A Good Day for Chardonnay

book cover

“….So, Randy escaped.” “Seriously?” She slapped a palm against the steering wheel. “Damn it that’s all we need. Put out a BOLO, coordinate roadblocks for both I-25 on-ramps and call everyone in. Everyone. Who’s Randy again?” Sunshine Vicram to her partner Quincy

“Laugh-out-loud funny, intensely suspenseful, page-turning fun’ Allison Brennan on A Bad Day for Sunshine

Running a small-town police force in the mountains of New Mexico should be a smooth, carefree kind of job. Sadly, full-time Sheriff – and even fuller-time coffee guzzler – Sunshine Vicram, didn’t get that memo.

All Sunshine really wants is one easy-going day. You know, the kind that starts with coffee and a donut (or three) and ends with take-out pizza and a glass of chardonnay (or seven). Turns out, that’s about as easy as switching to decaf. (What kind of people do that? And who hurt them?)

Before she can say iced mocha latte, Sunny’s got a bar fight gone bad, a teenage daughter hunting a serial killer and, oh yes, the still unresolved mystery of her own abduction years prior. All evidence points to a local distiller, a dangerous bad boy named Levi Ravinder, but Sun knows he’s not the villain of her story. Still, perhaps beneath it all, he possesses the keys to her disappearance. At the very least, beneath it all, he possesses a serious set of abs. She’s seen it. Once. Accidentally.

Between policing a town her hunky chief deputy calls four cents short of a nickel, that pesky crush she has on Levi which seems to grow exponentially every day, and a raccoon that just doesn’t know when to quit, Sunny’s life is about to rocket to a whole new level of crazy.

Yep, definitely a good day for chardonnay.raccoon

Start your joy ride with A Bad Day for Sunshine, book one in the Sunshine Vicram series. I found author Darynda Jones using Novelist, a library resource to help each reader find books that are exactly what they’re looking for.

Here are two read-alike series.

Stephanie Plum mysteries

Evanovich, Janet

Reason:  In both of these funny, banter-filled series, strong females jump in with both feet when it comes to the criminals they’re hunting all while also handling complicated love lives and their overly involved family members. Sunshine Vicram series delves into darker themes than Stephanie Plum. — Jane Jorgenson

Virgil Flowers mysteries

Sandford, John

Reason:  Readers looking for offbeat police procedurals set in small towns will enjoy Sunshine Vicram and Virgil Flowers. Helmed by likeable protagonists, both suspenseful and intricately plotted stories contain humor, mystery, quirks, and sex. — Andrienne Cruz

 

Long-Running Series

New friends to meet, or old friends to greet, here are some characters worth taking the time to get to know!

There’s nothing quite like delving into a novel when you know you can count on several more volumes to hold your attention. The idea of getting to know a character – or characters – over the course of not only multiple novels but multiple years makes for a unique reading experience. Picking up a new novel in a beloved series is like meeting up with some old friends – there’s a kind of well-worn familiarity that can’t be found in any stand-alone novel. Luckily, if you too have the urge to dive into a long-running series, we have a few favorites to get you started.

Prey

by John Sandford

Check-out the extraordinary Lucas Davenport thrillers from bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner John Sandford. These haunting murder investigations have hooked readers over his 31 book collection. Start with Rules of Prey (Prey # 1), you’ll be swimming up to Ocean Prey (Prey # 31) before you know it!

“They were shot with a shotgun and put in garbage bags and thrown under a bridge,” Shrake said. “If it wasn’t murder, it was a really weird accident.”

― Lucas DavenportJohn Sandford book coversWalt Longmire

by Craig Johnson

Walt Longmire is a laconic and tortured cowboy with a stiff moral code and a weathered view of the world around him. Craig Johnson has carved out an interesting niche that combines classic Old West and cowboy tropes with hard-boiled noir. It’s an interesting combination that sets the Longmire Mystery series apart from the multitude of other crime fiction crowding the shelves. Grab The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire #1) and you won’t even notice time riding by before you reach for Daughter of the Morning Star (Walt Longmire # 17), We also have Longmire on DVD.

