Single Blog Title

This is a single blog caption
holiday reads

#WritersRead: Authors Recommend Books to Read

December 18, 2018


Note From Rochelle


Dear Writers,

I’m wrapping up work for the year, but my coaching special is good until the end of December. I’m offering the “Can You Look at My Pages” coaching session for the price of the “I Just Need to Talk” session. Any purchase of the “I Just Need to Talk” session between now and December 31, 2018 will get the upgrade. You can purchase as many sessions as you want and use the session anytime between now and December 31, 2019. Go to my coaching page to learn more.

This year’s big holiday book roundup comes courtesy of many writing friends, new and old. I’m thankful for their generous contribution, and I am thankful for you. May you have time to reflect, read, and write during this holiday season!

Happy Writing!




WritersRead: Authors Recommend Books to Give and Read

holiday reads

For the Reader Who Needs a Gangster Road Trip Love Story, Lisa Alber recommends:

November RoadNovember Road  by Lou Berney. I don’t know how Berney did it, because I don’t prefer gangster stories, but he managed to grab me with this story about a charming rake of a mobster who figures out the conspiracy behind JFK’s assassination and has to flee to prevent his own. With a brutal killer on his trail, he joins forces with a mother and daughters who are seeking a new life in California. This isn’t a smash ‘em up, bloody novel. It’s quietly done with beautiful language. A simple story, eloquently told with a dash of violence, to be sure—but well-done violence. Mostly, it’s a love story.


Immortal PenanceMy latest novel, Immortal’s Penance, is about a journey too. On the remote Isle of Man, archaeologist Malone Wolfe has made a discovery that will ensure his reputation for years to come: a bog man of gigantic proportions. Buried in peat for millennia, the ancient man—or creature?—also comes with warnings from the locals not to disturb the faery tree that guards the site. Malone scoffs at the local lore until he is dragged into the other world of Celtic legend and condemned to a treacherous journey through a realm where faeries sting, trolls talk in riddles, bloodsuckers seduce, and nothing is what it seems. Battered, tortured, and hunted by the bog man, Malone must face his dark past and make a harrowing choice if he hopes to survive. Little does he know that even if he passes the four trials of the Immortals, his reward may be worse than the punishment.


For the Reader Who Needs a Quickie, Quickly, Elizabeth Cole recommends:

Reindeer GamesReindeer Games is a fast, fun anthology of hot little romances to steam up your winter. This collection comes from nine solid authors (seriously, all these writers are great). Each one features a new twist on the holiday season love story, with varying levels of sweetness and spice. Maybe you want to dip your toes in contemporary romance but you’re not sure who to read. Maybe you don’t have time for a whole novel, but you still need a dose of Happily Ever After. This collection is for you!



Elizabeth ColeElizabeth Cole’s new book is A Most Relentless Gentleman, a regency romance chock full of spies, secrets, and yes, sex. The proper Lady Genevieve strikes a bargain with her most hated enemy to get her greatest wish. The catch? He happens to be her husband. Will Genevieve learn what secrets the supposedly scandalous Lord Cameron is really hiding?  





For the Reader Who Misses Harry Potter and Needs a Little Wonder, Chris Holm recommends:

NevermoorChristmas is a time of magic and wonder, shoehorned into the darkest season of the year. I wanted my recommendation to reflect both, so I’ve chosen Jessica Townsend’s marvelous middle-grade fantasy Nevermoor: The Trials Of Morrigan Crow. Spooky, thrilling, and insanely charming, this book would make a perfect gift for Harry Potter fans of any age. Heck, the sequel—Wundersmith: The Calling Of Morrigan Crow—came out in November, so they won’t even have to wait for it when they wind up hooked.




Chris HolmRed Right Hand (now available in paperback from Mulholland Books) is the sequel to my Anthony Award-winning thriller, The Killing Kind. In The Killing Kind, we meet Michael Hendricks, a hitman who only hits other hitmen. In Red Right Hand, Hendricks is tasked with protecting a former federal witness, long thought dead, who resurfaces in the wake of a major terror attack on U.S. soil.





For the Reader Who Likes Intrigue, Nadine Nettmann recommends:

Lori Rader-DayUnder A Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day. Set in a dark sky park, the story follows Eden Wallace as she takes a trip arranged by her late husband. But Eden has her own terrors about the dark and the trip isn’t going as planned, including sharing a house with a group of twenty year olds. She’s ready to cut the trip short and head home, but a murder makes it impossible for her to leave. This book is full of suspense and will appeal to fans of Agatha Christie.




Nadine NettmannMy latest book is Pairing a Deception, the third book in the Sommelier Mystery Series. With only a few days left until her Advanced Sommelier exam, Katie Stillwell hopes to balance studying with attending a wine and food festival in Santa Barbara. The weekend with Detective Dean is off to a great start—until an attendee is murdered and suspicion falls on the festival emcee, Master Sommelier Hudson Wiley. Katie tries to keep her focus on the festival and her last-minute studying, but when she discovers people aren’t who they say they are, she finds herself in the middle of a tangled web where nothing, except the wine, is what it seems.




For the Reader Looking for a Different View of History, Clare O’Donohue recommends:

America's WomenAmerica’s Woman: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines by Gail Collins. A Fascinating take on American history that focuses on the lives of women. It takes readers through the ebb and flow of women’s rights, and shows the role that things like fashion and urbanization have played in shaping women’s roles – and the country itself. It will have you looking at some famous moments of history from a very different lens.




