Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Interview with Author Lauren Wilkinson





Author: Lauren Wilkinson

Publisher: Amazon Original Stories

Publication date: June 30, 2022

Who doesn’t love Sherlock Holmes and a locked room mystery? A Scandal in Brooklyn offers a new twist on a favorite character from the Sherlock canon. Irene Adler outwitted Holmes in Conan Doyle’s A Scandal in Bohemia. Now author Lauren Wilkinson gives readers a modern day version of Irene in a new novella that releases on Friday, June  30. This is fun and fast paced high tech mystery and I loved Irene and Tommy. I desperately want a full novel featuring this sleuthing pair!


Synopsis: A top-secret experiment at a restricted virtual-reality compound pulls attorney Tommy Diaz back into the orbit of Irene Adler, an old friend with an eidetic memory, a love of true-crime podcasts, and a knack for solving the unsolvable. 


But this? At a remote warehouse, a VR trial goes awry when a willing test subject, alone in the observation room, drops dead of anaphylaxis—from the sting of a virtual bee. Though the tech titan behind the research believes in the power of the outrageous, Irene relies on clues, hard facts, and a level head. However, in a case this peculiar, how elementary can it be?


Here’s your chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card and a digital copy of A Scandal in Brooklyn. This Rafflecopter giveaway is open internationally. 



Giveaway Entry

 

 

Interview with Author Lauren Wilkinson

 

Your newest story, A Scandal in Brooklyn, is about a complex murder with a plethora of distrustful suspects — a clear homage to classic Holmesian tales. What elements of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original work most inspired you?

 

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and novels are a lot of fun! And it was important to me that this story was fun, so I’d say that was the element of Doyle’s work that most inspired me.  We’ve all had a hard few years, so I didn’t want to write anything that was too heavy.  

 

What made you decide to omit Sherlock from your story and instead focus entirely on Irene Adler? 

 

Honestly, I just think that Irene Adler is the more interesting character. For one, in A Scandal in Bohemia, she outwits Holmes (and I’m glad she does because Sherlock Holmes is working for Irene’s toxic ex, who’s a huge hater that just won’t let be great). The other reason I think she’s the more interesting character is that there’s been far less written about her than there has been about Sherlock Holmes, so I felt like there was room to make up more stuff with her. And as a writer, that’s a more interesting place to hang out. 

 

Irene has been interpreted many ways in the last hundred years, but you offer a brand-new take on The Woman by making her a person of color. How does her background and culture change the narrative of this iconic female? 

 

Well, the fact that she’s a Black woman certainly informs her worldview. But for me, re-imagining Irene Adler as a modern character (and putting her in modern circumstances) was the choice that led to the most germane changes in the narrative. 

 

Irene has an eidetic memory which she has learned to use to her advantage – for example, in solving crimes. But this skill can also be a curse. What do memories mean to your characters and what do they mean to you? 

 

Memory is such an interesting thing to me! Our memories are so fallible, and yet a person’s collection of memories is the cornerstone of their identity.  What a strange internal conflict that is, and stranger still that it’s built into our nature.  The Mandela Effect is a good example of how this conflict plays: isn’t it interesting that -- for some people anyway -- it’s more agreeable to believe that objective reality is wrong than that they simply misremembered something?

  

Tommy Diaz, Irene’s old friend, recounts the story’s events including a murder as well as efforts to solve the crime. Why did you choose to show the story through his eyes? 

 

The character of Tommy Diaz is based on one of my oldest friends, Tommy Pico (who is a poet, screenwriter and now an occasional actor)! Honestly, it was just more fun for me to try to write a story from “his perspective” than from my own. I’m starting to get a little bored with my own perspective, if I’m being totally honest.     

 

How do you think modern technology is changing the mystery genre? What are some positive and negative aspects of these changes? 

 

I think that modern technology has the potential to give the genre new plot devices and twists. But ironically that has always been the case—apparently A Study in Scarlet was the first story to use the magnifying glass in a crime investigation. So, I think the question of how modern technology changes the mystery genre is a good example of how the more things change, the more they stay the same. 

