Monday musings: Share your summer reading list

Share

Summer. Forest fires and wildfires on one side of the continent, floods on the other. World conferences on terrorism and climate change.

It’s no wonder that in summer, readers like to choose lighter fare. Romances, mysteries, thrillers. At the beach or on the dock, in the backyard hammock or on the cottage porch, we’re supposed to be reading books that don’t tax our minds and souls too much. We’re supposed to be on vacation, taking things easy, enjoying the weather and the outdoors.

But is that trope really true? Sure, I remember seeing lots of mysteries held up by people on lounge chairs by the ocean. Clive Cussler, Lee Child, the awful E.L. James, David Baldacci — thrillers and romances and books that do not ask you to think too deeply. But also, I have seen people reading more serious books, like The Girl on the Train or The Couple Next Door.

Various newspapers and blogs also recommend a wider range of books, from The American War by Omar El Akkad (if that one doesn’t make you think about our modern world, I don’t know what will). And of course, The Handmaid’s Tale is playing on TV right now.

How heavy are these books?

The thing about serious books is that many of them could be classified into a genre, which some readers and critics—and writers—describe as not as serious. Not “literary.” But many genre books have also turned out to be serious, to have an impact on the culture. Cormac McCarthy’s The Road can be seen as part of the post-apocalyptic science fiction genre, but it’s a deep, meaningful story about a father and son. Margaret Atwood has written several books, including The Handmaid’s Tale, that definitely fit into the science fiction category.

Independent authors are usually seen as definitely working within genres, and from a marketing point of view, that makes sense. The romance genre, for example, by far outsells, as a whole, every other category of fiction, including “serious” literary fiction. So do mystery and action thrillers.

Blurred lines

The thing is, the high walls between genres are also breaking down. Writers are mixing up mysteries and science-fiction, thrillers and fantasy, and let’s not forget the burgeoning paranormal romance genre.

I myself like to blur the lines between genres. I have been working intermittently on a novel that combines the spy thriller with occult horror, called Dark Clouds. I have published one chapter, the introduction, as a short story. You can find it as Dark Clouds: The Mandrake Ruse.

BestSelling Reads members, independent authors, are not only skilled within their genres, but challenge the genre definitions with books that break the rules, cross genres and keep you from putting their books down before you get to the last page. Eden Baylee’s A Snake in Paradise and Charade At Sea, for example, combine mystery with adult-oriented romance. Renée Pawlish’s Reed Ferguson series moves the noir mystery into the current century, with a heaping helping of humor. Toby Neal and Emily Kimelman have teamed up with the Scorch Road series, combining the post-apocalyptic and serious romance genres. Samreen Ahsan has created a brand new genre, paranormal romances based on Muslim themes, in her Prayer series.

And there’s more.A Silent Prayer cover

Each of these books does more than combine genres: they create something new, something exciting. A new kind of adventure for the reader.

What’s on your summer reading list?

Are you sticking with the easy reads, the reiterations of the same stories, or are you on the lookout for something new, fresh and original? Share what you want to read through the hot and quiet months, and we’ll send you a free e-book.

Share

Thursday teaser: Scorch Road

Share

An exciting collaboration of two BestSelling authors:
Toby Neal and Emily Kimelman

Elizabeth

“You’re the whole cold transport chain, Elizabeth. Don’t take your eyes off that thing until you get it to the CDC in Washington.” Dr. Fellerman stepped away, returning to his side of the big wooden desk. “There are ten vials of the isolated virus in there. And that case will keep it cold for at least three days.” He flopped into his chair and it rolled back a few inches. Dr. Fellerman closed his eyes. “It’s too late for me, but there are still a lot of people to save.”

Elizabeth stepped forward, wanting to hug him or say something to mark this parting. Dr. Fellerman had offered her guidance without pushing, and he’d been a great teacher—one of the rare people she trusted.

He frowned at her approach. “Don’t get too close. You’re not sick now, but you know how contagious this thing is.”

She nodded. “Thank you for everything.”

Dr. Fellerman gave her a weak smile. “Thank you, Elizabeth. And Godspeed.”

