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Author Interviews in the Spotlight
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A Spark of Light
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RTR Staff Reviewers
Kathy Andrico

I started reading before I began school, and I’ve never stopped. In fact, I don't remember a time when I wasn't reading books. As a young child, I can remember reading Little Black, A Pony by Walter Farley or sitting on the floor of my bedroom with my Star Wars books reading along as I listened to the record. I was even in a city-wide reading competition one year. In high school, several of us read Term Paper by Ann Rinaldi, and it is still a book that comes up in conversation. Another favorite from HS is the first Paranormal Romance I ever read, although YA: The Changeover by Margaret Mahy.

Sharing my love of books is a favorite pastime of mine. I worked part-time at a bookstore, and the managers always commented that romance sales skyrocketed when I was there. My favorite part was when someone would buy a book based on my recommendation.

Who are some authors I would recommend? Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dianne Castell, Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, Cathy Liggett, Sue-Ellen Welfonder, Deirdre Martin & Mia Ryan.

John Charles

After spending thirty years for the Scottsdale Public Library System connecting readers with good books, John Charles cheerfully retired and then went on to accept a job playing literary matchmaker at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore.

In addition to reviewing for Library Journal, John has reviewed romance fiction for Booklist since 1999 and is the co-author of The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Mystery (ALA, 2012), The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Ultimate Reading List (Alpha Books, 2012), Romance Today: An A to Z Guide to Contemporary American Romance Writers (Greenwood, 2008), and The Suffragettes in Literature for Youth (Scarecrow, 2007).

John was selected as the 2002 Romance Writers of America Librarian of the Year, and considers good chocolate and good books two things of which he can’t live without.

Betty Cox

I was born in Lubbock, Texas and for the first half of my life had never lived outside of Texas. Then we were transferred to Louisiana, and I had a ball living in New Orleans for three years (then back to Texas), and enjoyed most of the nine years we lived in Atlanta, before coming back to Texas to stay. But no matter where I lived, I have read -- think my first memories are of reading. I didn't graduate to romance books until I was nearly 40, but I've tried my darndest to make up for this oversight. My favorite genre to read and review is romance -- and all its subgenres. I also enjoy a good historical and truly love Americana. I draw the line, however, at vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, and things that go bump in the night.

I've been reviewing for Reader To Reader since September of 1999. I consider Vickie Denny one of my dearest friends, and got to meet her face-to-face when we shared a cramped room at RWA in Dallas a few years ago. If you're going to attend a romance conference, she's the best partner you can have! I'm looking forward to reviewing for RTR many more years.

Judy Dils

I have an English degree from Wright State University with a focus on International Literature. I hosted a chat room about books and authors, Bookaccino, for ALO for ten years. I belong to a real-life book club that has been meeting monthly for over fifteen years. I am on the awards committee for the Ohiana Library which awards Ohio authors and authors who write about Ohio/Ohioans. I am also a wife, mother, grandmother with interests in quilting, spinning, weaving, card-making and other crafts that grab my fancy. In between my reading and crafting I work full time at Sinclair Community College.
Joyce Greenfield

Joyce GreenfieldI grew up in a family of avid readers in Marlborough, Massachusetts. My mother was never too busy to take me to the library, where a wonderful librarian took me under her wing and fed my insatiable appetite for anything and everything to read, from children’s classics to mysteries a la Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. My aunt’s Cherry Ames, Student Nurse novels led me to the romance genre, and I’ve read my way through hundreds in the many years since then. Romance, mystery, police procedural, “chick” lit – I read and love them all, and if the setting is in the United Kingdom I’m even happier!

A lifelong writer, I began my publishing career as the High School correspondent for my hometown newspaper, a position I held through high school. As a new mom with two young children, I embarked on a similar path, covering local town events and profiling community members for a regional weekly newspaper. Many years later, I greatly enjoy writing book reviews and occasionally interviewing an author for Reader to Reader, as well as working on my own writing projects.

