Annie's Book Stop of Worcester

The little bookstore that's bigger on the inside

 

The new arrivals this week are again following the pattern of many more non-fiction books than fiction or genre books. Memoirs/biographies top the list, but with a bit of a twist:

 

  1. INTO THE INFERNO: A PHOTOGRAPHER’S JOURNEY INTO CALIFORNIA’S MEGAFIRES AND FALLOUT by Stuart Palley is actually a book of photographs, but it is still a memoir of the author’s time spent in the fires.

 

  1. FINDING ME: A MEMOIR by Viola Davis is an actual memoir of the actress, who is originally from Rhode Island.

 

  1. THE PALACE PAPERS: INSIDE THE HOUSE OF WINDSOR–THE TRUTH AND THE TURMOIL by Tina Brown can be considered world history, but it is really a biography of the Windsor family.

 

  1. OFF WITH MY HEAD: THE DEFINITIVE BASIC B*TCH HANDBOOK TO SURVIVING ROCK BOTTOM by Stassi Schroeder is a humorous autobiography of one of the stars of the hit Bravo TV series Vanderpump Rules.

 

 

People seem to think that food is important. 😊 Well, this week’s selections certainly prove that the palate is primary. We have the following cookbooks to help those who wish to improve their culinary skills:

 

  1. GOOD EATS: THE FINAL YEARS by Alton Brown. What more can I say? This is the fourth and last volume of his Good Eats cookbooks.

 

  1. GULLAH GEECHEE HOME COOKING: RECIPES FROM THE MATRIARCH OF EDISTO ISLAND by Emily Meggett. Edisto Island is one of the Sea Islands of coastal South Carolina and Georgia, and the inhabitants of these islands represent the traditional culture, language, and foodways of their West African ancestors. Meggett’s Gullah food is rich and flavorful, though it is also often lighter and more seasonal than other types of Southern cooking.

 

 

Mysteries/thrillers are still very popular. There are two of them in this week’s New Arrivals:

 

  1. ONE OF US IS DEAD by Jeneva Rose. Which character in the city of Buckhead will survive, and which one will die? Find out in this revenge thriller.

and

  1. CITY ON FIRE by Don Winslow. Two criminal empires rule New England.

 

 

For those of you who like historical fiction, there is:

 

THE GOOD LEFT UNDONE: A NOVEL by Adrian Trigiani is about three generations of Tuscan artisans with one remarkable secret.

 

 

Last but not least, we have a paranormal romance by Christine Feehan, who has done an Author Spotlight for Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, in which she talks about her latest book. To view the spotlight, go to: anniesbookstopworcester.blog/2022/04/22/author-spotlight-friday-christine-feehan/.

 

SHADOW FIRE (A SHADOW RIDERS NOVEL BOOK 7) by Christine Feehan (Paranormal Romance)

 

 

 

 

 

As always, thank you for making our shelves your destination

 

 

 

 

Horror Writer and Poet Meg Smith talks about short stories in her new book, The Plague Confessor, and also speaks about herself and her writing in this interview with Selina Lovett from Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester. Originally posted on April 13, 2021, reposted now especially for Horror and Poetry Month.

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Michael Miller

 

 

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on author Christine Feehan. Christine Feehan is a #1 New York Times and International bestselling author of over 85 novels. She is also a 3rd degree blackbelt who taught self-defense for 20 years, a mother, grandmother and even great-grandmother who lives in the Northern California coast in the Redwoods near the ocean.

 

Her first book, Dark Prince was originally released in 1999 and she has gone on to write seven series, single titles and novellas.

 

Christine, where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)

 

You can find my work in most bookstores and online. And of course, in libraries.

 

 

 

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

 

Most of my “awesomeness” happens on the weekend with my grandchildren, but as far as my work goes, I try to be available to my readers in a few different places: Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads and my own online community which was established in 2009 and has over 150,000 members.

 

 

 

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

 

I’m constantly writing and try to release six books a year. This year I released Savage Road in January, Phantom Game in March. Now I have Shadow Fire which releases April 26th.

 

The rest of the year is just as busy with-

 

Red on the River releasing June 28th. The same day my son, Brian Feehan, has his first novel release  – Harmony of Fire.

 

Dark Whisper is out October 11th

 

Leopard’s Scar is out November 29th

 

And Recovery Road will release tentatively January 31st of 2023.

 

 

 

What kind of research went into writing this book?  What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?