“I punched him in the fist with my nose, but I think he’ll live.” – Walt Longmire

Harry Dresden

by Jim Butcher

With Harry Dresden, Jim Butcher puts a fantastical spin on the classic hard-boiled detective mystery. Dresden finds himself caught up in all facets of murder and mayhem in his beloved Chicago — supernatural and otherwise — and his wisecracking, fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants style is entertaining across seventeen novels as well as various short stories. This series is one of my personal favorites, Harry has a huge heart, a “spirit of intellect” helper who lives inside a human skull, and a Dog named Mouse. Mouse is a “temple dog,” a celestial scion of the Foo Dog (divine spirit guardian), and a mortal canine. Start with Storm Front (Harry Dresden #1) You will magically find yourself reading Battle Ground (Harry Dresden #17)  and hoping for more to come in this exciting series.

Evil isn’t the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it’s a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference.”― Harry Dresden

 

In Death

by J.D. Robb

In Death is another particular favorite. I wish I had a friend like Eve. In a gritty, futuristic New York City, homicide detective Eve Dallas seeks justice for the victims of crime—and fights to overcome her own dark past. The main character in the In Death series is Eve Dallas, a no-nonsense homicide cop in mid-21st century (2058) New York, where beggars and prostitutes are legal as long as they have the proper licenses. Eve lives and breathes her job. In the very first book, Naked in Death (In Death # 1).  We are introduced to a slew of what become recurring characters: Eve’s former partner and trainer, who becomes a father figure; the esteemed police commander; the maternal staff psychiatrist; Eve’s criminal-turned-singer bestie; and most importantly, Roarke. Roarke is a suspect in a gruesome murder. He’s a reformed criminal (mostly reformed) and she’s a hard nosed cop, the chemistry between them should be illegal.  Murder, friendship, love, more murder, and an office chocolate thief will capture your imagination from book 1 until book 53.

“What’s your status?” she asked him.

“Healthy, wealthy, and wise. What’s yours?”

“Ha. Mean, crafty, and rude.”― Eve Dallas

Here are a few more great series…

 

The Camel Club

By David Baldacci      Series: The Camel Club, Book 1

Always on the hunt for government conspiracies, the political watch-dogs that make up Baldacci’s Camel Club will entertain, surprise, and thrill you.

1st to Die  By James Patterson        Series: Women’s Murder Club, Book 1

When the normal way of doing things isn’t stopping a serial killer, four friends who all work in the justice system decide to band together in Patterson’s best-selling female vigilante series.

Dark of the Moon  By John Sandford     Series: Virgil Flowers, Book 1

Full of surprising twists and plenty of mystery, Dark of the Moon kicks off Sandford’s powerful Flowers series set in rural Minnesota.

Along Came a Spider  By James Patterson        Series: Alex Cross, Book 1

Probably Patterson’s most notable character, Alex Cross is a DC detective who will stop at nothing to get the case solved and justice served.

 The Chase  By Clive Cussler         Series: Isaac Bell, Book 1

Cussler introduces an electrifying and no-nonsense hero in his Isaac Bell thrillers. Driven by his sense of justice, Bell travels early 20th-century America pursuing thieves and killers—and sometimes criminals much worse.

 The Black Echo:   By Michael Connelly             Series: Harry Bosch, Book 1

Detective Hieronymus ‘Harry’ Bosch, former tunnel rat in Vietnam and star of Michael Connelly’s best-loved series, is as tough as they come.

 

What Next?

HAVE YOU READ EVERYTHING YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR EVER WROTE?  Sometimes it’s a year or even more until the next book is released. What is a reader supposed to do? Do you wander through the stacks trying to choose by the short blurb inside the jacket, or maybe by the title and the look of the cover? What about choosing something because your friend recommended it? Even though they are your “bestie”, they may read very differently than you do. Bestseller lists are no guarantee that the book will suit your tastes. The library can help; every member of the staff is trained in what is called Readers Advisory. Ask us to help you out, just be prepared to answer a few questions such as “what was the last thing you read that you really liked?” and “what was it that you liked about it?”