 

In 2019 you released your debut novel American Spy to an avalanche of critical acclaim which included being named on President Obama’s summer reading list. What effect did this experience have on your career?

 

I continue to be extremely grateful to President Obama for putting my novel on his summer reading list!  The exposure had a profound effect on my career, in the sense that it allowed me to pursue television writing, which is what I spend most of my time on these days. 

 

What’s next for you?

 

Well, in my personal life, I’ve recently gotten married and we’re renovating our house together, which is an exciting project (that’s also been pretty time-consuming).  And professionally—well I’m not too sure! I’d really like to write another novel one day. I’d also like to keep writing for television, and maybe a movie one day too.


Author Biography


Lauren Wilkinson’s debut novel, American Spy, was a Washington Post bestseller; was nominated for the NAACP Image Award, Anthony Award, and Edgar Award; and was included on Barack Obama’s 2019 Recommended Reading List. Her writing has appeared in New York Magazine and the New York Times, among other publications.


Website: https://www.lauren-wilkinson.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thrillkinson/

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17287509.Lauren_Wilkinson


Thank you the the author and the publisher for the digital review copy and materials! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Book Mail - The Last Hours in Paris

 


📪𝐁𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐌𝐚𝐢𝐥 📪 

Thank you Grand Central Publishing and author Ruth Druart for sending me this #giftedcopy. I was thrilled to find this on my doorstep when I got home from work yesterday and I can’t wait to dive into it. It hits shelves on July 19th, so keep an eye out for it then. 

 𝐒𝐲𝐧𝐨𝐩𝐬𝐢𝐬: 1940s: Elise is a young French woman secretly helping the resistance in German-occupied Paris. Sebastian is a young German soldier working as a translator. They meet, fall in love, and are relishing in the unforeseen happiness they have found in one another, despite being on opposite sides of the war. After liberation, however, the young couple is tragically torn apart, with Sebastian arrested by the French resistance and Elise captured and shamed as a ‘collabo’ by her own people, before being sent to Brittany for her own protection.

The lovers are parted, each believing the other to be lost forever. 

1960s: Elise and her 18-year-old daughter, Josephine, live in Brittany, France, with Brigitte, a gruff and bitter Frenchwoman who took Elise in after the war. Josephine has always been told that her father was a Frenchman who died when she was a baby—but when she discovers she is, in fact, the daughter of a German soldier, she travels to England to find out more about her real father. To her shock, she learns he is not dead, but living in the U.K. where he settled after the war and made a new life with his wife, Margaret, an Englishwoman who knows nothing of his past.

When Josephine reveals that her mother Elise is still alive, Sebastian must make the most difficult decision of his life: honor his duty to his new family, or return to his first great love? 

QOTD: Any July new book releases you can wait to get your hands on? 

#thelasthoursinparis #ruthdruart #grandcentealpublishing #publishingsoon #julyrelease #historicalfiction #wwii #paris #frenchresistance #secrets #bookstagram #igreads #alwaysreading #giftedbook #grateful 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Child Zero

 

Author: Chris Holm

Narrator: Robert Petkoff

Publisher: Mulholland Books

Year: 2022

🎧 𝐀𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐨𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐬 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 🎧

Diseases once tamed by antibiotics have morphed, becoming impervious to drugs. The health care system and much of society has crashed as what were once commonplace illnesses and infections now spread rapidly and kill. But there is one anomaly. A boy who’s never been sick and makes anyone around him better. 

This was a fast paced and entertaining thriller with dystopian vibes:
🦠 evil rich guy
🦠 corrupt government officials
🦠 shady mercenaries 
🦠 a cop who bucks the system 
🦠 a teenage who could save humanity

The audiobook narration by Robert Pertkoff was great. I thoroughly enjoyed this wild and hair-raising story. It’s not too science or medical heavy and there’s lots of action. I can definitely see this being turned into a movie or limited series. This is a great choice for fans of Michael Crichton and Robin Cook. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

QOTD: what are you reading or listening to? I need to find a new audiobook. 

