Friday, August 8, 2014

August Heat: Summer Reading Recommendations by Jacqueline Seewald

Last month, I blogged on the topic of summer reading. This month I want to take that a step further. With people going on vacation, sitting at beaches, pools and on cruise ships, many individuals enjoy relaxing with a good book. And there certainly are a lot of them being published. So I’ll suggest several novels I’ve read so far this summer and particularly liked. I’m asking that you join me in suggesting books that you recently enjoyed reading—or your own novels if you’re a fellow author.

My husband and I both appreciated John Grisham’s SYCAMORE ROW. I left a review for the novel on Goodreads and Amazon. This novel is supposed to be a sequel to the critically well-reviewed A TIME TO KILL. In my opinion, it’s even stronger. Grisham’s greatest talent is in writing beginnings with a powerful narrative hook. But this novel never wavers throughout. Characterization and plotting are excellent. You simply don’t want to put the book down. It’s a serious, thoughtfully written novel.

Another novel that we both enjoyed and just finished reading is THE CHASE by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. This is a fast-paced humorous caper which follows THE HEIST, another O’Hare/Nicolas Fox novel. Yes, the plot is outrageous and improbable but it’s still fun. We enjoyed both books in this new series, but I think THE CHASE is the better of the two. The series is gathering steam and I hope it continues.

I’ll also recommend my own most recent books:

The fourth Kim Reynolds mystery THE BAD WIFE (and yes, she is very, very bad!) was published by Perfect Crime Books. It is available both in print and e-book editions.

My Regency romance TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS received an excellent blurb endorsement from Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick which appears on the cover of that novel, published both as a hardcover from Five Star/Gale and in large print from Thorndike Press. Mary Balogh also read this novel and offered helpful editorial suggestions prior to publication. SteameReads has published this novel in a newly edited e-book formats.

I won SteameReads “Some Like It Hot” romance novel writing contest with my sensual Georgian romance THE CHEVALIER. That novel was published and is also available in all e-book formats.

My “clean read” YA novel THE DEVIL AND DANNA WEBSTER was recently published as an e-book in all formats by Astraea Press. This YA novel is a good reading experience for mothers and daughters to share. It’s not just for teens. Although a romance, it's also a coming-of-age novel, the main theme being family values.

Finally, I will mention my book of short stories, BEYOND THE BO TREE, published as an e-book by Authentic Press.
I collected together some of my best diverse stories for reader enjoyment. The first story in the group is a free read.

Okay, now here’s your opportunity to share the books you think will make for good summer reading. Don’t be shy! Comments/suggestions are welcome here.


Patricia Gligor's Writers Forum said...

I'll second you in recommending your novel, "The Bad Wife." Loved it!
And, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my own series, including the most recent, "Desperate Deeds."
I'm currently reading Marja McGraw's just released "What Are The Odds?" and it's delightful!
So many books, so little time. :)

Susan Oleksiw said...

You are remarkably prolific, Jacquie. I enjoyed two of your books recently, THE BAD WIFE and THE CHEVALIER. I just picked up Val McDermid's DISTANT ECHO.

And I'm glad to mention my newest release, FOR THE LOVE OF PARVATI, the third Anita Ray mystery.

My TBR pile never seems to get smaller.

Bobbi A. Chukran, Author said...

I also loved The Bad Wife and recommend it highly. I took a peek inside your short story book on Amazon and read The Phone Call. What a sweet, uplifting story! They say you can't write good, short love stories, but you did it.

Unknown said...

As a fellow academic, your Kim Reynolds mystery series looks fascinating. I've just grabbed the Kindle version, and it will be my reward for slogging through a rewrite this weekend!

Currently reading Marja McGraw's Sandi Webster mystery series, plus enjoying Alyssa Maxwell's "Murder at Marble House" as well as Ritter Ames' "Organized for Murder."

If anyone's in the mood for a (literally) hot summer read, my book "Deadly Ties" (A Waterside Kennels mystery) is set in the heat of an Ozark summer. (I promise all the dogs live happily ever after!)

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Pat, Susan, Bobbi and Susan,

Thank you each for stopping by. Your books are great. I've already read, enjoyed, and reviewed Desperate Deeds and For the Love of Parvati. I look forward to reading your suggestions!

