I spent a very pleasant hour last Saturday at Books on Beechwood, greeting patrons and acting as a volunteer salesgirl. Charlotte Gray was working the floor the hour before me and it was lovely to meet her. I read her book Sisters in the Wilderness some years back and was most impressed by her storytelling. Books on Beechwood had each of the visiting authors select their favourite books to recommend to readers and had copies in the store for us to promote. I picked up a copy of one of Charlotte's recommendations entitled A Spy Among Friends by Ben MacIntyre, which tells the story of British double agent Kim Philby. I'm about a third of the way through and it's a fascinating read about the spy business and all the various players going on during the Second World War. My goodness, those people drank like fishes!
So here, to the best of my recollection, is the list of books that I recommended (all of which you can find at Books on Beechwood :-)
1. Raven Black - Ann Cleeves
2. Forty Words for Sorrow - Giles Blunt
3. The Cold Cold Ground - Adrain McKinty
4. The Black Echo - Michael Connelly
5. Wire in the Blood - Val McDermid
6. Red Wolf - Liza Marklund
7. The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion (not a crime novel but a funny, original story and a great read)
I also chose the first Paddy Meehan book by Denise Mina, but they couldn't get it in for some reason. I believe Perfect Books on Elgin has a selection of Mina books if you are looking. Meehan is an investigative journalist working on a Scottish newspaper and just a great flawed female character with some interesting plot lines thrown in. Excellent writing.
I have a new Chapters signing set up for the end of the month with Chapters Gloucester. This will take place Saturday, May 28 from 1:00 to 4:00 all you east end Ottawa folks. A new part of the city for me to visit.
I've been retired from the government for five weeks now and am settling in to a decent writing routine, meeting and exceeding my 500 word a day target except on the odd day when I have other fish to fry. I manage to double my word count the next day, however, and am now at 15,700 words on this latest manuscript. I also received two cover options - both great - for Shallow End from Dundurn's designer and we all had difficulty choosing the best of the two. I finally selected one and can't wait to show you the final version when it becomes available.
Okay, so I can now officially confirm that I love being retired. So much time to spread out and do all the things I normally put off. I'm slowly but surely learning to relax and let days unfold as they will while still getting accomplished what I set out to do each day. And, I get to sleep in past 5:30! Luxury.
So much to do and explore....so much time...
Until next week, my friends. Make sure to find time to kick back and enjoy this beautiful month of May:-)