With back-to-school upon us, it’s sometimes difficult to remember that summer has not yet given way to autumn. For those of us who lead busy lives, the lazy days of summer are a myth. We work, take care of children, cook, clean…all the activities that prevent us from kicking back on the beach, fruity beverage in the sand beside us, a great book in hand. Well, guess what? It’s only August. Summer is still here and it isn’t too late to take advantage of all summer has to offer. Can’t escape to an exotic beach locale? That’s okay! Pull up a lawn chair, grab the adult beverage of your choice, and get a copy of one of my Summer Reading Recommendations. Loose yourself in an amazing book, and it can be summer all year long.
For lovers of a good murder-mystery with a touch of humor, how about Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz?
In 1935, John Hobb, father of four, is a witness to a bank robbery. He identifies the robbers and testifies against them. They are later pardoned by the governor.
In 1937, Hobb is found in his idling car by the side of the road, dead from a gunshot wound to the head. The circumstances surrounding his death are a mystery, and the killer is unknown.
In 2010, John Hobb’s murder is still unsolved when Tess Tremaine moves into his former house. She finds a job at the local bookstore, which is owned by Lou Stafford, the youngest daughter of John Hobb. During renovations to the old house, Tess finds a mysterious old key, labeled “trunk.” Mayhem ensues when she attempts to find the owner of the key: Her house is broken into twice, but nothing is taken; she finds cigarette butts and footprints outside a bedroom window; she gets threatening phone calls and ominous messages in the mail; she and a friend are attacked on the street. All of this has the opposite reaction than was intended—it doesn’t scare her away, it strengthens her resolve to find John Hobb’s murderer.
Like a thrilling crime novel? Then Wayne Zurl is the author for you. Check out A Leprechaun’s Lament.
A stipulation of the Patriot Act gave Chief Sam Jenkins an easy job; investigate all the civilians working for the Prospect Police Department. But what looked like a routine chore to the gritty ex-New York detective, turned into a nightmare. Preliminary inquiries reveal a middle-aged employee didn’t exist prior to 1975. Murray McGuire spent the second half of his life repairing office equipment for the small city of Prospect, Tennessee, but the police can’t find a trace of the first half. After uncovering nothing but dead ends during the background investigation and frustrations running at flood level, Jenkins finds his subject lying face down in a Smoky Mountain creek bed-murdered assassination-style. By calling in favors from old friends and new acquaintances, the chief enlists help from a local FBI agent, a deputy director of the CIA, British intelligence services, and the Irish Garda to learn the man’s real identity and uncover the trail of an international killer seeking revenge in the Great Smoky Mountains
If you’re a Science Fiction fan, you absolutely must read Conor P Dempsey’s Exiles of the New World.
On a seemingly quiet summer day, a mysterious pathogen is released upon a remote observatory in New Mexico, killing the sole technician on duty. A Recovery team later finds the technician’s body with a note containing the last set of spatial coordinates the observatory’s telescope was pointed at, which the technician believes has triggered the end of days.
The next morning, disgraced physics professor Theodore Kim finds himself on a spacecraft orbiting Saturn. With no recollection of how he got there, he tries to piece together his recruitment as part of an unwilling crew along with his Longtime girlfriend, a retired physician, a Russian aviator, a zoologist, and a stay-at-home mother. Without explanation, the experimental craft known as the Moirae departs the galaxy for an unknown destination.
Back on Earth, Douglas Silva, a man with no memories, discovers a landscape punctuated by death and abandonment. With no knowledge of the earth’s demise, he is haunted by a single vision. A dream. A dream of a man falling from the sky. A dream that, unbeknownst to him, belongs to Theodore Kim.
As Silva moves deeper into the wasteland and the Moirae drifts farther away from the galaxy, the questions mount. What has happened to the earth? Why has the Moirae been cast off into space? Are they the last ark of humanity, sent to colonize some distant planet? Or have they been sent on a fool’s errand to search out God in the depths of space, as some of the crew believe? If so, why did they send Kim, a boozing agnostic, to do the talking?
For Urban Fantasy, Katrina Jack’s Land of Midnight Days is a must.
What would you do if your life was filled with fear: hide, run away -or would you fight back?
In a city at war with itself, Jeremiah Tully already knows how to survive, now he must learn how to live. Mute from birth, of mixed race heritage and his only possession a charmed flute, Jeremiah tries to discover where his remarkable talent as a musician will take him.
Last but not least, here’s my recommended list for lovers of Fantasy/Paranormal Romance for Young Adults:
Murder, romance, secrets and hidden pasts. Deception from every angle—who’s telling the truth?
Cheyenne Wilson’s life is thrown into turmoil after her adoptive parents are killed in an accident. With only her best friend Colt to comfort her, she scours through the family archives, hoping to quell her grief. Instead she begins to unravel the mystery behind her birth parents, and her secret heritage. She is a Timeless- a being that ages one year for every hundred human years when they reach their twenties- and of the royal line, destined to gain great power.
But Cheyenne has other problems. The ones who killed her parents want her too, and Colt is hiding something of his own. Surrounded by danger and with few she can trust, Cheyenne must face the dark truth of her past, and choose between a forbidden love that will forever hold her heart, or her destiny…
Michel Prince’s Chrysalis
In the annals of dysfunctional families, the Chisholm’s are working their way to the top. Drug abuse, an unwed mother with multiple fathers, and the questionable cash flow for the ‘pretty one’. All this from a seemingly normal, two parent middle class family. But were the choices truly made of their free will?
Bad choices are a Chisholm family trait, one that confounds the youngest child, Ellie, who’s trying to separate herself by making smart decisions. And falling for Oscar Jeffreys, the hottest guy at school, would be number one on the list of Chisholm family disasters. Yet the crazy part is it’s not a one sided attraction. Somehow Ellie has caught Oscar Jeffreys’ eye. Sure she could see the barriers between them. Race, age, popularity. They were at opposite ends of the spectrum. But a demon set to destroy her family? She can’t see that.
Oscar provides security and acceptance Ellie never imagined she deserved. As the passion of first love grows, Ellie honestly believes she has a chance to beat the odds and live a happy, normal life. Then her world collapses around her. With the help of a guardian angel, Ellie learns of a world that has unknowingly surrounded her for years. And she’ll have to find strength buried deep inside to save not only her future, but flush out and stop the demon in her midst.
And Ellie will have to learn that sometimes the hardest lesson about growing up is accepting that you’re worth more.