Midwest not including these five:

Trailers | May 13th, 2015

Trailer: hausfrau


Ever wonder how the final image ends up on a book cover? Here’s a fascinating look at the many many incarnations Random House went through for Jill Alexander Essbaum’s recent novel, Hausfrau.

Author Q&A | May 12th, 2015

Jessica Knoll Talks ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’


Luckiest Girl Alive is one of the most buzzed about books of the year. Author Jessica Knoll answers our questions about her debut.

Luckiest Girl Alive is being compared to two of our all time favorites, Prep and Gone Girl. But what did you have in mind when writing?

I’ve actually never read Prep and I really need to! I have no doubt it is a wonderful book because so many writers I respect adore it. Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn’s first novel, is my favorite of her books and was hugely influential in terms of helping me identify the kind of book I wanted to write, which was something dark and shocking.

Book Buzz | May 11th, 2015

New Releases 5.12.15

The Brontë sisters, an edge of your seat thriller and the most buzzed about book of the year (so far!) make up our list for the can’t miss reads of the week!


The Bronte Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects by Deborah Lutz

The Brontë sisters helped cement an early love of literature for us over at Shelf Pleasure and for that reason alone, we’re interested in this biography that details the lives and works of the famous siblings.

Snapped | May 7th, 2015

Where and How I Write: Craig Faustus Buck’s Laid-Back Style

CB at desk 2015

I write in a recliner with a trackball on my chest. I’ve done so ever since my first detachable keyboard around 1980. I had a desk built to fit this reclining style a few years before my daughter was born in 1986. As you can see, the recliner worked out well when she was an infant.

Book Buzz | June 25th, 2013 | 40 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.