From Authors & Readers Book Corner
Are you ready to start your new reading resolutions?
The setting for this book, The Columbia Inn at Peralynna, is quite real, and used with the permission of its owners, David and Dr. Cynthia Lynn.
My husband and I first discovered this intriguing boutique bed and breakfast in September. We were charmed by the unique layout and, particularly, by our warm and gracious hosts. We returned again in February, when the Lynns graciously showed us around their home and their community. (Royal Taj Restaurant, The Iron Bridge Wine Company, and the old Savage Mills cotton mill complex are also real places.) Cynthia and I spent many hours in the four story great room, discussing our mutual love for books and writing, and brainstorming future plots.
The inn has a fascinating story behind it. It is, indeed, fashioned after a CIA safe house in Germany that Cynthia thought of as her family’s vacation home. She told me she simply thought their parents threw a lot of parties and took their five children on spur-of-the-moment trips, often in the still of night. It was years before she realized her parents were spies and that those clandestine encounters were related to national security. In fact, the American pilot Francis Gary Powers (you probably remember the name from the blockbuster movie Bridge of Spies) was debriefed at the safe house her father.
During my last visit, I had the pleasure of listening to Cynthia and her sister Dot recall memories of the house, their parents, and their unique lifestyle abroad. Oh, the books these women could write! The character of CIA Agent Logan McKee is, in fact, Cynthia’s creation and will be the main character in a fiction series—non-classified, of course—that she plans to pen in the very near future.
I hope you enjoyed this book and the glimpse shared into The Columbia Inn at Peralynna. The next time you’re in the Baltimore/Columbia/DC area, you owe it to yourself to meet the Lynns and to stay in their beautiful home. Be sure and tell them I sent you. (And don’t forget to look for those secret staircases!)
By the way, Boonsboro, Maryland is only an hour away, where you can visit Turn the Page bookstore and the Boonsboro Inn, both owned by author Nora Roberts.
Until next time,
Becki Willis, best known for her popular The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series and Forgotten Boxes, always dreamed of being an author. In November of ’13, that dream became a reality. Since that time, she has published eleven books, won first place honors for Best Mystery Series, Best Suspense Fiction and Best Audio Book, and has introduced her imaginary friends to readers around the world. Learn more about Becki and her work at http://beckiwillis.com/.
Author Sandra Hurst stops by Authors & Readers Book Corner to not only share news about her book, Peace Out, but to also share her encounter with the keynote speaker at When Words Collide 2017 in Calgary. Let’s hear about what happened.
Only in the life of Sandra
It was the second day of When Words Collide 2017 in Calgary, and I was having too much fun! Now you have to remember something, Guy Gavriel Kay was one of the keynote speakers this year, and he is one of ‘those’ authors to me. He is the one whose words I read when I need to compare my writing to the best of what ‘real’ fantasy should feel like. His words, and the way I feel when he uses them, is why I write the way I do.
The conference was 2/3 over and I still hadn’t had the time or the mobility to attend any of his sessions. So, I figured on not getting the chance to meet Mr. Kay in person and was just relaxing and having fun with all the new authors and readers that I was meeting.
I thought about joining the line at the autograph session, maybe have a chance to meet him for 3-seconds and ask the one burning question that has always haunted me about his book Tigana, but the que stretched right out the ballroom doors, clearly not possible to me with my razor wire knees. Right then, before I could even process the disappointment, my body caught up with my brain and yelled STOP in a you-will-sit-down-now voice that I couldn’t ignore.
So, I called for help and my faithful knight, Sir Michael revved up the chrome charger and dashed to my rescue. I grabbed my books and bags and ran, okay walked, okay wombled, up to the main gates. And wouldn’t you know, as I was standing waiting for Mike to pull up in the Van, Mr. Kay walks across the parking lot in front of me and we exchanged a few pleasantries.
“Thank you for coming” “Oh, I love coming to Calgary” “Have a good night” that kind of stuff. Inconsequential, certainly, but I’d met him. Angels sang and neon stars flashed in my eyes (okay no, but it was cool). Mr. Kay walked away across the parking lot, just as the great blue charger rounded the corner to pick me up.
“NO!” I screamed (internally I hope). “Don’t run over that one, he’s important.” Brakes work, heart works, sweat glands working overtime, all while Mr. Kay walked calmly into the hotel, never knowing the tragedy that almost happened. I hope Mr. Kay didn’t hear me, but my husband did, his first words when I lumbered into the truck were, “You know you said that out loud, don’t you?” Damn!
