Full disclosure, I’ve been writing Susan Jeffers monthly newsletter articles for years and have worked for the company for more than a decade. I hadn’t read this book of hers, which is more of a workbook, but I was looking for new material for my articles. This is a solid follow-up to her super famous Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. The book offers solid advice about how to turn your fears into triumph.
The Beckoning Fair One, by Oliver Onions
A horror novella from early 20th century. A middle-aged writer moves into a long-abandoned house in a quiet neighborhood to finish his next novel. The house has other plans for him and does not want any interference (especially in the form of his lady friend). Creepy in the same vein as The Turn of the Screw, but much more intelligible. Fun, quick read.
Obsessed: Building a Brand People Love from Day One, by Emily Heyward
A second nonfiction entry this month! I mentioned before that one of my jobs is becoming more intense and I’ll be doing a lot more marketing, so I picked this book up to expand my skills. It’s an interesting take on what a brand can be and how to connect it to customers. It was more specific to start ups than what I was looking for, but still offered a lot of good advice. Plus, the stories behind famous brands was super interesting.
What If You & Me, by Roni Loren
I started listening to this romance because I thought there was going to be a bit of horror to it. There wasn’t. Podcaster and horror writer, Andi, keeps everyone at arms-length since her high school boyfriend turned out to be a killer. Former firefighter, Hill, keeps everyone at arms-length since he lost a leg in a fire. Now these two are neighbors, let the romance ensue. This was a nice, standard romance. It’s the second in a series, and I’ll probably read more. Sometimes I just need nice.
The Ship of Stolen Words, by Fran Wilde
A children’s book where there is a portal between the human world and the goblin world in a neighborhood’s Little Free Library. Goblins come to this world to steal words, which are very valuable in their world. When goblin Toliver steals Sam’s ability to say “sorry,” Sam gets in big trouble. To get his word back, he has to work with Toliver and his Nana to bring down the goblin pirate prospectors. A lot of great adventure in this book, plus word magic and word hogs.
Austenland, by Shannon Hale
I finally got this book as an ebook through a library. It was surprisingly hard to find. The story follows Jane (another one this month!), a Jane Austen-obsessed singleton who is gifted the opportunity to spend three weeks in an immersive country estate where she gets to pretend she’s a young unmarried woman in Regency England. Yes, this is a romance, and yes, it is impossibly cute right up to the grand romantic gesture and happy ending.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway, by Ruth Ware
On lists of folk horror, Ruth Ware comes up a lot, even though she is considered a thriller writer. A cozy thriller writer, is that a thing? Hal is a young woman without any family since her mother was killed in an accident three years before. Broke and being threatened by a ruthless money-lender, she takes advantage of an offer to go to her wealthy grandmother’s funeral—even though she knows that the woman is not her grandmother. Or is she? Hal becomes entrenched in a family saga that includes her mother and a family she knows nothing about, that puts her in a dangerous position. I liked this story. It wasn’t quite horror, but there were definitely some creepy stuff in it.
(An odd note: this book is about a psychic with a booth on Brighton’s board walk where there is also a mystery involving an inheritance. Just like The Moon, the Stars, and Madame Borova. An odd coincidence.)