If you prefer to find books on your own, but wish there was a better way, the library can help with that too. On our web-page under the online resources tab you’ll find these reading resources:

Novelist

NoveList is a fiction database that provides subject heading access, reviews, annotations, and much more for over 120,000 fiction titles. It also includes other content of interest to fiction readers, such as Author Read-alikes, Book Discussion Guides, BookTalks, and Feature Articles.

eSequels

eSequels is a website that contains information about series. Information is provided about characters, subjects, correct reading order and more. eSequels is the place to learn everything about your favorite book series.

Author Check 

An easy way to track your favorite authors.  Receive email alerts when the library receives a new book by authors you’ve selected. A full database of authors and their books, that the library owns, including author profiles.

Select Reads 

Discovering books that match your interests just got easier with SelectReads. Get monthly emails reading and recommendations customized to match your interests.

To let us help you discover your next favorite author or genre, stop by or go online at www.eAPLD.org 

Lisa Kleypas

Lisa Kleypas

After graduating from Wellesley College with a political science degree, Lisa published her first novel at age twenty-one. Her books are published in more than 20 languages and are bestsellers all over the world. Lisa (born 1964) was also named Miss Massachusetts in 1995 and competed in the Miss America Pageant the next year.

Her novel “Stranger In My Arms” was given the Waldenbooks Award for greatest sales growth.  The following year, Lisa’s “Someone To Watch Over Me” was a Rita finalist at the Romance Writers of America convention.

In 2002 her novel “Suddenly You” was a Rita finalist and Lisa won the Rita award for her Christmas anthology novella featured in the “Wish List.”  It was a banner year, and her novel “Lady Sophia’s Lover” was awarded Best Sensuous Historical Romance from Romantic Times magazine, and “Lady Sophia’s Lover” was given a starred review in Publishers Weekly, as was “When Strangers Marry.”

The historical series the Ravenels, debuted on the New York Times Bestsellers list and, much to her fans’ delight, characters from previous books made cameos.  Each of the five Ravenels books has been a NY Times Bestseller.  The newest book Chasing Cassandra has been given a starred review by Publisher’s Weekly and by me 😉

Lisa is one of those authors that I never miss and I am always excited when the next title is announced, if you are a fan of romance with lots of twists and turns but always a happy ending you can’t go wrong with one of her many titles.

The Ravenels series in reverse order includes:

Chasing Cassandra 

Devil’s Daughter

Hello Stranger

Devil in Spring

Marrying Winterborne

Cold-Hearted Rake

 

In Death series by J.D. Robb

With the recent release of Golden in Death and with some nudging from a friend (B.W.), I decided to read J.D. Robb A.K.A Nora Roberts for the first time. The main character in the In Death series is Eve Dallas, a no nonsense homicide cop in a mid-21st century (2058) New York, where beggars and prostitutes are legal as long as they have the proper licenses. Eve is emotionally closed-off, and lives and breathes her job. In the first book Naked in Death, Eve meets Roarke (just one name like Cher), a suspect in a gruesome murder, and the plot thickens. Roarke and Eve have nothing in common. She lives on a cop salary and prefers candy bars to stopping to eat a meal. He is extremely wealthy and his “auto-chef” (picture a sci-fi slot in the wall that can prepare meals for you) is stocked with only the best. Sparks fly.

I’m on book seven now. The murders are compelling, her few friends and co-workers provide some humor, her love life provides some spice, and her entire sense of self revolves around justice for the victims.

Roberts began writing the “In Death” series in 1995, and some familiar and complicated characters are woven into all the books, including “Golden in Death.” Her intricate character development and powerful storytelling give both longtime fans and newcomers the ability to drop into the series at any point and escape into Eve’s world where the street vendors sell soy dogs and Pepsi comes in recyclable tubes.

And the 50th book proves, this series truly is the gold standard. “Golden” was released on February 4, 2020 and is in the top 5 on the New York Times Bestseller list.