 

For Shadow Fire I didn’t have a lot of research. I had done research for past books that I was able to utilize, but this book really only required extra research about France, contracts for arranged marriages and bombs. You know, the usual. LOL

 

For Red on the River though that required a huge amount of research. I sent my daughter, Denise, who does all of the research that requires travel, to Las Vegas to research the city, but also the surrounding parks since the women in this book do hiking, rock climbing and bouldering. I want scenes that involve those things to feel real to readers. Denise also went with a friend to Tuolumne which is such a beautiful area.

 

I also had to research poker and gambling. I am not going to admit to how much help I needed before, during and after writing those scenes but I can promise you no one is going to ask me to any celebrity poker tournaments in the near future. I may not even be asked to play Go Fish! LOL

 

 

 

 

 

 

What was the inspiration for the Shadow Rider series? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished books?

 

For my Shadow Rider series it all started as I was watching my Black Russian Terriers, which look like big black bears, prance and play together in the dog yard as I watched from up on the balcony. It was that time of day when shadows were everywhere and as one dog would run into the shadows it appeared to me that he completely disappeared before coming out in the sunshine several feet away.

 

I thought it would be cool if we could travel using shadows and come out wherever we need to. And then, my author’s brain said – “What if assassins could ride the shadows to mete out justice?” And the Shadow Rider series was born.

 

 

 

What was the biggest challenge in writing and putting out Shadow Fire?  How did you overcome that challenge?

 

I can’t say that I had a particular challenge in writing Shadow Fire. I’m so comfortable with the characters and knew who the hero was going to be. If there was a challenge, I would say it was that I had no idea I would write Elie’s story. He was a secondary character, not even a cousin, to the Ferraro family which I’d about written previously. Since I hadn’t considered writing his book, I honestly didn’t pay much attention to the details I gave about him. That came back to haunt me. I was locked into some of his personality traits and history.

 

 

 

Christine, thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions! And good luck with Shadow Fire!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thursday! This week, many more genre books are crossing the shelves at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, starting with a wonderful array of thrillers. We have:

 

DEATH OF THE BLACK WIDOW by James Patterson

 

DREAM TOWN (AN ARCHER NOVEL BOOK 3) by David Baldacci

 

KINGDOM OF BONES: A THRILLER (SIGMA FORCE NOVELS BOOK 16) by James Rollins

 

and

 

WATCH OUT FOR HER: A NOVEL by Samantha M. Bailey

 

Each one of these are bound to keep you at the edge of your seat.

 

 

 

For a bit more of a fantastical read, you might want to try a speculative fiction book:

 

THE MEMORY LIBRARIAN: AND OTHER STORIES OF DIRTY COMPUTER by Janelle Monáe (SF), which takes the Afrofuturistic world from one of her critically acclaimed albums and puts it onto the written page.

 

 

Women’s Fiction:

 

BEAUTIFUL by Danielle Steel is a bit different than the usual Danielle Steel books, but is still great Danielle Steel.

 

 

 

The non-fiction books are also varied. There is one biography this week,

 

JILL: A BIOGRAPHY OF THE FIRST LADY by Julie Pace and Darlene Superville .

 

 

 

And only one self-help book:

 

OWN YOUR PAST CHANGE YOUR FUTURE: A NOT-SO-COMPLICATED APPROACH TO RELATIONSHIPS, MENTAL HEALTH & WELLNESS by Dr. John Delony

 

 

 

The last two books are both related to movies, but one is a cookbook:

 

 

JURASSIC WORLD: THE OFFICIAL COOKBOOK by Insight Editions

 

 

 

And the last is about art:

 

 

THE ART OF THE BATMAN by James Field (non-fiction art)

 

 

 

 

 

As always, Thank you for making our shelves your destination.

 

 

 

 

Morgan Sylvia is a horror writer of novels, short stories and poetry. In this video she talks about her latest short story in the “Coming Through the Waves” anthology, her writing, some things about herself, and she reads two of her poems. Since April is both National Horror Month and National Poetry Month, Morgan is a perfect person to highlight this week!

 

 

 

 

To honor National Horror Month, we are posting an old interview we had with Grady Hendrix, originally posted on September 18, 2018. You’ve come a long, way, Grady!

