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Welcome to the bookish goodness that is My Favourite Reads.

June was another big reading month, which is no surprise I suppose. We’re still not getting out and about much which leaves more time for reading. I read eleven books all up, although one I ended up skim reading because it wasn’t my thing, but I wanted to see where the author went with it. The rest were mostly fiction with a few professional development type books thrown in.

My favourite read of June comes from an Australian author whose books I absolutely adore. I haven’t checked, but I think every book of hers I’ve read has turned out to be my favourite read for that month.

So, without further ado, my favourite read for June was….

Under the Midnight Sky by Anna Romer

Mystery, romance, a wonderful setting… Under the Midnight Sky proved to be another totally sigh-worthy read from Anna Romer.

Honestly, if you haven’t read any of her books, please do. Anna’s writing is beautiful. She makes you feel like you’re living the story with the characters. Speaking of characters, the journalist heroine of Under the Midnight Sky was wonderful, as was the hero. He was a writer, which made it rather fun.

I really enjoyed the romance in this – it was slow burn and satisfying – and the mystery of the missing girls was a doozy. I also liked the positive and negative show of small-town life and there was even an old house packed with secrets. Joy!

Great stuff. Go read. You’ll love it.

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Gone by Midnight by Candice FoxGone by Midnight by Candice Fox

This is such a cool series. I’ve read all of Candice Fox’s non-James Patterson books and loved every one of them. Gone By Midnight was no exception.

Gripping mystery and fantastic characters. Poor Ted, he just can’t seem to catch a break. And Amanda is a classic.

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Montana Baby by Juanita KeesMontana Baby by Juanita Kees

If you like romances that make you want to cuddle the book close to your chest while waltzing around with a dopey-happy smile on your dial, then this is a book for you.

Montana Baby is gorgeously written. I felt Juanita Kees’s passion for motor car racing in every word, but it was the portrayal of the Calhoun family that really gripped me. They warmed the cockles of my heart. Chase is just my kind of hero too. He was lovely. While Charlotte is the kind of gutsy heroine you can’t help but barrack for.

A wonderful romance. With a baby!

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Let It All Burn by Denise Grover SwankLet It All Burn by Denise Grover Swank

This was a hoot!

“Never underestimate the determination of a mother. Especially a smokin’ hot one.” This is part of the blurb for Let It All Burn and gives you an idea of the book’s vibe. It’s funny, clever and very entertaining. And there’s a hint of romance too.

Am eagerly awaiting news on the sequel.

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The Whisper Man by Alex NorthThe Whisper Man by Alex North

I’ve wanted to read The Whisper Man since its release. The premise sounded terrific and much more interesting than your average thriller/murder mystery. Which it proved to be!

Well crafted, page turnery, and nicely creepy, The Whisper Man was a cracking read. I especially liked the way the failing/failed father-son relationships were portrayed.

The Shadow Friend (titled The Shadows elsewhere) is North’s next book. I’ll be reading it.

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The Tomb of Genghis Khan by J. Robert KennedyThe Tomb of Genghis Khan by J. Robert Kennedy

This is number 25 in what is a hugely successful franchise featuring archaeology Professor James Acton, his super rich wife Laura, and their team of friends. I spotted The Tomb of Genghis Khan on sale and picked it up because it sounded like a fun escapist adventure read. And it was.

I liked how Kennedy wove the story of Genghis Khan’s death and burial through the narrative. That was interesting and gave nice breaks from the non-stop action.

Very entertaining.

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The Memory of Trees by FG CottamThe Memory of Trees by FG Cottam

My second favourite read of the month.

I’ve been wanting to read a FG Cottam book for years – basically since I read a review for The House of Lost Souls, his first novel and thought it sounded brilliant. Being a bit thrillery-horrory, Cottam’s books seemed smack in my zone. So I was rather chuffed to pick up The Memory of Trees on sale. The ebooks are normally quite expensive.

Wow, this was good. Fantastic writing, great premise and I fell completely in love with the hero, Tom. The man was brave, smart and noble and totally romance worthy.

I want to read everything Cottam has written now.

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For the writerly

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Author Unleashed by Robert J RyanAuthor Unleashed: Advanced Publishing and Marketing Strategies for Indie Authors by Robert J Ryan

Author Unleashed was great. I got so much out of it that I immediately bought the next book in the series, Book Blurbs Unleashed, and I’ll be buying the others too.

Easy to read and follow and chock-a-block with useful information for authors. One of the most fun bits? Ryan gives a summary and critique of the major players in the author how-to field.

Highly recommended.

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Following by David GaughranFollowing: A Marketing Guide to Author Platforms by David Gaughran

I’ve been following David Gaughran for several years now, basically since Let’s Get Digital came out. His blog is one of the most useful out there, full of tips and tricks for authors about all aspects of the book writing business. He’s an entertaining writer too. which is handy because some of this stuff can be eye-crossingly dry.