A corporate relocation brought my family to Washington State fifteen years ago, and I spent several years as a substitute school librarian. From PTA and Girl/Boy Scouts, to band and choir parent , I’ve more than done my duty as a parent volunteer, and now that my children are grown, I’m looking forward to the next phase of my life. What that will bring is a mystery, but I’m sure that lots of reading will be involved! If I’m not reading, you can find me out in the garden pulling weeds, at my sewing machine piecing quilts, or sitting in a quiet corner stitching away.

Joanne Hamilton-Selway

Joanne Hamilton-SelwayJoanne Hamilton-Selway is an associate editor and contributor for Romance Today: An A to AZ Guide to Contemporary American Romance Writers (Greenwood Press, 2006) and a co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List (Alpha Books, 2007).

Joanne was with Scottsdale Public Library for 28 years and recently retired as the head of Technical Services and Collection Development.  Named Romance Writers of America's Librarian of the Year in 2005, Joanne reviewed books and interviewed authors for more than 15 years as the host of the City of Scottsdale's award-winning cable television show, @ Your Library.

Lesa Holstine

Lesa HolstineI grew up in Huron, Ohio, where I learned to read, love books, and the public library. I started working as a page in the Huron Public Library when I was sixteen, and I've worked in libraries ever since. I currently live in Evansville, Indiana. I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona and Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I wrote the “Mystery Fiction” chapter in Genreflecting: A Guide to Popular Reading Interest (7th ed.). I am one of the mystery columnists for Library Journal, and a contributing reviewer for Mystery Readers Journal.

I review a little of everything, but I tend to read traditional and cozy mysteries. I review books and discuss mysteries and mystery authors on my own blog, lesasbookcritiques.blogspot.com.
Nancy Lepri

Nancy is a North Carolina transplant raised in Massachusetts. She married her husband Art in 1971 and has a grown daughter. Nancy earned an AA degree in Visual Art from Cape Cod Community College and a BA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in writing from Western New England College. She has worked as an editorial assistant and freelance reporter for several newspapers and magazines. In addition, she has illustrated several children's books and published the two chapter books, Tiny Angel and Tommy's Amigo.

Her favorite genres include suspense, mystery, women's fiction, contemporary romance, and Amish novels.

Pat Marchant

I am a homemaker, married to my high school sweetheart for 44 years. We have 2 sons and 2 wonderful grandchildren. My hobbies are babysitting my grandkids, going to garage sales/estate sales, and of course reading. I really didn’t start reading until my early 20’s but have more than made up for it.

I read almost anything but prefer mysteries and romance. I am a regular at our hometown library. I am a former secretary, and dabble some on e-bay and Craig’s List. My husband and I recently moved to our retirement home in Spring Grove, Illinois.
Annette Maynard

Annette MaynardLike most of the reviewers for Reader To Reader, Arizona native Annette Maynard is a book lover, and feels lost when she is not in the middle of a book. Working in the IT department in a large municipality takes care of the analytical side of her brain, and reviewing and writing is her creative outlet.

She has attended two Romance Writers of America national conferences (in Anaheim and New York) where she was a total fangirl, geeking out at meeting Jude Deveraux, Jeaniene Frost, Nalini Singh, Sylvia Day, Jayne Ann Krentz, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Annette loves paranormal romances, along with romantic suspense. Her favorite authors include those named above, as well as Jim Butcher, Katie MacAllister, Molly Harper, Donna Grant and Maya Banks. She says that reviewing for ReaderToReader.com has introduced her to tons of new authors and, except for that pesky deadline, she really loves it.

Her favorite activity is reading (of course) but her favorite place to read is on the rooftop patio of her little beach house in Cholla Bay, Mexico. Most likely with a frosty mango margarita in hand.
Amy Sikes

I can't remember learning how to read. I've always joked that I learned it by osmosis! My sisters read bedtime stories to me...until one of them realized that I was reading along with her. From then on, I was on my own! I'm not sure what caused me to be such a voracious reader, but ever since I can remember, I've been reading at least one book whenever I'm not doing anything else. Because I was prohibited from reading at the table, I found myself reading the ingredients on cereal boxes over and over...because there was nothing else to read! If I don't have something to read, I get a little crazy!