 

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday Spotlight on Grady Hendrix, one of our horror-writing friends! Grady writes horror books and movies… and an entertaining bio on his website www.gradyhendrix.com, so we’re stealing part of it for our introduction:

 

Grady Hendrix writes fiction, also called “lies,” and he writes non-fiction, which people sometimes accidentally pay him for. He is the author of Horrorstör, the only novel about a haunted Scandinavian furniture store you’ll ever need. NPR selected it as one of the best books of 2014 and it has been translated into 14 languages and is being turned into a television show by Gail Berman (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and Josh Schwartz (Gossip Girl). They have never met Grady, but that is their loss.

 

His last novel was My Best Friend’s Exorcism, about demonic possession, friendship, exorcism, and the Eighties, out now from Quirk Books. It’s basically Beaches meets The Exorcist and it caused the Wall Street Journal to call him “a national treasure” and received rave reviews from everyone from Kirkus to Southern Living.

 

He also wrote Paperbacks from Hell, a history of the horror paperback boom in the Seventies and Eighties that followed the success of Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, and Thomas Tryon’s The Other. It is so popular it won a Stoker Award, and while you may not know what that is, trust me when I say that it is a big, big deal that gets Grady 20% off all purchases at the Franklin Mint.

 

His next novel is We Sold Our Souls, a heavy metal take on the Faust legend—and ABSW have it in stock on September 18 (assuming Florence doesn’t mess with shipping), along with several other of his titles that we keep selling out of.

 

Thank you for being part of our Friday Spotlight, Grady! For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?

 

I write horror novels that readers apparently find funny, although to me I always just think I’m writing very, very seriously about the world around me.

 

What kind of research went into writing We Sold our Souls? What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?

 

We Sold Our Souls is a heavy metal horror novel, so I had to go deep on metal, a genre that I’ve never been cool enough to appreciate. In the process I learned that a) metalheads are the nicest people, b) Black Sabbath is where everything begins, c) David Lee Roth is my spirit animal, d) death metal isn’t for me, e) Black metal is a hell of a lot of fun, f) but nothing is more fun than 80s hair metal.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Albert Mitchell

 

What was the inspiration for We Sold Our Souls? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?

 

I was originally writing a book about dudes in a metal band who had their souls sold out from under them back in the Nineties but it wasn’t coming together. Then in November, 2016 I went to a horrible election night party and realized that if I wanted to write about people who were despised and hated by the entire world, I had to write about women. As soon as I gender swapped my lead, the book took off like a rocket.

 

What was the biggest challenge in writing and putting out We Sold Our Souls? How did you overcome that challenge?

 

I’m not a musical person, so writing about musicians was tough. I wound up taking guitar lessons while writing the book, however, which solved that problem.

 

What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?

 

Myself. Every author is fictional, and we all hate ourselves the most. And love ourselves the most. It’s confusing.

 

What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?

 

I write horror because I am a disturbed person who clearly had an unpleasant childhood. I assume everyone is drawn to it because they are also terrible misfits who can’t be seen in polite company.

 

What is your favorite part of being a writer?  Of the whole writing and publishing process?  What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?

 

My favorite part is the money. It’s a pity there’s so little of it.

 

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

 

Please quit. That way there’s less competition for me.

 

How important has the New England setting been to your writing?

 

I live in NYC, so the entire infrastructure of New England that provides me with light, gas, power, and water. That keeps hordes of wild dogs from eating me alive and is of the greatest importance to me.

 

 

What question do you wish interviewers would ask you, and what would the answer be?

 

This one!

 

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

 

Right now I’m deep into my next novel, another horror novel (sorry, I’m a one-trick pony), coming out in Fall 2019.

 

What is/are your passions when you’re not writing? How do you make time for your non-writing hobbies/things you love?

 

Hobbies? What are those?

 

What are some of your writing-related hobbies, crafts, addictions?

 

I once told myself that I could buy any used book I wanted, rather than agonize later over not having bought it. This has resulted in my wife being crushed to death by an avalanche of my used paperbacks. That is called situational irony.

 

What does your writing space look like? What do you need to have around you while writing or editing?

 

I have an office in a very drab building, and I’m located between a driving school and a medical billing processor. It looks like the kind of place where lots of divorced men secretly live under their desks because they can’t afford another apartment and cry themselves to sleep every night. It’s the perfect environment for writing horror.

 

What is one thing that most people don’t realize about you?

 

That I am incredibly handsome. Photos don’t do me justice.

 

 

 

Photo by Albert Mitchell

 

 

What has been your favorite adventure during your writing career?

 

That one time I had to find the Lost Grail. It was insane.

 

While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!