#childzero #chrisholm #robertpetkoff #mulhollandbooks #audiobook #audiobookstagram #audiobookreview #superbugs #thrillerfiction #medicalfiction #medicalthriller #antiboticresistant #dystopianthriller #washyourhands #bookstagrammer #igreads #audible #thrillerthursday

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Currently Reading: The Other Mother

 


📖 𝐂𝐮𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐥𝐲 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 📖

Hi book friends! I’ve been slacking here on #bookstagram. I started my new job at the public library last week. I’m enjoying it and the library staff have been very nice and welcoming. I’ve been on circulation desk duty so I can learn the system and the library’s policy and procedures. That means I haven’t really started learning the outreach duties yet, but that will start soon. On days I haven’t been working, I’ve been visiting my mom. So I just have to recalibrate and get myself back into bookstagram mode. 

I’m #currentlyreading The Other Mother by Matthew Dicks. It’s my book club’s pick for this month. I’m only three short chapters into in it. Too soon to have formed an opinion about it and I’m not sure yet where the story is going. 

QOTD: how’s life with y’all? 

My biggest “headache” right now is deciding what to wear to work. I’ve spent the last three years pretty much in sweats or shorts everyday. Now there are days I have to look somewhat professional. Fashion has always been a struggle for me! 😀 

#currentlyreading #matthewdicks #stmartinspress #thatsnotcoffeeinmycup #theothermother #bookclubbook #contemporaryfiction #bookstagram #igreads #currentread #kindle #kindlepaperwhite #lotsofcatchinguptodo #readerlife #bibliophile #bibliophilelife 

Monday, June 13, 2022

The Cartographers

 

Author: Peng Shepherd 

Publisher: William Morrow Books 

Year: 2022

📖 𝐐𝐮𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐁𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 📖

Last week I went to the public library and came home with this book. I’ve seen so much bookstagram love for this one and it deserves it. It’s so good! Won’t be surprised if this one is in my top ten favs for the the year. Here are the bullet points: 
🗺 great plot
🗺 past and present timelines
🗺 short bursts of multiple POV
🗺 excellent writing 
🗺 features the NY Public Library 

If you haven’t read it yet, get to it! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Last week I also came home from the library with a job. I’m the new outreach coordinator. I’ll be selecting and dropping off books at the library’s off site locations throughout the county so people who can’t get to the main library still have access to books. Today was my first day of training. It’s a part time job and I’m happy to be back in a library. 😀 

QOTD: what’s going on with y’all? Anything new? 

#thecartographers #pengshepherd #williammorrowbooks #collegefriends #mysteryfiction #fantasyfiction #maps #crimefiction #phantomsettlement #obsession #bookstagram #igreads #booknerd #cartography #gasstationmap 

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Her Last Affair

 

Author: John Searles

Publisher: Mariner Books

Year: 2022

📽 𝐓𝐡𝐫𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫 𝐓𝐡𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐝𝐚𝐲 📽

Looking for a bonkers and entertaining thriller? Look no further than Her Last Affair. 

This is a twisty story with several different threads that author John Searles weaves together into a fantastic story. The main character is Skyla, a lonely widow who’s losing her sight to macular degeneration. Kudos to the author for having a main character who is an older woman and who suffers from the leading cause of blindness in older Americans. My mom has macular degeneration, so I appreciate Searles’ shining a spotlight on it. 

The plot zigs away from Skyla at times to introduce other seemingly random characters. But trust me, Searles pulls it all together into a bang up resolution. Pick this one up if you like past and present timelines, multiple POV, and lots of twists. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

QOTD: An old drive-in movie theater is featured in this book. Have you ever been to a drive-in movie?

The last time I was at a drive in movie was when my kids were little. We went to a group of friends to see Mulan. It was a fun night. That drive-in movie theater is long gone now. 

#herlastaffair #johnsearles #marinerbooks #thrillerthursday #crimefiction #thrillerbooks #thrillerfiction #bookstagram #igreads #mysterybooks #suspensebooks #driveintheater #oldercharacter #maculardegeneration #widow #libarybook #lovemylibrary 

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Magpie

 

Author: Elizabeth Day

Narrator: Tanya Reynolds

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Year: 2022

🎧𝗔𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄🎧

Thank you @simon.audio for the #giftedbook. 

