Happy Wednesday! Today on What to Read Wednesday we have author Amy Reade visiting. She’s written a fabulous guest post about author’s who inspire and is sharing her first novel release Secrets of Hallstead House. Don’t you love the cover? It fits perfectly with her blurb :)
She’s also offering up an awesome giveaway that you can enter to win at the end of the post….you won’t want to miss this one :)
Take it away Amy…
Authors Who Inspire Me
by Amy M. Reade
I’m often asked, “Who’s your favorite author?”
I must admit that I don’t have one single favorite, but there are several authors whose entire collections fill up my bookshelves. They are, in no particular order, Ernest Hemingway, Jane Austen, and Phyllis A. Whitney.
Their works are wildly different, I know. But I like to read lots of different kinds of books. I suppose it would be impossible for me to have just one favorite.
I love Hemingway because his writing is so crisp and evocative without being wordy. The emotion that he is able to convey in just a few words has never failed to astonish me. Rumor has it that Hemingway once bet that he could write a story in less than ten words. Though it is unverified, the story certainly seems like one he could have crafted. It goes like this: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Take a minute to let that sink in…I’ll wait.
I don’t write like Hemingway. As beautiful as it is, I find some of his work disturbing. He writes about uncomfortable things, heart-wrenching things. I write stories that are happier, lighter. If I had written A Farewell to Arms, Frederic and Catherine would have lived happily ever after and their baby would have lived, too.
I love Jane Austen because she’s got a sharp, sly wit that makes me laugh out loud when I’m reading her books. Her stories are engaging and fun, and I love that the language is so different from what we are used to reading today. Her stories transcend time; they don’t have to take place in the nineteenth century- they could just as easily take place in the twenty-first century.
My favorite book by Jane Austen is Pride and Prejudice, as I will tell anyone who is willing to listen. The story is perfect, from its preoccupation with marriage and manners to its happy ending for Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. If I’m looking for a familiar, comfortable read that I know by heart, I reach for Pride and Prejudice.
Phyllis A. Whitney was an author of romantic suspense who died in 2008 at the age of 104. She published her last book when she was 94 years old. That is the kind of writer I strive to be.
Ms. Whitney’s appeal, besides the suspense she wove like tapestry, lay in her ability to describe places both near and far. Her books were set everywhere from Chicago to Norway, from Long Island to Turkey. I ended up wanting to visit each and every place she set her stories; I’m sure she would have considered that high praise.
And speaking of high praise, my first novel, Secrets of Hallstead House, has been compared to her works by two reviewers who received advance reader copies of the book from my publisher (their reviews can be found on Goodreads.com). The comparisons to Phyllis Whitney were the best compliments I could have received.
My preferred authors may change from time to time depending on what book I’m enjoying on any particular day, but my favorites remain constant. They wrote the books I read over and over- the ones I reach for when I already know I’m going to love the story.
Macy Stoddard had hoped to ease the grief of losing her parents in a fiery car crash by accepting a job as a private nurse to the wealthy and widowed Alexandria Hallstead. But her first sight of Summerplace is of a dark and forbidding home. She quickly finds its winding halls and shadowy rooms filled with secrets and suspicions.
Alex seems happy to have Macy’s help, but others on the island, including Alex’s sinister servants and hostile relatives, are far less welcoming. Watching eyes, veiled threats…slowly, surely, the menacing spirit of Hallstead Island closes in around Macy. And she can only wonder if her story will become just one of the many secrets of Hallstead House…
Amy M. Reade is a debut author of romantic suspense. A native of upstate New York, she grew up in the Thousand Islands region and was inspired by the natural beauty of that area to write her first novel, Secrets of Hallstead House. She now lives in New Jersey with her husband, three children, a Bouvier des Flandres named Orly, and two rescued cats who refuse to answer to their names of Porthos and Athos.
Upon graduation from Cornell University and Indiana University School of Law, Amy practiced law in New York City, but soon discovered that her dream job was writing. In addition to volunteering with school, church, and community groups, Amy is currently working on her second novel, set in the area around Charleston, South Carolina.
Though Amy lives within sight of the Atlantic Ocean, she is partial to the blue waters of the Pacific and spends as much time as possible on the Big Island of Hawaii, which is the setting of her as-yet-unwritten third novel.
*Kensington is hosting a Giveaway of TWO Ebook Copies of SECRETS OF HALLSTEAD HOUSE at EACH Tour Stop.*
***COMMENT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN…yep, it’s as easy as that***