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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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