Thursday, June 25, 2020

Summer Reading 2020: Recommendations

It’s that time of year again when every magazine, newspaper and newsletter offers suggestions on summer reading. So why should this blog be any different?

Summer is the perfect time to spend some time vacationing or just relaxing. Sit in the sun, lie on a chaise poolside, rest by the ocean or a lake, or under the shade of a tree, sip a cool drink, and read a book—hard cover, soft cover, audio or digital.

Mysteries remain one of the most popular genres for summer reading. Why? Because they entertain us. They also engage our intellect in a satisfying manner. Romances provide us with a happy ever after ending. If you like reading for enjoyment, it’s the way to go.

Lots of good summer reading on the bestseller list.
But what about some of the excellent authors who write for small independent presses and provide us with quality fiction but don’t get as much publicity because they are not with the big publishers?

For adult readers, I suggest my mystery novel
Death Promise, a romantic mystery thriller published by Encircle and available on Amazon and other booksellers in both print and ebook editions. Also from Encircle is my latest novel, Blood Family, my 5th Kim Reynolds mystery.

For readers of young adult fiction I suggest WITCH WISH from Black Opal Press, also available from most booksellers.
Intrigue Publishing is offering my adult romantic mystery THE INHERITANCE as a free read on Audible.

If you enjoy historical romance, I suggest SINFUL SEDUCTION from Luminosity, set during the American Revolution.

There are many fine writers who should be added to this list. As a reader and/or writer are there any authors and/or books you would like to recommend for summer reading? You are most welcome to mention your own books as well.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Empowering Women through Fiction

Women in today’s fiction are often brave, confident and self-sufficient. In this respect, they reflect modern society.

In the Kim Reynolds mystery series, for instance, Kim, a quiet, introverted librarian of moral integrity, solves murders. She teams up with tough Bert St. Croix, police detective and woman of color, as well as her fiancĂ©, Lt. Mike Gardner.    

In BLOOD FAMILY, 5th novel in the series, Kim is intent on finding her biological father. Unfortunately after locating him, James Shaw dies unexpectedly. It is up to Kim to connect with the family she has never known. In doing so, she discovers a half-sister who is in need of emotional support. Kim is concerned that Claire Shaw is being exploited and wants to help her. Kim also learns that Claire’s stepmother died under mysterious circumstances and her stepbrother disappeared. When Kim becomes involved, her life is placed in danger, but she refuses to stop her pursuit until the truth is uncovered.

There are many empowered women in mystery fiction, Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple for one. The P.I. novel was male-dominated until the late 1970’s and early 80’s when writers such as Sara Paretsky, Marcia Miller and Sue Grafton began creating women investigators who were as tough as men. These novels offered more in-depth characterization and, in the case of Paretsky, a social agenda.  

In romance fiction, no longer is the-too-dumb-to-live female in distress who needs rescuing particularly popular. Women want to read about females with strength of character who are the equal and can go toe to toe with an alpha male. Jayne Ann Krentz’s romantic suspense novels are good examples. Nora Roberts also gives us strong, competent female protagonists.

Today, more women than ever have an “I can do” philosophy. They often run their own businesses, serve their community, while still nurturing their children, and being supportive wives. That sense of female empowerment is increasingly reflected in literature.

Your comments welcome here. What empowered female characters can you think of? As a reader and/or writer what books reflecting female empowerment would you recommend—either your own or those of others?