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In honor of Halloween, let’s stay up LATE! It is guaranteed that anything by Stephen King will keep sleep away, but there are plenty of other books and authors capable of inspiring early morning under-the-covers-with-a-flashlight style reading. Regardless of the genre, sci-fi, mystery, romance and fantasy authors each tease us with their story telling abilities.

Here, several BQB and WriteLife authors share the last book they read that kept them from turning out the light. Hope you enjoy their recommendations…

Ameera-Front-Cover-v.10-401x600Kat Varn (Author of: Ameera Unveiled)

During a dive trip in the Maldives, I picked The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern from the dive boat’s library. Initially, it was the simplicity of the cover and the thickness of the book that attracted me. Once I started reading, I was hooked into the fairy tale of a circus that only opened from sunset to sunrise. The visualizations the author concocted of performing kittens, ice tents and many other whimsical creations were delightful. The circus followers heighten the mystery of where the elusive Night Circus will suddenly appear without warning. But, the dark side of the story created an underground conflict between the main characters. The Victorian timeline preserves the steampunk quality that makes it even more visual to me as the reader. As I turned the last page, I remember saying, “Why aren’t they making a movie out of this?” Google informed me, they are!

1608080471-400x600David Catalan (Author of: Rule of Thumb, A Small Business Guide to Marketing – business series)

I just read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, a novel. The intensely interweaving of two very disparate lives is mesmerizing. Marie-Laure is a young, blind, Parisian girl. Werner is a young, Hitler Youth trained idealistic German. Their life lines merge in the historic walled city of Saint-Malo on the Breton coast. The action moves from 1944 during the Nazi occupation of France to the present time. This book epitomizes the hackneyed expression “a page-turner.” Beyond that, the writing is richly detailed–poetically tuned. The reading does not disappoint.

I lived in both Paris, France, and Heidelberg, Germany, during 1960-66.  The imagery in this book recalled vivid memories of experienced times and places.

What-It-Takes-Front-Cover-FC-400x600Kathryn Ascher (Author of: What it Takes)

I was kept up late by the Two Dukes of Wyndham series by Julia Quinn. I loved that series because the two books happened simultaneously and it was interesting to watch the storyline unfold again through the eyes of different characters. I think I read the two books in two days, very fast for me.

In the first book, you’re introduced to the current Duke of Wyndham who allows his grandmother to live in his home with him. The heroine is actually the grandmothers companion and on the way to a party, they are held up by a highwayman whom the grandmother instantly recognizes as family because of his eyes. Eventually it comes out that the highwayman was the son of the older woman’s sons and could potentially be the true Duke because his father was the elder son. The grandmother is determined to find out whether his is a legitimate son, so they must find the marriage record of his parents.

The first story is that of the highwayman and the companion as they go through the journey of discovering the truth (and falling in love), the second story is that of the current duke and his betrothed (whom he’s not in love with and would no longer be his betrothed if his cousin is indeed the duke) as they go through the same journey (and fall in love in the end).

It was the first time I had ever read a series that happened at the same time and it was fascinating to see how well Ms. Quinn was able to retell the same story and keep it interesting.

happyHarriet Hodgson (Author of: Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss)

The book that kept me up late: The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison

Why I couldn’t put it down: Kennison tells her own story beautifully, shares her problems, and most important, shares her wisdom. I keep returning to this book and reading the sentences I underlined, such as “Perhaps I don’t have to push at life quite so hard after all . . .” and “Real life is just where we are, in this moment . . .”

This book touched my heart and made me think about my own life. I know I will read it again.

The-Tone-Poet_front-cover-400x600Stan Cooper (Book Marketing Manager)

I don’t like the horror genre at all. I had never read a horror novel……until I read an advanced review copy of The Tone Poet by Mark Rickert. What a trip! From the very beginning chapter that featured a man being birthed from the mouth of a tuba, this novel is downright frightening and disturbing….as well as incredibly well written. My first clue should have been that the author’s boyhood hero was Stephen King– and still is. Enough said.

I read The Tone Poet over the course of several days. At night, sleep did not come easily for me and when it came it was a little disturbing. Thanks, Mark Rickert, for those restless nights.

This novel has a wide variety of horrific scenes and creatures……and some very evil people. The plot is incredibly unique. A gifted San Diego composer is invited to join a sinister and beguiling chamber orchestra conductor in a small community in Tennessee to pursue Astral Music, a celestial form of music that people hear when experiencing near-death experiences.

The plot is complicated and engaging. The author shifts scenes with remarkable skill, keeping the reader hooked. The gore and horror serve to accentuate the evil that abounds. The most disturbing creatures in the book? Oppari are animals with the faces of familiar human beings; they enjoy attacking and devouring people. Viscera are long wormlike creatures that enjoy wrapping themselves around people and eventually entering their bodies through their mouths. Sound frightening and disturbing enough?????!!!!!!

I have a close friend who read The Tone Poet shortly after I did. While reading it, she locked her doors……during daytime! She told me that she thought more about how disturbed the author was than the fear he inflicted on her. I was inclined to agree with her. (Stephen King, eat your heart out.)

How appropriate that BQB Publishing is releasing this book to the public during Halloween week! This book will not only entertain you…..but scare the crap out of you—- guaranteed!

What kept you up late recently?