Archive for the ‘Author Spotlight’ Category
Since last week’s post about my current standings in the Goodreads challenge, I have read three more books. That puts me at 20 books completed, and only 3 books behind! And it’s all thanks to Jennifer McMahon.
One of my favorite things to do is go to a bookstore, and just take in all of the books (don’t judge me and my nerdiness). I like to read the summaries on the back, or just look at the covers. I know the old saying “Don’ judge a book by it’s cover,” but many times covers can be intriguing. So, I can spend some time just perusing paperbacks, hardbacks, and magazines. A few days ago, I was on one of these book expeditions, and I noticed a book called Don’t Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon. The cover was the face of a little girl, and that image just struck me. It was a different sort of cover than I remember seeing. And so I decided to read the book.
Not only did the book involve fairies and fairy tales, it was also a mystery/thriller in which secrets are only revealed in the final few chapter
s. I love books where I get to guess the ending, and love them even more when I am surprised. Don’t Breathe a Word is the story of a young girl who disappears, who claims she is going to the fairy world, and the truth behind the disappearance. It is broken up into sections, one part being the present and the other part the past. And, as the story unfolds and reveals itself, you find yourself wondering if this fairy world is real.
After finishing that book, I went on to read Promise Not to Tell, and Dismantled (both also by McMahon). Her style is very easy to recognize, usually a story full of secrets and lies that only becomes clear in the last few pages. The books often utilizing the past/present dichotomies to tell the entire story. I am now beginning a fourth book by the author: Island of Lost Girls. Then I will probably just round out my reading with her entire bibliography by reading My Tiki Girl.
It isn’t often that one author can continue to offer something new and different that I want to continue reading. Although elements of the story are often similar, and her writing style shines through, I haven’t gotten bored with her books. If you like mystery/thrillers, and aren’t afraid of a little bit of paranormal/magic in your reading, you should give her books a shot!
It’s not often that I read a book, and then feel compelled to immediately read every other book that author has written. But once I read The Sugar Queen by Best Selling Author Sarah Addison Allen, I knew I had to get my hands on all of her other books. At the time, only two other titles were available (Garden Spells and The Girl Who Chased the Moon), and I read them both within three days. I marked my calendar for the release date of the fourth (something else I rarely do), and got it the day it came out. I didn’t rush out at midnight (like I did to buy the last five Harry Potter books), but don’t think I wasn’t tempted. To date, she has released the following four books:
One of my favorite characteristics of these books is the way Allen sprinkles a little bit of magic into the book, and it never seems completely impossible. In fact, she makes it seem quite probable. Being someone who has always adored fairy tales, I highly enjoy this magical, fairy tale quality. Food is another dimension present in most of her books that keeps me coming back. In Garden Spells, baking is integral to the plot. And, in The Sugar Queen, candy and sweet snacks are very essential to the story. I love food (eating it and making it!), so it is only natural I would love reading about it. The descriptions of all the food make it all sound so delectable. Lavender bread, hummingbird cake, espresso brownies, even Gobstoppers!
While my favorite of the four novels is Garden Spells, the remaining three are all close 2nds. The stories are so creative, and the characters very memorable. Each of these books prominently feature romance, mystery, and (of course) magic! They are all fairly quick reads, and I believe they would make fantastic book club selections. There is even a section of her website specifically for book club meetings. This section features discussion questions, and even recipes from the book to make for the get together!
If you are familiar with this author’s work (or you intelligently take my recommendation and read her books), then you will probably also enjoy Kate Morton. I recently finished her novel, The Forgotten Garden, and her writing is very similar. But I will save that for another time!