A couple who are eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child seem to have the perfect life. Until a pushy roommate encroaches on their happiness. 

Not going to lie- I wasn’t sure about this one for two reasons. First, it’s billed as “for fans of Gone Girl.” We must stop equating everything to Gone Girl. Stop getting my hopes up that another book will match the Gone Girl gold standard. Second, I started Magpie right after I finished listening to All I Want- which also featured a couple getting ready to have their first baby. All I Want didn’t knock my socks off and I was afraid two psychological thrillers with pregnant main characters would be too much of the same thing. I was pleasantly surprised that Magpie was much better than All I Want. 

I don’t want to go into detail about Magpie’s plot because I don’t want to give anything away. But the big twist in this one made sense to me. This was a much more satisfying ending than the wtf ending of All I Want. The writing was good and the characters were interesting. I loved the passive aggressive bitchy mother. Tanya Reynolds’ narration was very entertaining. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

TW- infertility, miscarriage. 

Predictive text time: The key to happiness is______________.

The key to happiness is that you can always get a new set of pots. 😂 I got a new set of non-stick pots a few months ago so I guess I really did find the key to happiness. 😀

#magpie #elizabethday #simonaudio #thrillerfiction #suspensebooks #psychologicalthriller #pregancy #infertility #bigtwist #bookstagram #igreads #audiobook #audiobookstagram #tanyareynolds #audiobookreview 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

It Dies With You

 

Author: Scott Blackburn

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Year: 2022

📖 𝐇𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐲 𝐏𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐃𝐚𝐲! 📖

Hudson’s relationship with his father has been strained for years. Hudson’s surprised when he inherits a salvage yard after his dad is murdered. During the murder investigation, the police find a cache of guns hidden at the salvage yard. Is this the reason Hudson’s dad was killed? Hudson decides to run the salvage yard with the help Charlie, the cranky old man who worked for his dad. They soon discover a body inside a crushed car buried on the salvage yard lot. Hudson and Charlie team up with Lucy, a social-media savvy teen who’s looking for justice for her own family tragedy. As the unlikely trio look for answers, their own lives are put in jeopardy. 

This is a promising debut from author @scottblackburnwords He does a great job setting the scene in a small, rural southern town. I especially liked the relationship between Hudson, Charlie, and Lucy as the three take on their own investigation. Fans of southern noir should make sure this on is on your TBR. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the digital review copy. It Dies with You hits shelves today. 

#itdieswithyou #scottblackburn #crookedlanebooks #netgalley #debutbook #debutthriller #2022debut #crimefiction #thrillerfiction #mysteryfiction #murdermystery #noir #southernnoir #bookstagram #igreads #publicationday #alwaysreading 

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Things We Do in the Dark

 

Author: Jennifer Hillier

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Year: 2022

📖 𝐁𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 📖

Jennifer Hillier is a terrific writer and she never disappoints. Her latest offering, Things We Do in the Dark, continues her streak of excellent thrillers. 

I really liked the way this one unfolded over a nonlinear and multiple POV timeline. Figuring out how all the pieces fit together made me want to keep reading. There’s lots of twists and turns for readers to try to untangle. And the exceptional thing about Hillier’s storytelling is that all those twists and turns are integral to the plot. She doesn’t waste readers’ time with red herrings just for the sake of red herrings. The characters are interesting and the pacing brisk. If you’re a thriller fan, this should definitely be on your TBR. And if you’re looking for a dark and intense page-turner to read by the pool or on the beach, grab this one. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Things We Do in the Dark publishes on July 19th. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the digital review copy. 

CW: child abuse, child sexual abuse, rape, suicide, murder, substance abuse 

AOTD: what are you reading this weekend? 

My library hold for Notes on an Execution is ready so I’ll be starting that later. I starting listing to The Patron Saint of Second Chances yesterday. It’s a fun one! 