Nancy J. Cohen said...

I like the historical mystery/suspense series set in WWII Britain by Susan Elia MacNeal. I just finished the latest book in her series.

Alice Duncan said...

I just read DON'T EVER GET OLD, by Daniel Friedman, and recommend it a lot! It features an 88-year-old, grumpy, retired policeman who solves a crime involving stolen Nazi gold. It's funny, it's fast-moving, and it's just a good read. Then, of course (she adds, blushing), there are my Daisy Gumm Majesty cozy mysteries.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Nancy,

Thanks for your recommendation and congrats on your own new novel.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Alice,

I've never read Daniel Friedman, but the book sounds great! I love your Daisy Gumm Majesty series.

Krysten Lindsay Hager said...

Those all sound like good summer reads! I need to add some more to my to-read pile!

Mary Fremont Schoenecker said...

I just finished Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. It is fascinating, page turning and memorable. Don't miss it.

Kait said...

I'd stopped reading Grisham a while ago. Time to pick him up again. Thank you. I just read a wonderful summer read. Deadly Catch by E. Michael Helms. Traditional mystery set in the Florida Panhandle with enormously strong characters and a well crafted plot. I stayed up all night to finish it. Gave it five star reviews and recommended it to my husband. Two things I rarely do.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Krysten,

Thanks for stopping by. Hope some of the books mentioned will be a good fit for your summer reading.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Mary,

My younger son read Orphan Train and also recommended it. He said it was engrossing.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I agree with you, Kait. Helms is a fine writer.

dkchristi said...

Bitter Secrets by Patty Brant is an unusual southern story with characters so real they pop off the page as a tight mystery with paranormal undertones unfolds. Fast-paced reading a bit off the beaten track of common plots.

Add Ghost Orchid, a beautiful tale of family relationships, a lost love, found reconciliations and its own mysteries surrounding family roots tied into the roots of the illusive, rare and endangered ghost orchid plant.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, DK,

Thanks for the suggestions. I love the cover art for Ghost Orchid.

Unknown said...

I seem to be the opposite type - I have no time to read in the summer - so my "summer" reads are done in the winter. Although your list sounds great.
I'll toss my latest in - an NA contemporary romance - A Guy and a Girl.

Maggie Toussaint said...

I have been working on evaluating contest entries for a mystery contest, so most of what I've been reading is not available, LOL! Though I have to say we have many talented aspiring authors on the cusp of publication!

In July I read Jane Ann Krentz's River Road and Christine Feehan's Air Bound. Both were excellent. Up next to read, when I can catch my breath is Lena Diaz's Take the Key and Lock Her Up.

I have two friends with books releasing in the next two weeks. Stacy Allen makes her debut with Expedition Indigo, as does Jessie Powell, a new Five Star author, and my brain has just blanked on the title of her book. Both new authors are strong writers!

Teresa Judd said...

Thank you so much for giving us some suggested "good" reads. Lately I've been having trouble finding good books. Start a lot but can't seem to maintain interest. I will certainly try "The Bad Wife". As for my own book, a collection of 17 short stories entitled "Dragon Tales", readers seem to enjoy my take on any number of "dragon" items. As is true with yours, you can read the first whole story by clicking on "See inside".

Susan Coryell said...

I'd definitely recommend Danna and Daniel Webster--a good read, especially for young adults but good for adults dealing with kids that teen-tween age. I'd like to add my own cozy mystery/Southern Gothic A RED, RED ROSE--good for summer reading for young adult to new adult and on up.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Victoria, Maggie, Teresa, and Susan,

Thanks for your reading suggestions and for taking the time to comment. All four of you are excellent writers that I hope readers will come to know better.

Anonymous said...

Jacqueline, thanks. If I may, for those who like chills on these hot August nights might I recommend my own Stoker Award(R) nominated short horror fiction collection THE TEARS OF ISIS? But don't take my word -- reviews can be found on Amazon's site,

Jacqueline Seewald said...


Congratulations on being nominated for the Stoker Award! Glad you dropped by to tell us about your horror story collection.

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