Welcome to the first Smorgasbord Open House from Ireland and today I am delighted to welcome USA Today Bestselling author Amy M. Reade. Amy writes women’s contemporary and gothic fiction. Her books have been compared to authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Phyllis Whitney, and Victoria Holt. Amy’s novels feature vivid descriptions of exotic and fascinating locations, such as the Thousand Islands region of New York State, Charleston, South Carolina, and the Big Island of Hawaii.
A former attorney, Amy found that writing was her true calling, and is currently working on a new project, a series set in Edinburgh, Scotland. She loves cooking, reading, and travel. You can visit her website, http://www.amymreade.com, where, in addition to information about her books and appearances, you will find a contact form, suggested playlists to go along with her novels, and notes and recommendations on wines.
Amy’s latest book is available for pre-order and will be delivered to your kindle on April 26th. Pre-Order House of the Hanging Jade
About House of the Hanging Jade
A dark presence had invaded the Jorgensens’ house. On a spectacular bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, something evil is watching and waiting . . .
Tired of the cold winters in Washington, D.C. and disturbed by her increasingly obsessive boyfriend, Kailani Kanaka savors her move back to her native Big Island of Hawaii. She also finds a new job as personal chef for the Jorgensen family. The gentle caress of the Hawaiian trade winds, the soft sigh of the swaying palm trees, and the stunning blue waters of the Pacific lull her into a sense of calm at the House of Hanging Jade–an idyll that quickly fades as it becomes apparent that dark secrets lurk within her new home. Furtive whispers in the night, a terrifying shark attack, and the discovery of a dead body leave Kailani shaken and afraid. But it’s the unexpected appearance of her ex-boyfriend, tracking her every move and demanding she return to him, that has her fearing for her life .
Other Books by Amy Reade
One of the great reviews for the book
Outstanding! Could not put it down! By Kathleen Charon on April 29, 2015 Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just finished the Ghosts of Peppernell Manor and literally could not put it down! It is exactly the type of book that I love…..a little bit gothic with the old house and it’s secrets, mysterious death and clean romance. I got exactly what I expected and I enjoyed every minute of escape that this book gave me. I was not able to solve the mystery before the reveal so that was enjoyable for me as well. Overall, a fantastic read!
Delightful discovery! By Kathleen Charon on April 22, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I was younger, I read Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney books all the time. I have looked in vain for other authors who write similar books. I am so pleased that I found Ms Reade. I could not stop reading this book, I enjoyed the pacing and the characters very much. Some plot twists seemed sudden but I was not able to figure out the ending. It was a clean story and no overt violence. I am anxious to read other books by this author.
Amy M. Reade the Blogger
Amy has a terrific blog and you will find interviews, guest blogs, book recommendations, recipes and articles on wine. Later on in today’s post you will find a delicious recipe that will give you a good idea of the food ideas you will find on the blog. Here is a link to one of her recent author interviews with Phyllis Moore.
I am now going to hand over to Amy to find out more about her life and work through the questions she has chosen to answer
Who would you like to meet from the past who you would like to have a conversation with. What would you tell them about their behaviour that you admired or disapproved of?
If I could meet anyone from the past, I would choose Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of author F. Scott Fitzgerald.
I would want to know all about living in Paris in the early twentieth century- where she liked to go for fun, where she lived, which restaurants she liked to visit, how people dressed.
I would also ask her about her own writing, since as I understand it she was a very good writer whose work was always considered less important than that of her husband.
I’d also want to know about all her friends in Paris- I’d ask about Ernest and Hadley Hemingway, Picasso, Gertrude Stein and, of course, F. Scott.
What I know about Zelda Fitzgerald comes, of course, from the things I’ve read about her. And from that basis of knowledge, I’ve learned that she wasn’t too different from any other person, living or dead. She had her problems, just like everyone else. And one of her problems was the constant struggle to maintain her “self.” I would tell her that I admire her determination and desire to forge and keep her own identity despite living in the overarching shadows of her husband and their friends. I would tell her that her writing and her dancing were good for her. I would tell her that someday doctors would find effective treatments for the mental illnesses she faced and that I’m sorry she had to spend so much of her life fighting her own demons.
Which is your favourite leisure pastime?
