Jay Roberts is the winner of Gretchen’s book and swag. Watch for an email from Gretchen!
I’m not sure when I first met Gretchen or where — at some conference. But she is lovely and just as funny as her books. I’m so glad to welcome her to The Wickeds for the first time. Look for a giveaway at the bottom of the post. Here’s a bit about Double Trouble the ninth book in the Davis Way Crime Caper series.
Davis Way Cole smells T-R-O-U-B-L-E when she’s fired from half of her part-time job at the Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. The quarter-time job she’s left with is lulling her to sleep, exactly what she’s doing when Birdy James, centenarian director of the casino’s Lost and Found department, disappears. With five million dollars.
Davis just can’t help believing Birdy didn’t do it, if for no other reason, she’s too old to spend it. If Davis doesn’t find the little old lady and the money fast, she’ll lose what’s left of her job, at which point, there goes her Bellissimo everything.
What she needs is a good luck charm. What she gets is her home invaded by hard-headed women, a soft-hearted little man, and major carpet troubles, the combination of which sends Davis’s already suspicious mind into overdrive, and landing her between a jailhouse rock and a very hard place.
A little less conversation and a lot more action are called for if Davis has any chance of saving herself, her family, her marriage, her job, and the heartbreak hotel she calls home. Thank you. Thank you very much.
On My Nightstand
My first book was published in 2013. I was fifty-one years old. Don’t do that math, and this isn’t the story of You’re Never Too Old. (Although you’re not.) This is the story of how much I enjoyed reading, how voraciously I read, how widely I read before I was published, and how I had to relearn reading for pleasure after.
I went from one side of publishing (consumer) to the other (casualty) quickly, if four unpublished rambling tomes (about absolutely nothing) and 300 rejections can be considered quickly. Truth: I woke up one day and stopped everything I was doing because it wasn’t working. I threw out the rambling tomes and rejection letters, wrote what would be the first in my series, Double Whammy, in four months, landed my dream agent on my first query, had a contract with new and exciting kid on the block, Henery Press, within a few months, and just like that (*finger snap*) my world turned upside down. I had deadlines, reviews, blogs, blurbs, social media, marketing, graphics, author events, conferences, heaps of new people in my life, an inbox forever full of reader email, demands on my time, on my series, on my family, on my sleep, on my checkbook, and, looking back, it all felt very hit by a bus. What’s that thing where nothing happens and nothing happens and nothing happens then everything happens?
That was me.
I’d gained so much, but it took writing and releasing several more books to realize what I’d lost. Reading. I’d lost reading. I’d stopped reading, outside my genre, anyway. When I wasn’t writing, I was reading and annotating pre-published manuscripts written by cozy mystery colleagues, which had me at my desk day and night, and before long, it all felt like work. On the rare occasions I braved the world outside my office, I’d hear, “You haven’t read this? That? The other? Stop everything and read it!” It wasn’t until recently, maybe a year ago, I took that advice. I started reading. Again. I started with James A. Michener’s Texas,where I’m from, then Hawaii, where I’d like to be, and I kept going. I’m so glad to be back in reader world. So happy to contribute to Where the Crawdads Sing conversations. (I, for whatever reasons, didn’t love it. Finished it, but didn’t love it.) (Sorry.) I’m thrilled to be anxiously awaiting Carl Hiaasen’s next release. (Squeeze Me, August 2020. I’ve preordered.) What fabulous books have cleared my nightstand recently? I’m so glad you asked.
How to Walk Away by Katherine Center. Contemporary Women’s Fiction. I’d call it Chick Lit. I thought I knew what I was getting. Girl meets boy, boy treats girl poorly, girl finds the strength to leave boy. No. Not what I got. What girl did was go against every ounce of her better judgement for boy, because she truly thought he was what she wanted and that she was what he needed, only for it to alter the absolute rest of her life. I loved Margaret’s story.
Daisy Jones & The Six: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I have no idea what genre this one is. Hold on and I’ll check. Women’s Sagas. (I didn’t know until just this minute there was such a thing.) I’m not particularly passionate about music, or bands, have been to less-than-I-can-count-on-two-hands concerts in my life, but I liked the era and the concept, so thought I’d give it a chapter. I gave it the next three days of my life. Because I really wanted Daisy and Billy to be together. And I really didn’t want Daisy and Billy to be together. My heart was ripped in two the entire book. Also, ten pages in, I Googled their music. That’s how real the fiction was for me, I thought they were real. I Googled them.
I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart. Biography. Now why would I be a Kevin Hart fan? No offense to comedians past or present, but I’m not a comedian groupie at all, along with the fact that I’m nowhere near Kevin Hart’s demographic. (See math problem above. Go ahead and calculate my age.) And yet I loved his book. I absolutely loved it. Talk about picking yourself up and dusting yourself off and making (a fortune) something of yourself? That’s this book. If you’re not a Kevin Hart fan, read this book and you will be. You’ll follow his every (almost tragic car accident) move. Heart all his Instagram videos. The honestly with which this man approaches his life, his heritage, his work, and his world thoroughly impressed me. I loved this book.
The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower. (History? Juicy Gossip?) Did you know that on her first night in the White House Luci Baines Johnson almost burned the place down? I didn’t either. This book, the Downton Abbey of the White House from the Kennedy years through Obama’s, is loaded with fascinating details and observations told by the service staff, that (interestingly enough) doesn’t change from administration to administration. I was glued to it, I tell ya, GLUED.
Readers: What’s on your nightstand? Giveaway: Signed paperback and swag to one commenter, announced on the 13th, U.S. only, please.