Clare O'DonohueMy latest book is Beyond the Pale; A World of Spies Mystery. It’s an easy, twenty-minute job. At least, that’s the pitch from Interpol to professors Hollis and Finn Larsson. Going undercover to procure a priceless rare book manuscript means an all-expenses paid trip to Ireland. A little danger thrown into the mix may even spice up their marriage. But soon after landing in the Emerald Isle, they realize the job is anything but easy. Their contact is a no-show and they’re left with fifty thousand euros, a death threat, and some serious questions. Ducking and dodging their way across Ireland, Hollis and Finn must hunt down the priceless manuscript and a missing agent while trying to stay one step ahead of a dangerous and unknown enemy.



For Readers Who Love Unlikely Allies and Witty Dialog, Nick Petrie recommends:

HellbentThe Orphan X series is the story of Evan Smoak, a retired assassin trying to rediscover his soul. In Hellbent, Evan Smoak finds himself protecting a snarky teenage girl from his murderous former masters, and the chemistry and dialog between the assassin and the teenager is wonderful. Hellbent is the third in the Orphan X series, and the best one to date. (The fourth in the series, Out of the Dark, hits the stores on January 29, and I’ll be interviewing Hurwitz at Boswell Books in Milwaukee on Feb 2.)



Nick PetrieTear It Down is my 4th novel about Peter Ash, an Iraq war veteran trying to adapt to life after war.  He’s got post-traumatic stress that takes the form of claustrophobia, which makes it hard for him to be inside for long periods of time.  He’s coming to terms with the idea that he’s not the same person he once was, and maybe never will be again. In Tear It Down, Peter travels to Memphis to help Wanda Wyatt, a war correspondent who’s returned home to find a different kind of war zone.  Along the way, he meets Eli Bell, a young black street musician in trouble with a Memphis gangster, and Albert Burkitts, a white Mississippi farmer caught between his unpaid bills and his ex-con younger brother. Spoiler alert: bad things happen.



For the Reader Who Needs a Kick in the Pants and a Side of Laughter, Jane Rubietta recommends,

BadassAt the tail end (pardon the pun) of the year, momentum disappears and survival becomes paramount. I forget why I wanted to achieve anything for the past 350 days and certainly don’t want to think about goal setting in the new year. You Are A Badass Every Day  isn’t new material for Jen Sincero, but the daily readings propel me past my excuses and torpor. Jen’s bluntness, humor, and smarts combine forces as usual for a little micro-coaching. The small book makes an easy companion and stocking stuffer to get the reader’s boots back on the ground.


Jane RubiettaWhen bankruptcy threatens Evelyn Lewis’s company and self-made life, she’s forced to sell the only childhood memento worth any money: the rich Tennessee farmland. There, she’s met with a trust that cannot be broken, and no one to trust. In the midst of intrigue and intrusion, her forgotten past refuses to be silenced. The Forgotten Life of Evelyn Lewis is a journey of unearthing and rebuilding, and how community can undo the collateral damage of our past.




About the authors

Elizabeth ColeElizabeth Cole writes both historical and paranormal romance. In some of her former lives, she was a bookseller, archivist, cubicle drone, and popcorn popper. She adores tea, basketball, and cats, not necessarily in that order. She was born and raised in Wisconsin, where people are nice even to their enemies. She now lives in Philadelphia, where everybody just grunts. A grunt could mean I love you. It usually doesn’t.


Lisa AlberIn addition to Immortal’s Penance, Lisa Alber is the author of the County Clare mysteries, which have been described as atmospheric, complex, and with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. When not writing, you’ll most likely find her gardening, drinking wine with friends, and dog walking. You can find her online at


Chris HolmChris Holm is the author of the cross-genre Collector trilogy, the Michael Hendricks thrillers, and thirty-odd short stories in a variety of genres. His work has appeared on more than fifty year’s best lists, been selected for The Best American Mystery Stories, been named a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and won a number of awards, including the 2016 Anthony Award for Best Novel. Chris lives in Portland, Maine.



Nadine NettmannNadine Nettmann, a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, is always on the lookout for great wines and the stories behind them. She pairs each chapter with a wine in her Sommelier Mystery Series and her debut novel, Decanting a Murder, was nominated for the Anthony, Lefty, and Agatha Awards. Her second book, Uncorking a Lie, was a finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, nominated for an Anthony Award, and won a Silver Medal IPPY Award. Her third novel, Pairing a Deception, released in May 2018.



Clare O'DonohueClare O’Donohue has been a mystery and suspense author since The Lover’s Knot was published in 2008. She has served on the national boards of both Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, and is past president of MWA-Midwest. Clare has also been a TV documentary producer for twenty years, working around the world on a variety of shows. She is currently a Senior Producer for CNN. Her 8th novel, Beyond the Pale, is the first in the World of Spies Mystery series.


Nick PetrieNick Petrie’s new novel, Tear It Down, hits bookstores January 15th, and his book tour begins January 14th at Boswell Books. His first novel, The Drifter, won the ITW Thriller Award and the Barry Award for Best First Novel, and was nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, and Hammett Awards.  He won the 2016 Literary Award from the Wisconsin Library Association and was named one of Apple’s 10 Writers to Read in 2017. Light It Up was named Best Thriller of 2018 by Apple Books. His books in the Peter Ash series are The DrifterBurning Bright, Light It Up, and Tear It Down. A husband and father, he has worked as a carpenter, remodeling contractor, and building inspector. He lives in Milwaukee.


Jane RubiettaJane Rubietta has published millions of words, written 21 books (19 published, 1 releasing in October, 1 not-quite-homeless) and hundreds of articles. She’s assistant coordinator of Write-to-Publish Writers Conference, where she is Exhibit A for “it works if you work it.” Jane speaks internationally (thanks to all of her published words), and co-founded LifeLaunchMe, an organization that moves people from dreaming to doing, wishing to actually creating. Her newest projects are PowerPodium and PowerPen, and the astounding Get Your Dream On,





Leave a Reply