 

I love silence, but there’s a driving school right next door to my office so there’s not a lot of that around.

 

Writers very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work.  Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?

 

They “help” by coating themselves in batter, cooking themselves at high temperatures, and leaping into my mouth.

 

Do you have any favorite foods or drinks that must be in the vicinity (or must be avoided) while you’re writing or editing a piece of work?

 

Gin.

 

What do you consider the most challenging part of the writing process? And how do you overcome that?

 

Not writing is the hardest part of writing. I defeat that challenge by writing. It’s a pretty simple process but one I struggle with daily.

 

Do you have any favorite foods or drinks that must be in the vicinity (or must be avoided) while you’re writing or editing a piece of work?

Gin.

 

What do you consider the most challenging part of the writing process? And how do you overcome that?

 

Not writing is the hardest part of writing. I defeat that challenge by writing. It’s a pretty simple process but one I struggle with daily.

 

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your writing career?

 

Never precede your editor into a dark basement. Especially if the door locks from the outside.

 

Are there any groups, clubs, or organizations that you would recommend to other writers that have helped you in your career?

 

The Illuminati.

 

Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)

 

Everything they ever didn’t want to know is at www.gradyhendrix.com

 

How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?

 

All my tweeters, Facebookers, and more are right there on my website.

 

Thank you so much for the great interview, Grady! We are really excited to be able to share We Sold Our Souls with our customers, and look forward to even more from you!

 

 

This week our shelves are filled with the memoirs of celebrities. Some you may have heard of, some you may not, but the books themselves should prove pretty entertaining.

 

 

BRIGHTER BY THE DAY: WAKING UP TO NEW HOPES AND DREAMS by Robin Roberts. Robin was a longtime host of GOOD MORNING AMERICA, bringing positivity into people’s lives on a daily basis, and she now offers this guide full of insights to help people live more joyful lives.

 

HELLO, MOLLY! By Molly Shannon. Molly was a comedienne on Saturday Night Live, and this memoir is both funny and touching, given the story of her life. 

 

LEFT ON TENTH: A SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE by Delia Ephron. The writer of romantic comedies such as YOU’VE GOT MAIL, Delia Ephron tells the story of the loves, tragedies, and joyous resolutions in her life.

 

LOVE ME AS I AM by Garcelle Beauvais, is the life story of this REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS actress and star.

 

STILL JUST A GEEK: AN ANNOTATED COLLECTION OF MUSINGS by Wil Wheaton. This STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION alum has put together a collection of his blogs, which are musings about his life.

 

 

Now for the fiction:

 

 

TAKE MY HAND by Dolen Perkins-Valdez is a historical fiction book about a young Black nurse’s shocking discovery and burning quest for justice in post-segregation Alabama.

 

THAT SUMMER: A NOVEL by Jennifer Weiner is a fiction book about women’s friendship. It’s considered a great “beach read”.

 

TRUE BIZ: A NOVEL by Sara Novic is about a teacher at a boarding school for the deaf. A great book focusing on the deaf community.

 

THE YOUNGER WIFE by Sally Hepworth is a suspense novel about a man marrying a younger woman. Only he is still married, and has two daughters older than his proposed new wife.

 

THE SANDMAN BOOK ONE (SANDMAN, 1) by Neil Gaiman (Author), Sam Kieth (Illustrator). This is a classic graphic novel.

 

 

 

 

 

As always, thank you for making our shelves your destination.

 

Since April is National Horror Month (also National Poetry Month), we are highlighting the videos and blogs that we have taped or received from horror authors and poets. Ramsey Campbell is an English horror fiction writer, editor and critic who has been writing for well over fifty years. He has written over 30 books and has many short stories and movies to his credit. In this interview, Ramsey talks about his newest series, including The Searching Dead, his other works, and his writing.

Photo Credit: Jenny Han

 

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on author Jennifer E. Smith. Jennifer is the author of eleven books – most of them have been YA, but her new one, The Unsinkable Greta James is for adults.

 

 

Jennifer, where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)

 

 

You can usually find them anywhere books are sold – but indie bookstores are the best!

 

 

 

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

 

 

My website is jenniferesmith.com, and I’m on Twitter at @JenESmith and Instagram at @jenniferesmith.

 

 

 

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from The Unsinkable Greta James?

