Smorgasbord Open House – USA Today Bestselling Author – Amy M. Reade.


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My guest today, USA Today Bestselling author Amy M. Reade, 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 was published in late April and is already receiving terrific reviews.

House of the Hanging Jade cover with USA Today

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 . . .

A stunning thriller! By Crystal Gomez on April 27, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition

This was an absolutely stunning thriller! With a captivating storyline, perfect dialogue and extremely complex characters, I was eagerly absorbed into reading this story late into the night. There were tons of twists and turns being revealed throughout the whole story, and it was a blast trying to figure out the culprit in the book. The author’s knowledge and descriptions of all the different food also definitely had me devouring this book as quick as I could! I absolutely enjoyed reading this thrilling book and can’t wait to see what else the author has written!
*I received a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion!

Other Books by Amy Reade

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One of the great reviews for the book 
Outstanding! Could not put it down! By Kathleen Charon on April 29, 2015

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!

51ZVVg+UJjL._UY250_A review for Hallstead house

This reminded me quite a bit of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca  By Gina Kelly on July 17, 2014

This reminded me quite a bit of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca in that it starts with a young girl in a large house with some dark secrets. Macy is a live-in nurse for an elderly woman, but as soon as she gets to the secluded house, she finds a cold welcome and the distinct feeling she isn’t wanted. I found the mystery to be a good one. Being alone on an island limited the number of people who could be behind the bad deeds, but I still didn’t guess the culprit or motive until the very end. The setting was also very well done. What put me off a bit was the extensive exposition and backstory. Some of it felt like info dump and slowed things down considerably. If the side stories had been trimmed down, I would have enjoyed this mystery even more.

Buy all the books.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/amy+m+reade?_requestid=239322
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=Amy%20M.%20Reade%20&ac=1&acp=amy%20m
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/amy-m.-reade/id972561593?mt=11
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/author?id=Amy+M.+Reade
Kensington Publishing: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/author.aspx/29480
Indie Bound: http://www.indiebound.org/

The Blogger
Amy has a terrific blog- https://amreade.wordpress.com/ –  and you will find interviews, guest blogs, book recommendations, recipes and articles on wine. Later on in the 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
https://amreade.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/meet-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.

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Welcome Amy and 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.

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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.

51J9Xnc8zEL._UY250_murder in the south of france51j0JxV-MZL._UY250_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 speciality, 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*

Parmesan Chicken

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.

Serves 6.

Rhubarb Cake

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.

Whilst we enjoy both of those delicious offerings..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.

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:

Website: www.amymreade.com
Blog: www.amreade.wordpress.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8189243.Amy_M_Reade
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Facebook: www.facebook.com/amreadeauthor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/readeandwrite
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/amreade

Thanks to Amy for sharing her interests, books and recipes.. no need to cook lunch today.  As always delighted to receive your feedback and please feel free to share Amy’s interview around the usual haunts.. Enjoy the rest of Sunday.. Sally

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Smorgasbord Open House – Author Bokerah Brumley


smorgasbord open house twoWelcome to this week’s Open House and my guest this week is a speculative fiction writer from West Texas. Bokerah Brumley. Despite living on ten acres, with five home-educated children, four peacocks, three dogs, two cats and her husband, still manages to find time to write. Apart from contributing to some excellent short story collections, Bokerah has also written Cold Water Bridegroom, more about that shortly.

Bokerah admits to being addicted to Twitter pitch events, writing contests and social media in general.. She has three urban fantasy novellas due for release in 2016 and will tell us more in her WIP.

If all of that was not enough to fit in during her busy week, Bokerah is also the Publicity Officer for the Cisco Writers Club.

Before Brokerah tells us more about her life, writing, favourite television and recipes, let’s take a look at her work so far.

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About the book

Calder Brumen grew up in San Francisco, and he’s always been drawn to the ocean. He’s spent his life capturing the beauty of the Pacific on canvas. Over time, he’s grown obsessed with painting the image of a dark haired mermaid named Gaire, and Calder struggles to explain his devotion to these portraits to his best friend. When Calder finds sandy footprints leading to the edge of his bed, he suspects that the haunting siren is real. In pursuit of the truth, Calder is dragged into a murderous, underwater plot that could destroy them all. And he must choose – is the possibility of a lifetime with Gaire worth risking death for himself and everyone he loves?

One of the reviews for Cold Water Bridgegroom

Vivid and Enchanting!  By ADraeger on August 4, 2015  Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
B. Brumley has done an amazing job with Cold Water Bridegroom. Her descriptions are lush, her characters feel as real as you and I, and before you know it, you are caught blissfully in the undertow of this story. From the shack of a painter whose heart longs for a woman who doesn’t…shouldn’t…exist…to the depths of the Pacific, where an ancient society of merfolk have lived for centuries, you follow along with Brumley as she weaves a story of fated lovers, best friends who are close enough to be brothers, and a lurking danger that hides behind a pair of seductive eyes, who threatens to extinguish the light of good that glows beautifully in this book. While I must admit that clean reads are not my normal fare, Brumley had me competely ensared. Grab this book as quick as you can. Highly recommended!!!

Some other books that Bokerah has contributed to.

Seasons Vol 1 - Final

Seasons – A Multi-Genre Story Collection – Volume One.  Free until June 2016

About the Anthology.

Nine New Stories in Six Popular Genres. Whether you enjoy mystery, romance, fantasy, or paranormal, this collection has something for you. Contributing authors are Debbie White, Jeffrey Collyer, Marla Bradeen, Bokerah Brumley, Lea Doue, Michelle Bolanger, Ava Mallory, Myra Kendrix and Lisa B. Thomas.