The Grey Bastards (The Lot Lands #1)

This debut novel by Johnathan French is truly a book no fantasy  lover should miss, if Lord of the Rings and Son’s of Anarchy could have a baby it would be The Grey Bastards.

LIVE IN THE SADDLE. DIE ON THE HOG. 

Such is the creed of the half-orcs dwelling in the Lot Lands. Sworn to hardened brotherhoods known as hoofs, these former slaves patrol their unforgiving country astride massive swine bred for war. They are all that stand between the decadent heart of noble Hispartha and marauding bands of full-blood orcs.

Jackal rides with the Grey Bastards, one of eight hoofs that have survived the harsh embrace of the Lots. Young, cunning and ambitious, he schemes to unseat the increasingly tyrannical founder of the Bastards, a plague-ridden warlord called the Claymaster. Supporting Jackal’s dangerous bid for leadership are Oats, a hulking mongrel with more orc than human blood, and Fetching, the only female rider in all the hoofs.

When the troubling appearance of a foreign sorcerer comes upon the heels of a faceless betrayal, Jackal’s plans are thrown into turmoil. He finds himself saddled with a captive elf girl whose very presence begins to unravel his alliances. With the anarchic blood rite of the Betrayer Moon close at hand, Jackal must decide where his loyalties truly lie, and carve out his place in a world that rewards only the vicious.

”The first Grey Bastards were potters, named not for our skin, but from the dry clay which covered it. We knew fire and heat and mud, until the day we rode into battle on the backs of hogs that knew only the yoke of a supply wagon. That day we became warriors. We were carving a path to freedom, though we didn’t know it then. Carving it with swords fallen from the hands of our fleeing masters, carving it through the flesh of our orc fathers.”

 

 

Kill the Farm Boy: The Tales of Pell

In an irreverent new series in the tradition of Monty Python, the bestselling authors of the Iron Druid Chronicles and Star Wars: Phasma reinvent fantasy, fairy tales, and floridly written feast scenes.

In this pun-laden quest, first in a trilogy, Hearne (A Plague of Giants) and Dawson (Star Wars: Phasma) skewer the traditional tropes of epic fantasy sagas. Though the field is already rife with parodies and satires, the authors execute their own unique twist by killing off the titular farm boy on page 31 before his hero’s journey can ever truly begin. Now it’s up to a ragtag band of unlikely heroes—including a seven-foot-tall horticulturalist in a chainmail bikini, a cursed half-rabbit bard, a bread-conjuring would-be dark lord, a clumsy rogue, and a boot-eating talking goat—to save the kingdom from magical misdeeds. As they face their greatest childhood fears, contend with gourmand giants, and negotiate with arrogant elves, these improbable heroes display surprising depths and complexities. There’s a Pratchettian humor at play here, manifesting in frequent pun wars, silly songs, and an underlying level of societal absurdity—everyone takes cheese rather seriously, for instance. The authors claim they wanted to make fun of the typical “white male power fantasies,” and in that, they succeed, with their heroes all characters of color and/or falling somewhere under the LGBTQ umbrella. Even so, there’s the feeling that they’re marching through familiar, previously conquered territory, putting this solidly in the middle of the field of humorous fantasy. If you are a fan of The Princess Bride by William Goldman or the Last Unicorn you will undoubtedly laugh out loud as you read this epic adventure.

About Kill the Farm Boy

“Ranks among the best of Christopher Moore and Terry Pratchett.”—Chuck Wendig

“When you put two authors of this high caliber together, expect fireworks. Or at least laughs. What a hoot!”—New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks

This masterpiece of fun, farcical, fantasy fiction can be found on both the IDDC and the library shelves.

Look Alive Twenty Five

Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter with attitude. In Stephanie’s opinion, toxic waste, rabid drivers, armed schizophrenics, and August heat, humidity, and hydrocarbons are all part of the great adventure of living in Jersey. She’s a product of blue-collar Trenton, where “houses and minds are proud to be narrow”, cars are American, windows are clean, and dinner is served at six.

