Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Book Review: Dead of Wynter by Spencer Seidel

Dead of WynterDead of Wynter by Spencer Seidel
Publisher: PublishingWorks
Publish Date: May 24, 2011
Paperback, 292 pages 
Fiction, Suspense
 ISBN: 978-1-935557-69-2

My Review:
Why I read this: The blurb sounded interesting and I like dark and twisty suspense tales.

My thoughts:  Dead of Wynter is definitely a dark and twisty suspense tale which I enjoyed from the standpoint of pure reading satisfaction.  However from the character standpoint I found it a little lacking.  But please read further because I do believe this is a very enjoyable book.

I'll start with what I love about Dead of Wynter.  The suspense.  The author does a wonderful job of building the suspense, both in what happened in the past (the dark family secret) and what is going on in the present.  I loved the back and forth and the little tidbits that were added to the story each time the story explored the past and what Chris did during his and Dolly's senior year of high school.

What was so-so for me was the character development.  I didn't love or hate Alice in the beginning.  I really couldn't form an attachment to her and she is the main character.  Her mother is in the story, her father is dead and her brother is missing.  When she heads home after her father dies you know she doesn't want to be there but you don't know why and you won't know why until much later in the book.  I think that part is great and as I mentioned I love the way the author builds on the story.  But I think it would have been helpful to know a little more about Alice ("Dolly" as her mother calls her) in the present to feel for her a little more.  As it stands she seems a little cold and strange (but this is probably the way the author intended it).  I wanted to like her in the beginning, but just felt ambivalence towards her.   As the story continues though I warmed to her.  I still thought she was a little flaky at times and the story just a tad out there, but for an enjoyable afternoon read - Dead of Wynter fits the bill.

If you enjoy suspense stories that focus on small towns and family secrets then this is a book for you to try.  Mr. Seidel weaves an excellent tale of suspense.

Spencer Seidel definitely makes my list of authors to read more books by and I look forward to more from him in the future.

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

About the Book:
“Dolly, it’s your mother.” Dolly. Jackie Ruth Wynter had called Alice that for years. The conversation that followed led her right back to the place she had run from for years. Her twin brother, younger by just a minute or so, had been fading, transforming into an image of their drunken, narrow-eyed father. Now her father was dead, and her brother, Chris, missing.

Alice resigns herself to return, helping her mother and the local police with the mystery surrounding the crime. But there are some family secrets her mother would sooner take to the grave than reveal.

Reacquainting with her past brings fresh pain and new friendships as she struggles with who to trust with the details of her father’s murder and brother’s disappearance. As the authorities come closer to solving the mystery of the men in her family, she begins to realize her past life as Alice Wynter is the missing part of the puzzle. But who is searching out the former Alice? The sinister mysteries of the Wynter family will capture the reader’s attention well past when the fire has gone out.

About the Author: 
Spencer Seidel lives and works in suburban New Jersey but has also called Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Portland, Maine home. He is an honors graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University and attended the Berklee College of Music to study guitar, which he has been playing for over 25 years. His love of reading and books began as a child after discovering Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Later, he was drawn to darker work by authors such as Stephen King, Peter Straub, and Jack Ketchum, who continue to influence his dark novels and short stories.

His debut novel, Dead of Wynter, is due to be published in May 2011.


FTC Information: I received this book from Erin McNichols at Media Muscle (Meryl L. Moss Media Relations) for an honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

Author Interview: Sandra Edwards (Incredible Dreams)

Today I welcome author Sandra Edwards, author of Incredible Dreams, Crazy for You, Broken Wings, Secondary Targets and Vegas, Baby.  I am hosting her as part of her BLB tour.  So please welcome Sandra to My Reading Room today, check out her interview and be sure and note the details of the giveaway she is doing on her website at the end.

What was your first book published and how did it feel to see your book published?

My first book published is Crazy For You. It was thrilling and a little bit scary to share my baby with the world. lol.

Do you get time to read? What are your favorite types of books to read?
The time I’m able to devote to reading for pleasure is limited. I usually cuddle up with my Kindle for an hour or so a few nights a week. As you can imagine, it takes me a long time to read a book. lol. My tastes are eclectic. I enjoy most genres (although I’m not much for horror or inspirational), so long as it’s a good story.

What is your favorite room in your house?
The back porch.

What is your favorite spot to read in?
In bed, at night when the house is quiet.

What is your favorite snack food?
Jelly beans.

Do you have a schedule for writing each day or do you just do it when you can?
I have a daily schedule of sorts, in that I’m at my desk by 8:30 or 9:00 in the morning. First, I tackle promo, trying to find new and inventive ways to get my name out there. I also format for a living, so I spend a few hours a day as needed formatting customers books into epub and mobi files. I spend time looking over my critique partners WIPs, too. The late afternoons and evenings are the time that gets devoted to my own writing.

Tell us about Incredible Dreams in 140 characters or less.
A modern-day ghost whisperer travels through time to save the life of a WWII fighter pilot, and ends up jeopardizing her own existence.

Where did the idea for Incredible Dreams come from?
My fascination with ghost stories, time travel and the 1940s.

What made you delve into time travel genre?
I like to write in the genres I tend read.

What book are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on another time travel that also visits the wildly popular vampire theme.

Any last words or anything else that you would like to share?
Yes, I’m giving away a new Kindle 3 and a nice starter library from some great authors at the end of this blog tour. For more info, please check my website ( http://www.sandrawrites.com ).
Followers of the “Incredible Dreams Kindle 3 Giveaway” here are your questions for this stop on the blog tour:

1. Barbara Marr is the main character of the humorous mystery, Take the Monkeys and Run by Karen Cantwell.  What is the name of the sleepy little Virginia town where Barbara resides? -- Find the answer at: http://www.karencantwell.com/p/karens-books.html

2. Sue Fineman’s debut book, On the Run is part of what series? -- Find the answer at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004VT5M4U

** Please don’t post your answers in the comments section here. Detailed instructions for entering the giveaway are at my website.

Thanks Sandra for joining us today - be sure and enter her Kindle 3 giveaway on her site following the directions above!

About Incredible Dreams
Incredible Dreams is the story of a modern-day ghost whisperer who travels through time to save the life of a WWII fighter pilot and ends up jeopardizing her own existence. Izzy Miller prefers to call herself a spiritual therapist because she thinks it makes her sound more professional than plain old ghost-whisperer. She expects her latest project to be quick and easy because exorcising military personnel is pretty routine. But there's nothing easy or routine about Captain Jack Baker-he's a rather forgetful spirit and somewhat mischievous. And even though he's intrigued by the US Government's latest attempt to remove him from the only place he can ever remember being...he has no intentions of going anywhere. Plans to exorcise Jack are quickly sidelined when Izzy discovers a portal into the past inside her dreams and sets out to change his fate. Trouble is...when she gets back there, she can't remember anything but her name. She still sees ghosts, but is far less accepting of her gift. And, to make matters worse, a demonic force pretending to be the forgetful heroine's sister has her own plans-to steal Izzy's soul.