October Book Discussion

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This month Willie’s Women met to share their love of reading and lots of laughter. And these supportive Red Hat sisters of mine were very encouraging when I confessed to them how Book #4 has been such a challenge for me to write; but my Rose Tribe held me accountable and next book discussion, I’m supposed to have some WRITING to report to them so I’ll do my best to hold myself accountable to that!

JENNY gives 4 stars to The Talented Mr. Varg by Alexander McCall Smith, #2 in the Detective Varg series. According to the author’s site, This series is Scandi Blanc as opposed to Scandi Noir, the difference being “there is nothing noir about the world of Ulf Varg, a detective in the Sensitive Crimes Department in the Swedish city of Malmo.”

BERTHA-ROSE gives 3 stars to What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad, a Canadian author who is on the short list for the Giller award. This book is about a young Syrian boy surviving a shipwreck and what happens afterwards.

KARI ah, dear Kari! She’s diving into the third installment of The Puritan Chronicles, Raid on Cocheco ! She’s all prepared to give this book 5 stars! She seems to be enjoying it pretty much and the author can’t wait to hear her final review!

CC, our most prolific bookworm, had several authors and titles to share. She gives 5 stars to Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston, authors of the Aloysius Pendergast series. She calls them “mystery meets scifi meets love stories.” Titles she mentioned specifically were Fever Dream, Crooked River and Bloodless. CC gives Nevada Barr’s Liberty Falling 4 stars. As for Cozy Mysteries, CC gives Maddie Day’s Murder on Cape Cod 3-4 stars. CC also gives 5 stars to this month’s selection for the Red Hat Book Nook group, The Water Keeper by Charles Martin.

PENI JO read Darien Gee’s Friendship Bread years ago & in fact this enjoyable read was the catalyst for the novel she’s currently writing! The book even includes a recipe for Amish Friendship bread. A solid 4 stars.

Willie’s Women Book Discussion meets at 3pm Eastern time the 2nd Monday of each month on Zoom. Non-RHS members may join the discussion one time.

September Book Discussion

Willie’s Women met this month with a lot of good books to recommend!

BERTHA-ROSE started us off with Astra by Cedar Bowers, a Canadian author from British Columbia whose husband Michael Christie is also an award-winning author. A review of this book reads; “Cedar Bowers’s debut took my breath away. In Astra, Bowers dares to contend with the many selves we all contain—those we conceal, those we perform, those we try to outrun in our search for love, belonging, and home. She holds the human heart like a diamond to the light, exposing its every fault, its every dream, its every pain that both damns and anoints. Bowers writes with the unsentimental clarity and aching wisdom of a young Alice Munro. A fiercely beautiful novel. I could not put it down.” —Claudia Dey, author of Heartbreaker and Stunt

LINDA LEE joined us for the first time. She is currently reading Diana Galbaldon’s Book 3 in the Outlander series, Voyager. Linda Lee thoroughly enjoys that series.

JENNY is currently reading Anthony Horowitz’s The Word is Murder. She likes how the author works himself into his own books a character, something I as a writer would never think to do!

KARI and CC both mentioned S.R. Zalesny’s The Red and Purple Mustery, and Kari even has a copy signed by the author! Perfect for Red Hatters, the book’s blurb reads; Come join this Sisterhood of fabulous ladies, fifty years and older, that are out to rock the New Orleans Hotel and Casino with fun and friendship. They compete to win the drawing for the Ruby Tiara. For Mary Jane Watson, a former Detective with the Las Vegas Metro Police, it was supposed to be a retirement celebration with her group, The Dames in Old Hats.

CC continued with S.R. Zales’s Jenny and the Hummingbird Faeries. She followed that suggestion with J.D. Rob’s Forgotten in Death and mentioned 2 favorite period authors of hers, Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Peters, both of whom she’s mentioned in past discussions.

PENI JO; The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner is about a Polish Jewish mother and daughter hiding from the Nazis. The mother chooses to leave her daughter in the safety of an orphanage, promising they’ll reunite. I enjoyed this book pretty much.

Willie’s Women Book Discussion meets the 2nd Monday of each month on Zoom at 3pm central. Non- Red Hat Society members may attend once and share their love of books!

Meet Author Thorsten Nesch!

Thorsten Nesch is a German/ Canadian YA author whose works are uniquely written with humor and verve! Learn more about this author below.

1. Where did you get your inspiration for I Am You Am I ?

I got the idea while writing another novel, where a woman dresses in men clothes in order to dive under after a robbery. The longer that lasted the more funny implications occured, but I could not use them, because it just wasn’t that type pf story. When I finished that novel, I was like, there is so much more it I did extensive research in the body switch genre, and with all the stories told, the novels written and the movies made, I still thought, this can be way more outrageous. And I wrote it. Way more outragious.

2. How would you describe your writing style?

Always check the first page of my novels, if that suits you! My style differs from narrator to narrator of the story, I am merely the medium. The only thing, all my novels have in common, according to my readers, is: I am not getting lost in unnecessary details. They are not boring. 

3. What do you find most rewarding about writing for young people? The most challenging?

Oh the most rewarding is clearly showing up in schools for readings and getting approached afterwards, and my personal fave is “Your novel was the first book I finished in my life” – that is my personal literary award. Amazing.

Challenging?

Nothing, I love it.

Life is challenging if I can’t write. Very challenging.

4. What can we expect next from Thorsten Nesch?

A dystopian novel taking place in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. I received a literary project grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and I document the entire writing process on my homepage www.thorstennesch.com in weekly blog post. And you can ask question, too!

Meet Mystery Writer Jocie McKade!

Jocie McKade is the author of the Mayson-Dickson Mysteries series. Read below to learn more about this author and her fun series!

1.What drives your characters Emme Mayson and Jackie Dickson? Do you relate to one more than the other?

Emme and Jackie are both driven women with impressive backgrounds. What drives them, and drives them crazy is the need to find the truth about their parents. There is a long backstory going on, and it’s going to take some digging, some dodging bullets, and some less than legal acts to get to the truth!

I relate to both pretty well. My family are all from the Southern USA. I was born in Ohio — Yankee! LOL I can go from y’all to you guys in the same sentence without a breath! But, I spent most of my childhood in the South with my family, so, I probably have more in common with Emme.

2. What do you find most rewarding about writing mystery novels? 

Creating a literary labyrinth! I love treasure hunts, and historical conundrums. Even though I know the ending of the who-dun-it, I love creating the twists and turns to take the reader there. Leaving those ‘red herrings’ and little nuggets throughout the story. My hubby says I would have made a great detective. True, until I actually had to face a bad guy – then my running skills would be sorely tested!

3. How would you describe your writing style?

Snark with heart. I find humor is the most unlikely of places. The world needs more humor and a serious dose of heart, so that’s what I strive to give readers.

4. There are 4 books in the Mayson-Dickson Mysteries series. Can we expect more in the future?

Yes. I am in the outlining stages now, and it should be coming out around the first of 2022.