Elizabeth left his office and retraced her steps through the lab. As she waited for the elevator, Elizabeth looked down at the cryocase. Inside the insulated screw top, a smaller metal cylinder held the vials of cells. Liquid nitrogen filled the larger container, keeping the isolated virus at the optimum temperature, well below freezing. It had to stay that way or vaccine production would be set back by months.

What if she failed? The thought chilled her to her bones.

***

JT

Wind drafted up his naked body as JT surveyed the land for the threat he knew was coming, but as usual he saw nothing but waving corn, velvety alfalfa, grazing pigs in their fenced pen, and the wind-ruffled leaves of soybeans and potato fields, picturesque in late summer glory.

JT had a powerful intuition, a sense of coming things. Mama called it the Sight and told him he’d inherited it from his deceased grandmother, rumored to be una strega, a witch.

“You’re a canary in a coal mine,” she had said, pulling him in for a hug after he’d told her to get her car fixed, that there was something wrong with it. The mechanic discovered a broken brake line that might have killed her. “You’ve been given the Sight. Be sure to use it for good, caro Jacobino.”

JT had tried to use that sense, along with an environmental biology degree, for good. But no one ever listened to his warnings, even those backed up by science. He’d got so tired of watching disaster strike again and again, waves on a seashore, that he’d left the EPA for this, his own place, where he could prepare.

Away from other people, JT was able to screen the stress of the Sight out better, but so close to water, he felt it acutely: the tremor of a shadow moving across the land.

A sickness was coming.

His family—five brothers, his mom, and his precious little sister—were all still out there, ignoring his warnings and invitations to the Haven. It hurt like a bruise that would never heal, a bruise that kept him up at night.

JT duckwalked around the metal platform’s edge, pleasure in the day evaporated—he was just hot, tired, and very alone. He arrowed into the pond in a swan dive. At the cool weedy bottom, he paused, his eyes shut. His mysterious sense was buffered, and yet amplified, by the water.

The scorching of the earth was coming here—right to his doorstep—into his fields.

The knowledge chilled JT more than the cold green water at the bottom of the pond. He shot for the sunlight, gasping for breath.

About Scorch Road

A new romantic action adventure series for fans of romance thriller and family romance sagas!

One of six Italian brothers and a sister, JT Luciano is a widowed environmental biologist with a touch of the Sight who is preparing for an apocalyptic event he knows is coming. Holed up at the military survival camp prepared for his family, the Haven, JT is ready for whatever might come… except for one woman.

Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, virologist and Senator’s daughter, is carrying precious cells for a vaccine against the swiftly-evolving, deadly flu that’s sweeping the nation. Her plane crashes in JT’s potato field–and she must convince him to leave the Haven and help her get to Washington, DC.

One by one, the structures of society implode in the face of the flu’s devastation as JT and Elizabeth travel a scorching road cross country.

Can danger bring them together to find one good, true thing in a changing world?

Get it on Amazon.

About the authors

Emily Kimelman is the author of the best selling Sydney Rye Series, which feature a strong female protagonist and her canine best friend, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don’t mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

Emily can be found:

Website   |   Facebook    |   Twitter

Toby Neal is the author of the bestselling Lei Crime series featuring Maui police detective Lei Texeira, the Paradise Crime series featuring security specialist Sophie Ang, the Michaels Family Romance series, and the new Scorch Series romantic thrillers with Emily Kimelman.

Visit her:

 

Share

Year-end Teasers: The 2016 spotlight

Share

Your favorite bestselling authors have been very busy over the past 12 months. Altogether, BestSelling Reads member authors have published 46 titles. Here’s a quick look back at all the great reading available for your enjoyment this year.

Claude Bouchard

Scott Bury

Barb Drozdowich

Julie C. Gilbert

DelSheree Gladden

Emily Kimelman

Emily’s Sydney Rye Kindle World also launched in May 2016.