It’s a toss-up between reading and cooking, and since I discuss cooking in Question #4, I’ll tell you about my favourite books and authors.
I’ve had a number of favourite authors, beginning with Carolyn Keene of Nancy Drew fame, continuing with James Herriot, and bringing us up to the present with Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, Phyllis Whitney, and M. C. Beaton. My favourite author at any given time depends on my mood.
I’m currently reading four books: Murder in the South of France by Susan Kiernan-Lewis, White Nights by Ann Cleeves, Trials Elsewhere by Robin Isard, and The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. It’s not like me to read four books at once- normally I’m a one-at-a-time reader, but things got a bit out of control and I’ll be back to my normal habits as soon as I finish this quartet!
Who is the best actor or actress you have ever seen on television or film and tell us why.
I don’t even have to think about this one. The answer is Cary Grant. I have yet to see a movie starring Cary Grant that I don’t love. Why is he my favourite? I think it’s because his comedic timing is perfect. Whether he’s raising an eyebrow or clearing his throat at just the right moment, or delivering a line in his characteristic tongue-in-cheek manner, he gets it just right and I don’t think he learned that from a director. I think that was just his way.
Incidentally, the two movies I watch over and over again are “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” and “The Bishop’s Wife.” Cary Grant plays opposite Myrna Loy and Loretta Young, respectively. During the Christmas season, “The Bishop’s Wife” is my favourite movie. During the rest of the year, it’s got to be “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.”
If you cook do you have a signature dish that everyone loves to eat? Can we have the recipe?
I love to cook. Baking is my specialty, though as I get older all the baking I do becomes more obvious on my hips and thighs. I’m going to give you two recipes: one is my signature dish, Parmesan Chicken (not to be confused with Chicken Parmesan) and the other is Rhubarb Cake, a dessert which my whole family loves (and it’s easy—not even from scratch! Shhh…).
*Cook’s Disclaimer: neither of these can in any way be considered healthy*
1 c. seasoned bread crumbs
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
½ c. melted butter
2 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
½ t. salt (optional)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
In a shallow bowl combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese; mix well. In another shallow bowl combine butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and salt; mix well.
Dredge chicken through butter mixture, then through bread crumb mixture.
Place chicken in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Pour remaining butter mixture over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, basting with butter mixture once or twice.
1 pkg. (18 ½ oz.) yellow cake mix and ingredients to make it
5 c. diced rhubarb
1 c. sugar
1 c. heavy cream
Mix cake as directed on the package. Pour batter into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
Sprinkle rhubarb over batter. Sprinkle with sugar. Pour cream over the top. DO NOT MIX THE LAYERS.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Tell us about your work in progress, plans for your blog in the next year any special events that are coming up that are very special to you.
My work in progress: I have been contracted by my publisher to write a three-book series set in the United Kingdom. Right now I’m working on Book 1, and although I have a working title for it, we haven’t come up with an official title yet. Otherwise I’d share it with you now! The three books will be in the same genre as my first three novels- women’s fiction with a gothic feel to them. I’m very excited about writing these books, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of writing the first in the series. It’s set mostly in Edinburgh and I have a field trip planned for research!
My blog: My goal this year is to increase the number of authors I have on the blog either guest posting or participating in interviews. It’s been a good year so far, and I enjoyed having you on the blog, Sally. (Thanks Amy, I enjoyed that very much too)
Upcoming events: By the time this posts, I will have attended Malice Domestic in Bethesda, MD, US. It’s a convention bringing together writers and fans of traditional and less traditional cozy mysteries, as well as agents and editors.
I’m also planning on participating in a river cruise (a one-day affair) on the St. Lawrence River during the summer with a couple other authors. Since that’s the area where I grew up, I’m very excited about that.
I also have two other author/fan festivals planned for this year: the Suffolk Mystery Authors Festival in Suffolk, VA, US, and Bouchercon, in New Orleans, LA, US. It’s going to be a busy year!
Thanks very much for including me in the Open House, Sally. I have enjoyed the experience and will be happy to respond to any questions or comments your readers might have.
Connect with Amy via her website and social media links:
My thanks to Amy for her great responses to the questions and also for providing two recipes that will just have to be attempted…. my chances of getting out of those elasticated waistbands is diminishing fast.
Please feel free to share Amy’s interview and we would love your feedback. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.