#thingswedointhedark #jenniferhillier #stmartinspress #netgalley #crimefiction #thriller  #thrillerbooks #mysteryfiction #seattle #canada #childabuse #bookstagram #igreads #booknred #publishingsoon

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

May Reading Wrap Up

 


📚 𝐌𝐚𝐲 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐖𝐫𝐚𝐩 𝐔𝐩 📚

Happy June! Doesn’t seem possible that summer is here already. May was a quiet month in my little corner of the world. It was kind of a quiet reading month for me too. This was the first month I didn’t have any five star reads. I enjoyed all the books I read, but there weren’t any that I totally fell in love with.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - really enjoyed and would recommend 

Road of Bones - a spooky tale set in Siberia. 

🎧 The Verifiers- debut thriller with a fun main character 

Two Nights in Lisbon- secrets, intrigue and a kidnapping 

🎧 Magpie- a psychological thriller revolving around a couple and their housemate

🎧 The Heights-a woman seeks revenge for the death of her teenage son

Her Last Affair - an older woman rents out a cottage to a mysterious man 

🎧 Child Zero - antibiotic-resistant viruses and infections have wrecked havoc on society, but the key to survival may rest with one boy

Things We Do in the Dark -  a woman with a secretive past is accused of murdering her famous husband

🎧 Something Wilder - a western vacation turns into a deadly hunt for hidden treasure

It Dies with You - a young man inherits a salvage yard after his father is murdered and suddenly finds his own life is in danger 

⭐️⭐️⭐️- good but just ok for me

🎧 All I Want - a couple expecting their first child move to an isolated old house in the country

Big thank you to Simon & Schuster Audio 📚 𝐌𝐚𝐲 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐖𝐫𝐚𝐩 𝐔𝐩

Happy June! Doesn’t seem possible that summer is here already. May was a quiet month in my little corner of the world. It was kind of a quiet reading month for me too. This was the first month I didn’t have any five star reads. I enjoyed all the books I read, but there weren’t any that I totally fell in love with.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - really enjoyed and would recommend 

Road of Bones - a spooky tale set in Siberia. 

🎧 The Verifiers- debut thriller with a fun main character 

Two Nights in Lisbon- secrets, intrigue and a kidnapping 

🎧 Magpie- a psychological thriller revolving around a couple and their housemate

🎧 The Heights-a woman seeks revenge for the death of her teenage son

Her Last Affair - an older woman rents out a cottage to a mysterious man 

🎧 Child Zero - antibiotic-resistant viruses and infections have wrecked havoc on society, but the key to survival may rest with one boy

Things We Do in the Dark -  a woman with a secretive past is accused of murdering her famous husband

🎧 Something Wilder - a western vacation turns into a deadly hunt for hidden treasure

It Dies with You - a young man inherits a salvage yard after his father is murdered and suddenly finds his own life is in danger 

⭐️⭐️⭐️- good but just ok for me

🎧 All I Want - a couple expecting their first child move to an isolated old house in the country

Big thank you to @simon.audio for the #giftedcopies of Magpie, The Heights, Something Wilder, and All I Want. Thank you NetGalley & publishers St. Martin’s Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and Crooked Lane Books for the digital review copies of Things We Do in the Dark, Two Nights in Lisbon and It Dies with You. 

I had one DNF that was my book club’s read for the month. I wasn’t the only one in the book club who didn’t make it through the book. Just about everyone DNF’ed too. 

QOTD: what was your May favorite that should be on my TBR? 

My favorite for the month was Her Last Affair, but I’d recommend all the books I read in May. 

I had one DNF that was my book club’s read for the month. I wasn’t the only one in the book club who didn’t make it through the book. Just about everyone DNF’ed too. 

QOTD: what was your May favorite that should be on my TBR? 

My favorite for the month was Her Last Affair, but I’d recommend all the books I read in May. 

#readingwrapup #monthlywrapup #netgalley #simonaudio #crimefiction #audiobooks #bookstagram #igreads #audiobookstagram #thrillerfiction 

Under Your Spell

  Author: Laura Wood Narrator: Ellie Heydon Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Year: 2024 🎧𝗔𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄🎧 Many thanks...