Seb Kirby

 

Toby Neal

Renée Pawlish

Kathleen Valentine

Even though Kathleen passed away at the end of October, she published two books in 2016:

Share

Win 10 BestSelling Reads books on an iPad Air 2

Share

Send us the first line of Chapter 4 from your favorite BestSelling Reads book for a chance to win a brand new iPad Air 2 loaded with the Kindle Reader and 10 books by Bestselling Reads authors.

bsr-2016giveawayad

To be eligible to win the prize, you must email the first line of Chapter 4 from any book by one of the authors in the list above. It doesn’t have to be one of the books on the iPad Air 2 — in fact, it’s better if it’s a different one.

All you have to do is go to any book in any format by one of those authors, turn to the first page of Chapter 4 and copy the first line into an email to contest@bestsellingreads.com. All correct entries before the end of October 30, 2016 will be eligible to win.

Need more help? Follow these links to the contest authors’ websites to see more of their books.

We look forward to your entries!

Share

Book Launch Tuesday: The Girl with the Gun

Share

Buy Emily Kimelman’s newest Sydney Rye blockbuster & get a free bonus book

tgwtgTo celebrate the launch of the eighth book in the bestselling Sydney Rye action/mystery series, Emily Kimelman is giving away a free e-copy and audiobook of Death in the Dark, the second Sydney Rye adventure.

What’s The Girl with the Gun about?

When international fugitive Sydney Rye turns herself over to authorities in order to protect the vigilante network she inspired, her freedom depends on helping Homeland Security shift the tides in a war for “hearts and minds.”

Recruiting female fighters to take on jihadists because being killed by a woman is the only thing they fear (it bars their entrance to heaven) is the perfect assignment for Sydney and her dog, Blue. But when the director who enlisted her is killed and the deal she made is scrapped, Sydney and Blue are left in a war zone, hunted by the U.S government and jihadists.

From a bestselling author who “has reimagined a traditional genre for a new generation.” (New York Times Best Selling Author of “Black Hawk Down” Mark Bowden).

How to get your free bonus book

Download a copy of The Girl with the Gun by Saturday, September 17, and send proof of purchase to emily@emilykimelman.com. She’ll send you your free bonus!

Get it on any of these sites:

About the author

Emily (author photo)Emily Kimelman is the author of the bestselling Sydney Rye Series including Unleashed, Death in the Dark, Insatiable, Strings of Glass, The Devil’s Breath, Inviting Fire and Shadow Harvest. This series feature a strong female protagonist and her canine best friend, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don’t mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

The first book in the Sydney Rye series, Unleashed, is available as a free download on all major ebook retailers.

She has also been penning a Web serial, Kiss. This is an apocalyptic urban fantasy featuring vampires, zombies and multidimensional travel. The first six episodes are now available on Amazon.

Emily splits her time between the Hudson Valley and traveling the world with her husband and dog, Kinsey (named after Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone), researching exciting locations for the Sydney Rye Series. You can follow along on their adventures through Instagram, Facebook, and on Emily’s blog.

Visit Emily’s

And follow her on Twitter @EJKimelman.

Share

Thursday Teaser: Insatiable

Share

By Emily Kimelman

InsatiableShadedSunshine on a sunny day

Carlos was the one who felt my phone vibrating; it was under one of the napkins we’d used for our picnic lunch. I found it, and glancing quickly at the “UNKNOWN” on the caller ID, picked it up. While used to calls from unknown places, I was not used to calls from this guy.

“Sydney, how are you?”

I didn’t actually recognize his voice right away. I rolled away from Carlos, sitting up. “I’m sorry, but I don’t know who this is.” It was when he laughed that I recognized him. “Bobby?”

He laughed again. “I’m glad you remember me. My heart would be broken if I could be so easily forgotten.”

I stood up, Carlos looked up at me, a question in his eyes. I shook my head and stepped away from our blanket. My dog, Blue, a huge wolf-like creature with one blue eye and one brown followed me, keeping at a heel. “Forget you, Bobby Maxim? In order to do that I’d need a lobotomy.”

“With your penchant for revenge, I half expect to see you bursting through my closet doors some day, guns blazing.”

I laughed. “Who says I’m not in there right now?”

“I know exactly where you are. I’ve been keeping very good track of you.”

I looked around the park. Gentle green hills spotted with couples and groups of friends lounging on blankets dominated the landscape. On a field below me a soccer match was beginning to form. A woman ran by in a skin-tight suit, nothing on her jiggled.