Many of my jobs have involved books: university bookstore textbook assistant, graduate teaching assistant for Russian and Chinese history, professor of Russian history and humanities for engineers (engineers DO like to read - you just have to give them the right stuff!), instructor of technical writing. I've also done some copyediting. Teaching all those classes and loving to read so much makes moving interesting. Probably half of everything the last time I moved was books!

I'll read just about anything (even cereal boxes!), but my favorite genres are fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and well-done historical fiction. My favorite author is Lois McMaster Bujold, who continues to hone and refine her craft with each novel. I love seeing an author who is willing to take risks and move outside her comfort zone, as Bujold has done many times. I also adore Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey books. Sayers wrote mystery with a very human face; Lord Peter is brilliant but very human. I hope I'll continue to encounter writers such as these ladies, who open new vistas for me with each book.

Sandra VanWinkle

Sandra VanWinkleSandra Van Winkle is an avid reader, writer and reviewer of romantic fiction.

She has co-authored two books about the genre, Romance Today: An A-to-Z Guide to Contemporary American Romance Writers, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Ultimate Reading List. She is a genre expert and contributor to the Romance section of the bi-annual reference, What Do I Read Next?: A Reader’s Guide to Current Genre Fiction.

When she isn't reading, reviewing and writing, she is an editor for Genius Press, and works full time as a Fire Analyst for a fire department near Phoenix, Arizona.
RTR Retired Staff Reviewers
Candace Clark

I was born and raised in Muscatine, Iowa, a small town in eastern Iowa on the banks of the mighty Mississippi. It was an idyllic place in which to live, very much a mid-west Mayberry, complete with an Aunt Bee and Barney Fife! I think I can trace my love of reading to my mother, who always read me stories at bedtime, (yes, I had a mother who read to me), and to my kindergarten and first-grade teachers.

Upon graduating from high school I enrolled at Arizona State (no more snow and slush for me). I have lived and worked in Scottsdale, Arizona for over 40 years. I began working at the Scottsdale Public Library in 1975 and over the years held a variety of positions culminating in becoming a children's librarian in 1986.

Aside from my children's duties, I enjoyed giving booktalks to school classes, civic groups, and retirement homes. In 1990 I originated the citycable program Book Talk, where, as cohost, I reviewed books and interviewed authors for over fifteen years. I also contributed to the first and second editions of the A.L.A. publication "The Mystery Reader's Advisory".

I retired from the library in 2009, and can now devote even more time to my passion for books, including my favorite genres of historical fiction, mystery and suspense, paranormal, and just about anything else except technothrillers, or as my friend Joanne calls them, "technoweenie" books. I also have had a lifelong appreciation for old movies, and am known for my love of cats and dogs. Currently heading my household is a Maine Coon cat known as Finnegan Chauncey O'Clark, but we just call him Finney. I hope this thumbnail sketch of me gives you some idea of my life, and I am deeply honored that I can look forward to giving you my reviews of upcoming titles. Happy reading!

Anne K. Edwards (Mary Emmons)

Writing as Anne K. Edwards, Mary lives on a small farm in south central Pennsylvania with various and sundry critters. In winter the band consists mostly of horses, cats and birds. In summer it expands to include blacksnakes who occupy the sawdust pile which is bedding for the horses.

As Anne K. Edwards, Mary writes mysteries because that is her favorite reading material, but has also recently had a childrens book published about a little boy and a dragon. She is currently working on several other projects that include another mystery.

She enjoys meeting people and travel when she can get the time. Reviewing for New and Used Books has been a welcome and enjoyable job for several months and she looks forward to continuing. The owner, Vickie, is a great person and highly valued friend.