 

 

In the past, I’ve written mostly YA books, but The Unsinkable Greta James is my first novel for adults, so it feels like a debut in many ways. It’s about a successful indie musician named Greta James, who is dealing with the emotional aftermath of her mother’s sudden death, and finds herself on a weeklong Alaskan cruise with her dad – who’s never been supportive of her life choices – on what was supposed to be her parent’s 40th anniversary trip.

 

 

If you know me from my YA books, you’ll be happy to learn there’s also a romance between Greta and a charmingly nerdy professor she meets on the ship too. So it’s really three love stories in one: first and foremost, Greta and her passion for her music. Second, Greta and her complicated relationship with her dad. And finally, Greta and Ben and their unlikely romance.  Hopefully something for everyone!

 

 

 

What kind of research went into writing this book?  What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?

 

 

The research for this book was so much fun because the main character is a rock star, so I watched hours and hours of sets from other badass female guitarists. But the biggest piece of research was the cruise to Alaska. I’d been on one with my family in high school and thought I could write this from memory. But about sixty pages into the first draft, I realized I’d need to go back there myself. So I took a cruise a few years ago, and in addition to experiencing many of the same adventures that Greta goes on in the book – whale watching and wilderness safaris and hikes to glaciers – I also loved sitting on a deck chair under a scratchy woolen blanket on the deck of the ship, writing this novel as the glaciers slipped by in front of me. I swear I didn’t write this book just as an excuse to go back to Alaska, but it was definitely a wonderful perk!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

 

 

I always love to share this advice from a former writing professor of mine – the late Frederick Busch – which is a quote I kept taped to my computer for years and years as I tried and failed and tried again with various novels, and I still think there’s no better advice. He said, “Focus on your work. Love and serve your characters. Talent should be taken for granted until the world proves that you have none, or an insufficient quantity. It is energy that will see you through – to get your work done, to survive rejection. Never use ‘submit’ as a verb for sending work to magazine or book publishers; say ‘offer,’ and never, ever submit. Keep your knees unbent. Be brave.”

 

 

 

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

 

 

I’m already working on my next novel, which will also be for adults. But I had my first picture book, The Creature of Habit, come out recently, and I also just finished a sequel for that. There are also two movies based on my YA books – The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between – coming out some time in the next year. So lots of exciting things ahead!

 

 

 

Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions, Jennifer!

 

 

 

 

 

There are many books coming out this week that are geared towards helping oneself find what it is you really want to do in life, or how to channel your life in positive, creative ways. I thought I’d focus on some of these non-fiction books since life these days can be very difficult and hard to grok.

 

 

First of all, we have:

 

LOVE AND WORK: HOW TO FIND WHAT YOU LOVE, LOVE WHAT YOU DO, AND DO IT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE by Marcus Buckingham

 

BE A TRIANGLE: HOW I WENT FROM BEING LOST TO GETTING MY LIFE INTO SHAPE by Lilly Singh

 

and

 

12 NOTES: ON LIFE AND CREATIVITY by Quincy Jones

 

 

More non-fiction books for your reading (or cooking) pleasure include:

 

EASY BEAUTY: A MEMOIR by Chloé Cooper Jones, a biography,

 

And two cookbooks:

 

THE MODERN PROPER: SIMPLE DINNERS FOR EVERY DAY (A COOKBOOK) by Holly Erickson and Natalie Mortimer and

 

SHAQ’S FAMILY STYLE: CHAMPIONSHIP RECIPES FOR FEEDING FAMILY AND FRIENDS [A COOKBOOK] by Shaquille O’Neal, Rachel Holtzman, Matthew Silverman, Matthew Piekarski

 

 

Still in the non-fiction genre, there is a book that is filled with humor:

 

IDIOTS: MARRIAGE, MOTHERHOOD, MILK & MISTAKES by Laura Clery

 

 

If you’re in the mood for humor, but you’d like a nice fiction book, there’s:

 

LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY: A NOVEL by Bonnie Garmus, which is a comedic drama, and

 

SARI, NOT SARI by Sonya Singh, a South Asian romantic comedy.

 

 

Speaking of romance, we have:

 

BLUEBIRD: A NOVEL by Genevieve Graham, a World War I and Postwar Prohibition historical romance,

 

and

 

LOVER ARISEN (THE BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD SERIES BOOK 20) by J.R. Ward, which falls into the paranormal romance category.

 

 

And now for something completely different:

 

THE CANDY HOUSE: A NOVEL (VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD, 2) by Jennifer Egan, a Contemporary Fiction novel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, thank you for making our shelves your destination.

 

 

 

 

 

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