“Are you here now?”

“No, no. I’m calling to ask a favor.”

“That’s rich.”

Someone tapped me on the shoulder. I spun around and stepped back. Blue let out a growl. Carlos stood behind me, his hands out, palms forward in a sign of peace. “I just wanted to let you know I’m going to join some mates for a game of football.”

“Sorry, that’s great. I’ll see you in a bit,” I said, covering the mouth piece. Carlos smiled and jogged off down the hill.

“Does he know about you?” Bobby asked. I didn’t answer as I watched Carlos join a group of other men on the field below. “Sydney, are you there?”

“I’m not doing you any favors. I don’t know if you’re totally clear on the fact that you took something from me.”

“Sydney, I don’t understand this animosity. I was just doing you a favor.”

“A favor!” I heard myself yelling. Looking around I saw that I’d attracted the attention of several of the groups of Londoners trying to enjoy their first day of sun. “You bastard,” I hissed quietly. “I hope you rot in hell.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t do it sooner, darling.”

“Call me darling again and I will make it my life’s mission to take your ball sack. Are we clear?”

“Anything you’d do with my ball sack would be very welcome.”

“I forgot what a sick fuck you are.”

“A sick fuck who did you a favor and is now looking for one in return.”

“You’re insane!” I heard myself yelling again. I took a deep breath. In through my nose, out through my mouth. Blue tapped his muzzle against my hip to let me know he was still there.

“Sydney, I didn’t know what you two had planned. I would have killed Kurt long before you showed up. Remember, I’m not the one who left my fingerprints behind; whose blood was spilled all over the floor. You took yourself down, it had nothing to do with me.” He said it in an off-hand way. Like I was being petty and missing the big picture.

“You killed him,” I whispered, trying to control my anger, but I could feel myself shaking. “That was my right. Kurt Jessup murdered my brother and I should have been the one to end him.”

“At the time I had no idea about that. Mulberry didn’t tell me what you were planning, just that we had a problem. I had no intention of stifling your little revenge act. If anyone should be pissed it’s me. At least you got the treasure.”

I stood on the green feeling lightheaded. It was like Bobby Maxim was taking the world and flipping it upside down. “What are you talking about? Mulberry told you that?”

“Oh Cher, you didn’t know?” Maxim’s voice rose an octave, teasing and dripping with syrup. A cold knowledge traveled from my toes right up to my brain, my best friend betrayed me, our relationship was built on a lie. I walked toward the shade of a tree, reaching out to rest a hand against the rough trunk. “Mulberry called me, told me about Kurt. About him killing Tate and Joseph,” Bobby paused, “about how he killed your brother, James.” I picked at the tree in front of me, breaking off a piece of the bark. I looked at the white underneath, the exposed inner branch. “Now don’t get all upset and quiet on me, dear. He only did it to save you.”

“Save me?”

“From becoming a killer.”

“You think someone can be saved from that?” I heard sadness in my voice and hated myself for it.

“No, I don’t. I think you are what you are, Sydney. And I think it’s amazing. I want you on my team.” He sounded upbeat and excited about our future together.

I didn’t answer.

About Insatiable — Sydney Rye Mystery # 3

When a dangerous man from her past calls, Sydney Rye finds she cannot turn him away. Robert Maxim explains that the daughter of a powerful friend has gone missing and he wants Rye to find her. In exchange he offers her something she had given up hope of ever having; freedom from her past.

About the author

Emily (author photo)Emily is the author of eight mysteries in her best selling Sydney Rye Series about a brave female protagonist and her giant dog, Blue. She also writes dystopian, paranormal romances under the name E.J. Kimelman.

A traveler, mother and all around badass chick, Emily is always happy to hear from readers. Connect with her on Twitter @ejkimelman, Facebook, and at her website www.emilykimelman.com. Visit Emily’s website and sign up for her Readers’ Group to receive four FREE ebooks including the first book in her Sydney Rye Series, Unleashed. You’ll also get special offers, new release announcements and more. 

Emily can be found:

Website   |   Facebook    |   Twitter

Share