Out of work and out of money, with her Miata repossessed and her refrigerator empty, Stephanie blackmails her bail bondsman cousin, Vinnie, into giving her a try as an apprehension agent. And that’s only the beginning of a series that will set her on the trail of fugitives. Stephanie will have to sharpen her sleuthing skills, because she’s got many a mystery to solve.

Just to complicate things, poor Stephanie has a bad case of the hots for handsome vice cop Joe Morelli, also from the “burg.” As Stephanie puts it, “There are some men who enter a woman’s life and screw it up forever. Joseph Morelli did this to me — not forever, but periodically.”And somehow, Morelli always seems to be involved in Stephanie’s cases. He may be all wrong for her, but what’s a girl to do?

Aiding and abetting Stephanie in her quest to track down and bring back those who have jumped the bond so generously put up by her cousin Vinnie is Ranger, the know-it-all, done-it-all hardcore, hardcase Cuban-American bounty hunter, dangerous dude and love interest #2.

Each book in this series is a whole story with a beginning and an ending, however there may be minor references to events that occurred earlier in the series. Therefore, with respect to the mystery alone, the books can be read out of order, if desired. However, like any long series that focuses on a core group of characters, there are various relationship changes that develop more naturally when the full length novels are read in the order in which they were published.

 

  • Stephanie Plum series in order by Janet Evanovich
  • One for the Money
  • Two for the Dough
  • Three to Get Deadly
  • Four to Score
  • High Five
  • Hot Six
  • Seven Up
  • Hard Eight
  • Visions of Sugar Plums (between-the-numbers holiday novella)
  • To the Nines
  • Ten Big Ones
  • Eleven on Top
  • Twelve Sharp
  • Plum Lovin’ (between-the-numbers holiday novella)
  • Lean Mean Thirteen
  • Plum Lucky (between-the-numbers holiday novella)
  • Fearless Fourteen
  • Plum Spooky (between-the-numbers novel)
  • Finger Lickin’ Fifteen
  • Sizzling Sixteen
  • Smokin’ Seventeen
  • Explosive Eighteen
  • Notorious Nineteen
  • Takedown Twenty
  • Top Secret Twenty-One
  • Tricky Twenty-Two
  • Turbo Twenty-Three
  • Hardcore Twenty-Four (November 14, 2017)

Outsider by Stephen King

 

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

Outsider – Coming May 22, 2018.

Stephen King is a ‘New York Times’-bestselling novelist who made his name in the horror and fantasy genres with books like ‘Carrie,’ ‘The Shining’ and ‘IT.’ Much of his work has been adapted for film and TV.

Stephen King was born on September 21, 1947, in Portland, Maine. He graduated from the University of Maine and later worked as a teacher while establishing himself as a writer. Having also published work under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, King’s first horror novel, Carrie, was a huge success. Over the years, King has become known for titles that are both commercially successful and sometimes critically acclaimed. His books have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide and been adapted into numerous successful films.

excerpts are taken from stephenking.com and biography.com

 

 

 

Get Caught Reading!

 

Get Caught Reading

Get Caught Reading is a nationwide campaign to promote the fun of reading books for all ages. Launched in 1999 by the Association of American Publishers and now managed by Every Child a Reader with support from the Lois Lenski Covey Foundation.

Because of research indicating that early language experience actually stimulates a child’s brain to grow and that reading to children gives them a huge advantage when they start school, we hope to encourage people of all ages to enjoy books and magazines and to share that pleasure with the young children in their lives.

We are honored to have the support of well known figures including First Lady Laura Bush, Drew Carey, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Donald Duck, Patty Duke, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Graham, Derek Jeter, Vernon Jordan, Jake Lloyd, Rosie O’Donnell, Dolly Parton, The Rugrats, Jane Seymour, Sammy Sosa, Spider Man, Erik Weihenmayer, and Robin Williams, who have all been “caught reading” their favorite books and magazines for print ads and posters seen by millions of people across the country.

 

 

http://www.getcaughtreading.org