I’m happy to welcome The Wild Rose Press author Charlotte O’Shay to the Power of 10 series. Today, Charlotte shares ten of her favorite books and her new release, A Model Engagement.
Thank you for the chance to appear on your blog Joanne. I enjoy following you.
Writers write but more than that, writers read. A lot. Here are ten of my top books in no particular order. I love fiction but I read a fair amount of non fiction. I’m very interested in history so that is one of my reading pursuits. Some day soon I will write an historical romance.
1. Zen and the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel
I first read this in a college philosophy class and the lessons of this theory can be applied to any endeavor from playing tennis to folding laundry to writing. Essentially how through years of practice, an activity becomes effortless both mentally and physically, each time closer to perfection.
2. Hamilton by Ron Chernow
As a New Yorker and history buff, this book spoke to me from the first. The larger than life story of Alexander Hamilton is richly portrayed on the stage in the fabulous musical by Lin Manuel Miranda. But Miranda’s inspiration was the engaging, accessible, well researched and honest portrayal of this founding father by Ron Chernow.
3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I am one of the many who fell under the spell of the epic romance that is Outlander. Gabaldon is a masterful storyteller expert at weaving elements of history, romance, suspense and of course time travel into a tale of a strong, talented heroine and the passionate hero who captures and holds her heart across two centuries.
4. Darkness Visible by William Styron
Sometimes a book group choice is right on. This memoir by the author of Sophie’s Choice is a short, deep read. It is seldom that one experiencing crippling depression is able to describe its depths so thoroughly and the steps and avenues taken to finally surface from the abyss.
5. Nora Roberts ‘Born in’ Trilogy
I always enjoyed Nora before these books but Born in Fire, Born in Ice and Born in Shame cemented my fan girl status. The books are a love letter to setting and place and the Irish sensibility like none other. The romance is a bonus.
6. Dracula by Bram Stoker
I read it for book group while I was in the hospital having my third child. God knows what the nurses thought? Maybe it was the hormones but this gave me the creeps. Classic suspense and horror. Just like Gabaldon’s Outlander above, all future vampire stories must learn from the master.
7. Duncan’s Bride and Son of the Morning by Linda Howard
Linda Howard rocks. These are just two of my favorite examples of her ability to hit the ball out of the park in both contemporary and historical/Highlander/time travel/suspense ala Gabaldon. Pick them up. Fresh, believable characterization, alpha heroes, strong heroines who are never cookie cutter, always smart and sexy.
8. On Writing by Stephen King
Simply the best primer of advice on writing out there. I pick it up and put it down almost weekly and get new pearls of wisdom every time.
9. Anything by Malcolm Gladwell
No, the title is not ‘Everything’, I mean I will read anything Malcolm Gladwell writes. Currently, a journalist for the New Yorker Gladwell’s research and writing fuses in an understandable style ideas and theories about business, sports, poverty that surprise with their often counter-intuitive and hopeful conclusions. His latest book, David and Goliath examines the role of history’s underdogs and misfits.
10. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
This story about a retired historian who researches the lives of his pioneer grandparents is part family saga, part Western but for me it the first time a male author unerringly captured the POV of his female protagonist.
Thanks again for allowing me to share my thoughts on ten of my favorite books.
Lacey Reed jumps at the chance for independence with a career in the big city. But her naivety and ambition blind her to the lure of a blackmailer.
With her savings gone she has nowhere to turn when she literally runs into financier Connor Devlin.
Though dazzled by Lacey, Connor sees the desperation she tries to hide. He hires her as his fake fiancée. Now Lacey has a job and he has a bandage for a family crisis.
When the blackmailer ups the ante, Lacey resolves to face him down— no matter what the consequences.
Does that mean Lacey will lose the only man who’s ever seen who she truly is?
In that moment, she relived just why she needed a job so damn bad. In that moment, all she could remember were the targeted emails, the strategic telephone calls and the persuasive texts she’d received from Barry as he set out to reel her in like the very gullible fish she was.
It all came back like a rush of filthy sewage.
How he’d drawn her in. Discovered her desire to reap the most financial benefit from her career before retiring. Then, in a seemingly normal progression, he set up a meeting at his office. Designed for shoptalk so that they could discuss photographic details of her breakout exclusive ad campaign for Mon Secret.
His home office as it turned out, complete with multiple couches and a closet full of evening wear and fur, props for the shoot. Lacey had developed a veneer of sophistication during her four plus years in the business. Or so she’d thought. But Barry’s lavish living and working space wowed her. She cringed as she remembered telling him how eager she was to start.
Lacey relived it all in that split second and Connor, who’d done nothing more than offer her his jacket and then a ride home was suddenly a stand in for the monster who had taken her piece of mind along with practically every red cent she possessed.
Charlotte O’Shay was born into a big family and married into another big family.
The drama! The noise! The inspiration!
Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in law. After four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters. She lives on the far Westside only 3 subway stops from where she grew up.
When Charlotte isn’t reading or writing steamy contemporaries featuring heroines in crisis and swoony heroes with issues, she’s on the hunt for that perfect pair of sunglasses.
She LOVES to hear from readers. Sign up to her newsletter to find out about giveaways and new releases here.
Where to find Charlotte…