Following is his latest freebie for newsletter subscribers and it’s a beauty. It’s loaded with practical, actionable information and is a must-read for both newbie and established authors. It was info in Following that showed me why some of my newsletters weren’t reaching subscribers. Even better, it gave advice on how to fix the problem.

This is a super useful book on creating an author platform that works.

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Book Blurbs Unleashed by Robert J RyanBook Blurbs Unleashed by Robert J Ryan

Blurb writing is a definite skill, and not one I’m good at, unfortunately. Because of that, I’ve tried to learn via books and podcasts and webinars and none have really resonated. This did.

As a former copywriter, Ryan knows what he’s talking about. Book Blurbs Unleashed is a clear and well-written guide on what makes a good blurb. There lots of examples and discussion about the psychology behind blurbs that convert, plus tricks on how to improve yours.

This made me look hard at my blurbs, especially the older books, and it’s very clear that some are lacking. Thanks to this book, I can now remedy that. Or at least try to. Wish me luck!

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What books did you enjoy reading most in June?

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8 Responses

  1. Great list; I also enjoyed Under the Midnight Sky. A couple of books I loved this month were The Cake Maker’s Wish by Josephine Moon, always a fabulous writer, and The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams. Hope all this reading means your op went well, Cathryn. Best wishes.

    • Hi Malvina, thanks for dropping by. I’ve heard marvellous things about Josephine Moon but have yet to try one. I really need to remedy that. Those books sound right in my zone. The Dictionary of Lost Words sounds wonderful too.
      Yes, my eye op went well. Thank you! Still getting used to this new world though and a few things need to settle before I know how much vision I’ll end up with but there’s definitely an improvement!

  2. Hi Cathryn! As you know, I always love this column. And a few authors new to me – I’m going to try the Anna Romer and the F.G. Cottam, both new authors to me. Glad your eye op went well! I’d hate anything to interfere with your reading and recommendations!

    I’m over my reading slump. Hallelujah! 3 books I really enjoyed over the last few weeks are The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie which was funny and heartbreaking and beautiful. I also really liked In the Shadow of the Silk Road, a travel book by Colin Thubron which was just fascinating. And from left-field, I loved Cover Me by Ray Padgett which tells the story of what he considers to be the greatest cover versions of all time. Must say I think he made a serious miss when he didn’t include Tainted Love. But that aside, this was a great read and reminded me of a lot of music I’ve always loved.

    • That’s excellent news that you’re over your slump, Anna! Reading slumps are so annoying. You always read such a range of books. Those sound so interesting, especially Shadow of the Silk Road. I’ll keep an eye out for that. Travel books can be amazing when they’re done well.
      LOL on Tainted Love not getting a mention. Very remiss!

  3. Anna Romer’s books are awesome, I’ve read two of her books… so good. I enjoyed the Archer and Bennett series so I’m looking forward to Candice Fox’s other novels especially the ones co-authored with James Patterson. I must get April onto those writerly books, thanks for including them, Cathryn.

    I also read 11 books and thank goodness, only one wasn’t to my liking. Four of those 11 were remarkable and they were: The Potato Factory by Bryce Courtenay – this story was crazy brutal, don’t know how they endured what they did back then, gave me goosebumps, the yucky shivery kind, listened to the audiobook, and damn the narrator Humphrey Bower was magnificent.
    Looking for Alaska by John Green – listened to this on audio too, Wil Wheaton’s narration was superb, I don’t think I would have loved it as much had I of read it.
    Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee – Listened to this on audio because Reese Witherspoon was the narrator and wow, she was sublime and BEST BOOK EVER! This was truly an astounding novel.
    And, The Quiet Game by Greg Iles – thank you so much Cathryn for recommending this book, loved it so much and love that it’s set in Natchez (was one of our favourite places when we visited the east coast of America) and how adorable is Penn Cage, what a sweetheart! Can’t wait to read the rest of the series.
    The Cattleman’s Ready Made Family by Michelle Douglas – a very sweet romantic story.
    Bound for Eden by Tess LeSue – entertaining enough I just wasn’t keen on how the hero behaved.
    Bloody Valentine by James Patterson – you can never go wrong reading one of his books.
    Three Letters by Josephine Cox – this one was great, a very interesting storyline.
    Web of Deceit by Katherine Howell – another great instalment featuring ambos and detectives.
    Mistress Mine by Gabrielle Dubois – a fab historical novel set in Paris, Tahiti and Sydney, Australia.

    • Glad to hear you’re also and Anna Romer fan, Sue. I think she’s fabulous and want everyone to read her.
      ooh, that’s good re the Greg Iles. I nearly bought another of his that was on sale the other day. Now I wish I did.
      Love your reading list. As always, another really interesting selection. Thanks for sharing. You do read some cool books!

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