A mythmaker at heart, Sandra Hurst has been writing poetry, fantasy and science fiction since her school days in England. A member of the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society, the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, and The Mythopoeic Society, Hurst works to build fantasy worlds that allow her readers to join her in exploring the depths of human interaction in a mythical game of ‘what if.’
Her first novel, Y’keta, is long-listed for the prestigious Aurora Award, for best Canadian fantasy novel (Young Adult) and the American-based RONE award for break out fantasy novel.
She now lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband and son, both of whom she loves dearly, and has put up for sale on e-bay when their behavior demanded it. Learn more about Sandra and her other titles at http://www.delusionsofliteracy.com/
About Peace Out
Brent Harrington is gone and Cyn Redman really couldn’t give a rat’s ass. While the whole town celebrates or mourns the end of the Harrington dynasty, Cyn’s life is falling apart. Her mother has recently been diagnosed with cancer, throwing Cyn’s heart, as well as her future plans into turmoil.
The last thing Cyn is looking for is Jericho, the quiet, soft-spoken ranch hand from the McBride place. Between the clinic closing, her mom’s health, and Cyn’s long-delayed college plans, there are already too many uncertainties. Could Jericho be the anchor she needs so desperately as her world falls apart? Or is he just another excuse not to let go of Peace and move on.
2x $5 gift cards, 1 x swag bundle, 1x $10 gift card
Wow, isn’t the title of this post a mouth full to say. I tell yaw!
Anyway, I wanted to share my thoughts on the books I read for my first wrap up for the new year. I read a variety and hit some books in series that I’m trying to finish.
This are the books I read in January:
On Pointe by Shelly Ellis (3 Stars)
This was a wonderful set up to this new series set in a dance academy school ran by siblings and their mother. It was exciting meeting the first sister, Bina who has recently had a breakup but determined to get on with her life. Bina’s transformation in the story made it worth reading but I share more in my review.
*Full review will be available later this week.
Ex-Ray by Cheryl Robinson (5 Stars)
Ex-Ray had me on the edge of my seat and wanting so much more. These characters had me mesmerized from the first chapter with their betrayal, secrets and personal issues. It has everything a juicy drama needs and I enjoyed it so much and can’t wait till book three comes out later this year. I talked about it more in my review here.
Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs (5 Stars)
No words can express the kick ass main character in this series, Mercy Thompson. Even though she puts herself in danger more times than she should, the plots, descriptions and locations make you feel like your in the story with her.
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas (3 Stars)
I’m sure this book is just a set up for more action and better character development because at this point I’m not invested in this series at all. I dont want to give up on it just yet. I do believe Celeana has the potential to be a great. I also like that she is not fully following the King’s wishes even though I believe it’s going to backfire at some point.
Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (3 Stars)
I will be honest the only reason I purchased this book is because I loved her father. The plot of this book seemed intriguing and I’m always up for a suspense, thrillers and mysteries. However, it was boring as heck for me. The twists were flat and the ended was rushed. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters but I will give her next work a try if there is one.
The Killing Lessons by Saul Black (3 Stars)
I’m a big fan of psychological thrillers especially those with serial killers, which I hoped this would be a great one. It didn’t excite me like I thought it would. Don’t get me wrong, it starts off great and the author created characters tgat yoy really get to know. The suspense is even there but It seemed he got long winded in some areas that could have been shorten and maybe the story wouldn’t have stalled for me.
The Alpha Drive by Kristen Martin (3 Stars)
I’m not a big fan of science fiction/Fantasy books but I love the movies. This particular book caught my attention. I was able to pick up on Emory going to a boarding school when she is asked to join an organization but then she is asked to play both sides, good vs bad. Emory has to decide who to believe and figure out who she can trust. This book kept my attention even though it felt rushed and some of the characters actions were not believable. I still enjoyed it and will probably buy the rest of the books in the series.
Saturday’s at Sweeney’s by Ashley Farley (5 Stars)
I love a good mystery and this book did it for me. After reading this, I so ordered the rest of the books in this series. I love the Sweeney family with all of their flaws and secrets. This is book five and I believe the last book and it starts off with the family’s business burning down. Who started it? everyone wants to know. You have to read it to find out.
*Full review will be available later this week.
Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs ( 5 Stars)
In Iron Kissed the stakes are pretty high and Mercy made me so mad at her in this one. There is also a little love triangle that has you picking sides before you get to the end.
As you can see in my January Wrap Up there were books I loved and some books that didn’t work for me. I always give an author a second chance, so I will try another one of their books.
What books did you read for January? If you have read any of the titles above, leave me a comment and let me know what you thought about them.