Escape into this seasonal-themed short story collection. In this flinch-free fiction set, every featured story is proud to be a clean read, free from harsh language, sex, and graphic violence. This collection is only available for a limited time until the end of June so read it now while you can!
Free until June 2016 – Amazon (universal): http://mybook.to/seasons-group

enchantedEnchanted: The Fairy Revels Collection: 9 Faerie Romance & Fantasy Fairy Tales; Urban Fantasy, YA Fairies, Fractured Fairy Tales, Sweet Fae Romance, and Paranormal Boxed Set Kindle Edition

About the Collection
One spellbound night, nine award-winning and Amazon best-selling authors joined together to bring you an enchanting collection of tales featuring our favorite otherworldly creatures, fairies. Enchanted: The Fairy Revels Collection will seduce you into the wondrous world of the fae with magic, romance, fantasy, adventure, fairy tales, and folklore. Get ready to be beguiled by a unique boxed set with fractured fairy tales, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, sci-fi adventure, and more. This captivating collection is certain to please anyone who loves magical realism and fairy stories.

Buy the collection: Amazon

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Woe for a Faerie, is the story of Woe, a fallen angel that struggles to find her purpose after losing her wings. A buff Fae fellow saves her from freezing to death in Central Park and promptly decides she’s his. Meanwhile, Woe meets Jason, a priest that isn’t quite what he seems. I like to think of it as City of Angels meets League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Buy Bokerah’s books at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/B.-Brumley/e/B014Q4VZPY

Further information and buy links via Bokerhah’s  Website

Now I will hand you over to Bokerah to tell us about her books, favourite television, recipes and work in progress.

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Welcome Bokerah and perhaps you could tell us about your chosen genre of books that you write and why?

I love speculative fiction. I write science fiction (including a steampunk novelette), urban fantasy, paranormal romance, alternate history. I write clean, so I lean toward young adult, but all of my work features women/girls as strong, independent characters. It didn’t dawn on me until Summer 2015 – when I had a flash fiction make it to the shortlist with Mash Stories – that *I* could write science fiction. I could fill the strong woman void. My paranormal romance, Cold Water Bridegroom, is written from a male point of view, but the haunting mermaid he dreams of isn’t looking for a knight. He’s more the “dude in distress,” as it were.

I’m spec fic through and through. I just love the possibilities in the question: “What If?”

What is your favorite all time television series?

I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. I’m a sucker for Jonathan Frakes (#TeamRiker). I would love to meet him someday. I don’t ComicCon much, so I doubt it ever happens, but it’d be incredible to meet the whole cast. It’s on my bucket list. I’m also working on a science fiction novel called Four Winds from a Tempest. I’m taking a long time to get it right. It’s my baby, and it has a Firefly feel. *wink, wink* Guess what other shows I like.

What kind of music do you listen to and who are your favorite musicians?

Oh my goodness. I’m so moody and all over the place with my music tastes. Lately, when I’m writing SciFi, I’ve been listening to Lindsey Stirling’s 2012 self-titled album or Ellie Gouldings’s Halcyon Days. When I’m working on my urban fantasy, I’ve been listening to Sarah McLachlan’s album Mirrorball or the soundtrack to the movie, City of Angels.

 If you cook do you have a signature dish that everyone loves to eat? Can we have the recipe?

Yes, I made this one up for a church breakfast. Plus, we have five kids, so we make big meals.

Decadent Second Breakfast
(Feeds one Shire-like family)

1 package Turkey Bacon
1 lb. Turkey Sausage
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
¼ cup butter
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp Italian seasoning
¼ tsp. garlic powder
30 eggs
2 cups of shredded cheese (I use Colby-Jack)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a 9X13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. With a little water, brown the turkey sausage in a skillet.
Meanwhile, line the bottom of the casserole dish with the turkey back, overlapping each piece slightly. This creates the first layer.

Once turkey sausage is browned, add cream cheese, butter, and whipping cream. Cook over medium-low heat until cream cheese is melted. Add Italian seasoning and garlic. Mix well.

Spread this mixture over the layer of turkey bacon.

Break eggs into a large mixing bowl. Beat well. Pour over the first two layers. I usually have to beat fifteen eggs, pour, and then beat the other fifteen.

Sprinkle cheese over egg layer.

Cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes, and then carefully remove foil.

Return to oven and bake for another 10-20 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out mostly clean. Cooking times vary.

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.

I’m uber-pumped to be participating in several anthologies this year. Release dates for two haven’t been confirmed yet, but these are the two that I can tell you about…

The follow up to Woe for a Faerie is Wings Over New York – out in July 2016 – with Cursed: The Beasts of Summer Collection. In it, our heroine, Woe, is tasked with locating a nocturnal albino peacock shifter that is haunting Central Park and sucking psychic energy from unsuspecting humans.

And in November 2016, I’ll release, Feather, and add another novella to my fantasy world. My main character is a baddie trying to go good. Readers will get the awesome-sauce introduction to the epic author-party that is The Hotel Paranormal.

Links to connect with Bokerah.
Blog: http://superbokerah.com/
Website: http://www.bokerah.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/msbbrumley
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bokerah/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bokerah/

Thanks for joining us today to meet Bokerah and your feedback as always is welcome.. We would also be delighted if you could share and spread the word about Bokerah’s work.

Thank you Sally