I’ve always thought it would be fun to see what other Amy Allens are writing about. I’ve finally gotten around to it. (Read: I should be writing but this is more fun.) I’ve listed a few Amy Allens below, with details about their books. Of course, there isn't room for all of us in this blog post.
As I clicked through the many Amy Allens on Amazon, I felt a certain kinship with my Allen sisters. Spinning in our own orbits, unknown to one another, we are all doing the same thing: telling stories, sending expressions of ourselves out into the world.
Okay, that’s a little too philosophical. On to the fun!
Of course, I’m Amy Allen #1, and I write sweet romance, young adult fiction, and non-fiction for middle-grade readers. Currently I'm working on a literary novel.
Amy Allen #2 writes about creepy crawlies. Ugh. But, more power to her. Someone has to! She also writes about animals in general. And she is incredibly prolific. I could take a page from her playbook. Sigh. She probably writes 30,000 words a day. She must. She's got 11 books on her Amazon author page.
Amy Allen #3 is a scholar! Yay. I love scholarship and research. After all, my current project is a literary novel set during the Great Depression. One of her books is called: The End of Progress: Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory (New Directions in Critical Theory). I'm not sure what that means, other than Amy Allen #3 is one smart woman!
Amy Allen #4 writes paranormal romance series, such as The Many Lives of Brandi. Also prolific. I’ll have to check her out...there’s a fireman series, too.
I envision Amy Allen #5 as a deep thinker. She has written Summoning the Mountains: Pilgrimage into Forty about her experience reflecting on her life while walking the Appalachian Trail. I’m guessing it’s similar to Cheryl Strayed's Wild.
Amy Allen #6 wrote a book about how to be an Uber driver. I’m sure it’s getting a lot of hits recently with all the Uber uproar. It was released in 2016. Amy Allen #6, I recommend updating it and re-releasing it. I think you could make a pretty penny.
Amy Allen #7 has written a futuristic fantasy novel about goddesses. It's indie published, and she only has one review. Come on people. Share the love. Read and review. And while you're at it, I could use a few more, too.
Amy Allen #8 wrote This Little Piggy Went to Prada: Nursery Rhymes for the Blahnik Brigade. I should get this for my sister, who has more Manolos than any woman I know.
I had to mention Amy Allen #9, because she goes by Amy Leigh Allen, and my husband’s name is Leigh Allen. I’m sure the fine folks at the University of Arkansas enjoyed #9’s history of the campus.
And what do the other Amy Allens not listed above write about? The subjects are as varied as I'm sure we are as people. Amy Allens have written about weight loss, vegetarianism, home schooling, self-esteem, network marketing for stay-at-home-moms, plus what looks like a cute kids’ book series about bumble bees.
This is Amy Allen #1 signing off. Good night and Godspeed to all the other Amy Allens in this world. May you always find the right words and a seven-figure movie deal, and may you never come across your book at the dollar store.
What I love most about cozy mysteries is that the shear creativity authors come up with for the settings and themes that drive the story: a book store, a knitting shop, catering, libraries, a tea shop. The list goes on. One of the things I really enjoyed about Dawn Brooke’s A Cruise to Murder was the cruise ship setting with a medical theme thrown in. This is a new combination for me and I’m glad I picked up the book. The novel was obviously well researched and presented an accurate account of the workings of a cruise ship. And the fact that the author is a nurse lends another air of authenticity to the book.
A Cruise to Murder has all the elements of a fine cozy: a sympathetic main character (we like Rachel Prince because she is both vulnerable and kick-ass); a cheery side-kick; a love interest; and of course the murder mystery, which centers around an elderly woman Rachel meets on the cruise.
The author created a strong cast of characters and kept me in sufficient suspense, wondering which one was the murderer. I liked the fact that we got to know the characters and the setting before the murder. It’s so nice to ease into a cozy rather than encountering the corpse in the first chapter!
In true cozy fashion, I enjoyed much of A Cruise to Murder curled up on the couch, a snoozing puppy on one side and a cup of tea on the other. (I had to have tea: the author is British!) This book definitely lived up to the standards of a fine cozy, including the upcoming release of a second book in the Rachel Prince series, A Deadly Cruise.
Learn more about Dawn Brookes
I have always been someone who likes to see the seasons turn: You could probably could have guessed that since I named the main characters after each season in my Finch's Crossing sweet romance series!
Though I love all seasons, fall is by far my favorite. It's a time for reflection as the world around us prepares for its hibernation, just like we prepare to enter a slower time of life. In fall, one color slips into another until everything is white and grey. The sweet air of summer is replaced with that certain crispness that is a combination of dropping temperatures, disappearing humidity, and chimney smoke. The season is full of so many vibrations that tantalize all the senses: The sound of crinkling leaves; the pungent smell of freshly picked apples; the myriad of colors on gourds and pumpkins, and of course the spicy taste of caramel apples and pumpkin pie (and the anticipation of Halloween candy!).
I have many, many reasons to love fall. And yes, I am a sentimentalist when it comes to pumpkins, cider and fall festivals. Below I share with you my top 10 favorite reasons to love fall, along with resources and ideas to tickle your Autumnal side!
10. Fall 5k and 10k Charity Races. I love to run...once I've started. Let's face it, we all need a little motivation to exercise now and then. So I sign up for a race once or twice a month to keep me in shape. After all, I don't want to be the last one across the finish line, although honestly, I run to finish, not to win.
9. No more bathing suits. Enough said!
8. School supplies and stationery. Is it just me, or do notebooks purchased from September through November have magical powers? My absolute favorite supplier is Minneapolis-based Russell+Hazel.
7. Soup! Gone are the days of cold cucumber soup. Say hello to creamy potato leek, hearty bean and vegetable, and my absolute favorite, spicy Mulligatawny. Serve it with a warm Sourdough roll and you'll think you've gone to food heaven.
6. A cozy fire on a brisk fall night. Alas, I have to settle for gas logs. If you're lucky enough to have a wood-burning fireplace, be sure to check out this safety checklist.
5. Pie. Need I say more? Check out Martha Stewart's 25 Perfect Pies.
4. Pinterest! I love collecting new ideas for fashion, decorating, gifts, and the like. Check out my Pinterest board for fall decorating ideas.
3. Fall Festivals! I love being outside with the colors and flavors of the season. And of course the Christmas shopping potential. And the baked goods! See the Travel Channel's list of the Best Fall Festivals in the United States.
2. Nature's autumnal bounty! Can you say pumpkins, gourds, mums, bittersweet, chestnuts, acorns, and dried leaves all in one breath? Here are some tips for prolonging the life of your decorative gourds.
1. Publishers announce their new fall releases. This means new books to read. Lots of new books to read!