Book’d in Burbank Authors Share Their Current Reads
Book’d in Burbank is a one night only social gathering for book lovers. This special evening features readings from local mystery, romance and young adult authors, stand up literary comedy, book giveaways, raffles, a children’s book drive, and even complimentary dessert. Taking place on January 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm, Shelf Pleasure is thrilled to be one of the sponsors, along with presenting sponsor Liz Donatelli of Liz D Publicity & Promotions, of what promises to be an amazing night. We can’t wait for the event, and we’re so thrilled four of the attending authors stopped by today to share the books currently on their nightstands. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, we hope to see you at Book’d in Burbank!
Aside from the new sound machine I just bought to drown out my neighbor’s yipping dogs, I have a hardcover copy of The Kingmaker’s Daughter on my nightstand. (Although I have an iPad, I really don’t like reading on it. I prefer real paper pages!) So while listening to the sound of rainfall and ocean waves, I have almost finished this latest book by Philippa Gregory and I can’t put it down. I have read and loved just about all of her historical fiction novels, and this one is no exception. It is part of the Cousins’ War series, which I’m enjoying even more than her Tudor Court novels about Henry VIII and his tragic wives. The Cousins’ War series predates the times of Henry VIII and actually tells the story of his grandparents. And really, what’s not to like in reading about kings and queens, romance and political intrigue?
The Kingmaker’s Daughter explores the life of Anne Neville and how her ruthless father, the Earl of Warwick, manipulated and used both of his daughters to gain power for himself. But the best part of the book for me is that Gregory is telling a different side of the same story that she told in The White Queen. And even though I am familiar with the plot and know what is going to happen, it’s fascinating to me, especially as an author, how Gregory captures the opposite point of view of rival characters in the same circumstances and still manages to hold my interest! Now that’s good writing.
The White Queen is probably my favorite of all her books and I loved the character of Elizabeth Woodville, who I was rooting for until the end of the book. So now, to see the character of Elizabeth Woodville through the eyes of Anne Neville in The Kingmaker’s Daughter is amazing and changes my whole perspective.
Historical fiction is difficult to write and the amount of research Philippa Gregory puts into her books is staggering. Taking real historical figures and giving voice to their thoughts and motivations is something I’m not brave enough as an author to attempt. I’ll stick with my own fictional characters that I’ve created, but it doesn’t lessen my awe for those that do write books featuring historical people.
I’m loving this book and will most likely finish it this evening! Now it’s time to find another nightstand read!
Acclaimed author Kaitlin O’Riley fell in love with historical romance novels when she was just 14 years old, and shortly thereafter she began writing her own stories in spiral notebooks. Fortunately for her, none of those early efforts survive today. She is still an avid reader and can often be found curled up on a sofa with a book in her hands. Her debut novel was Secrets of a Duchess, which RT Book Reviews declared “added freshness to the genre.” This was followed by One Sinful Night and the popular Hamilton sisters series about five sisters living in Victorian England which includes the titles When His Kiss Is Wicked, Desire in His Eyes, It Happened One Christmas, and her newest release, To Tempt an Irish Rogue. A starred review from Publishers Weekly said O’Riley’s writing was “set well apart from the usual romance fare.” Her first foray into paranormal romance was a dreamy vampire novella released in Yours For Eternity, with Hannah Howell and Alexandra Ivy. Her second novella “A Summer Love Affair,” is part of the anthology, Invitation to Sin, with authors Sally MacKenzie, Vanessa Kelly, and Jo Beverley. Kaitlin grew up in New Jersey, but now she lives in sunny Southern California, where she is busy writing her next book.
Currently reading: The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
An incredible piece of work. It’s about the psyche and the way we keep our lives stuck in the past, or in pain, or in fear, by hanging on to negative emotions instead of letting them go. Singer makes the case for treating emotional pain, not as a reason to suffer, but more as something transient, something that only becomes a permanent fixture in our lives if we cling to it. He suggests an alternative: observing it only and not becoming attached. It’s an interesting take, if somewhat robotic. What I love about Singer’s writing is that it’s not dogmatic, or overly passionate, just logical and sensible. For that reason it’s quite persuasive, even as you’re thinking, ‘I could never do this. It’s waaaaay too hard.’
Cash Peters is a British writer and broadcaster based in Los Angeles, as well as a regular contributor to Spirituality & Health magazine. He was the host of Travel Channel’s Stranded with Cash Peters and the author of three travel books. More recently, he wrote the mystery thriller Force of Habit: Sister Madeleine Investigates.
Currently Reading: Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Blood Stains by Catriona McPherson
This is book six in the Dandy Gilver series by Catriona McPherson. It’s a traditional mystery set in Edinburgh in the 20s. It features a wealthy woman, Dandy Gilver, with a knack for detecting. She’s been sought out by a young married woman who believes her husband is out to kill her, and goes undercover as a ladies maid to find out the truth of the matter. But when the husband is found dead, Dandy finds a whole new set of questions that need answers.
I am really enjoying this book. I haven’t read others in the series, but that doesn’t take away from this story. What most impresses me is that Ms. McPherson introduces a large cast of characters who become suspects in a murder investigation, and the characters each stand on their own. I’m about halfway through, and I haven’t had to flip backward to figure out who anyone is. I’ve been tempted to flip to the end to find out the bad guy, but I know that’ll spoil the fun of the read.
I will definitely pick up other books in this series, to find out more about Dandy Gilver. The only downside to this book is that it’s written in a rather English voice and I do a rather bad English accent, so the narration inside my head needs some serious speech therapy!
Diane Vallere is a textbook Capricorn and fashion industry veteran. She writes both the Style & Error and Mad for Mod Mystery series and is on the board of directors of Sisters in Crime Los Angeles. She started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Find her at www.dianevallere.com.
What I’m Reading: I’ve been up the last few nights reading Back to the Good Fortune Diner by Vicki Essex. It’s a coming of age-again, going home-again, type romance about a young women finding love in a small town she can’t wait to escape. Again. I love reading about diverse characters, but it’s hard to find romances that don’t cross all kinds of racial stereotypes. Tiffany, the main character of Back to the Good Fortune Diner, is Chinese.
So far the story does an excellent job of highlighting the differences between traditional Chinese families, American families and the kids and adults who are caught in between being raised by both cultures. Tiffany struggles with pleasing her parents while trying to find a new job that will get her away from them as soon as possible. Falling in love with a local farmer who she used to tutor in high school, who is definitely not Chinese, only complicates her escape plans. The writing flows well, the core characters all have a great sense of humor and the hero is huminah-hot. I can’t wait to see how it ends.
After years of meddling in her friends’ love lives, Rebekah turned to writing romance as a means to surviving a stressful professional life. She has worked in various positions from library assistant, meter maid, middle school teacher, B movie production assistant, reality show crew chauffeur, D movie producer, and her most fulfilling job to date, lube and harness specialist at an erotic boutique in West Hollywood. If given the chance, she will cheat at UNO. She was raised in Southern New Hampshire and now lives in Southern California with an individual who is much more tech savvy than she ever will be. Writing keeps her busy, and occasionally, out of trouble.
Thanks to everyone for visiting us today! We will certainly be adding many of these books to our own nightstands.
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