Jean Hanke

Jean Hanke was born in Lindsborg, Kansas, a small Swedish-American community, and grew up in Denver, Colorado. She spent summers at her family’s cabin in Estes Park, but always devoted time to reading. She read Forever, Amber at age 11, her first Historical Romance. In high school she chose English as her major because it involved a lot of reading, and spent summers in the library, reading Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, John Dickson Carr, Josephine Tey, Helen MacInnes, Mary Stewart, and more. She went to Mills College in California, where she again majored in English so she could read a lot. Eventually she discovered modern romance authors like Glenna Finley, and Regency romance authors like Georgette Heyer.

After graduating from college, Jean took a job as an exchange refugee worker in Berlin. The position had exacting requirements including speaking German and being Lutheran, and included a year in the most dangerous place in the world, where the Berlin Wall went up six weeks after her arrival.

After her return from Berlin, Jean went to Wichita, Kansas, to get an MBA. She met and married an aeronautical engineer and she taught management courses for five years. They had two daughters, and the family moved to Seattle on a Boeing transfer. When both her daughters were in school, Jean went back for her doctorate, and received a Ph.D. from UW. She read Regencies all through graduate school.

Jean taught college management for five years in Seattle, and then opened a paperback exchange with her mother, All Booked Up. The store was popular on the Pine Lake Plateau, but closed after Jean survived ovarian cancer. She is divorced, retired, and both her daughters are married and live in the area. Her favorite kinds of books are romantic suspense, regency period, and contemporary romance; her favorite authors are Mary Balogh, Jo Beverley, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and she likes reading new authors.

Amy Harrington

Amy Miller resides in North Carolina with her two sons and two cats. She works as Administrative Support in the University System and you will almost always find her with a book in her hand. She developed her love of reading as a child and her favored genres are paranormal, suspense, fantasy, and humor.
Micki Peluso

I began writing after a personal tragedy, as a catharsis for my grief. This lead to a first time out publication in Victimology: An International Magazine and a 25 year career in Journalism. I've freelanced and been staff writer for one major newspaper and written for two more. I have published short fiction and non-fiction, as well as slice of life stories in college and other magazines and in e-zine editions. My first book, ...And The Whipporwill Sang, was published in 2008; a funny family memoir of love, loss and survival. I am presently working on a collection of short fiction, slice of life stories and essays, in a book called, Heartbeat . . . Slices of Life.   Specialties:  Editing, reviewing books for two review sites, writing commentary and short stories for newspapers and magazines.
Mary Montague Sikes

For as long as she can remember Mary Montague (Monti) Sikes has been a reader and a writer. Born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, she was surrounded by history from the beginning and loves to incorporate historical events and people in the things she writes and reads.

An artist and a teacher by profession, she enjoys the work of young children in the elementary school art classes she teaches. As a freelance writer and photographer, she meets many interesting people when she interviews them for feature articles.

Monti and her husband live in a house overlooking a creek in Tidewater Virginia not far from historic Jamestown (which recently celebrated its 400th anniversary). Surrounded by trees, deer, and other wild animals, the setting not only inspires her books, but also many of her landscape paintings. They have three grown daughters with fascinating careers in science, aviation, and college education.

When she doesn’t have a paintbrush in hand, Monti enjoys reading books, especially paranormal, mystery, and romance as well as non-fiction. She has three published books, Hearts Across Forever, Hotels to Remember, and Published! Now $ell It! Two years ago after discovering that writing is the easy part, marketing is difficult, she collaborated with four other authors to create Published! Now $ell It!

Kimberly Swan

Born and raised in the northeast, I've traveled across most of the country and eventually settled in the far south. My interest in reading took root and bloomed in my early teens when I fed my love of horror with books by Stephen King. Learning to fill the waiting time between books I added my Grandmother's romance novels to my TBR pile and devoured too many to count. In more recent years I discovered the joys of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance and knew it was exactly what I had been searching for all along. I've been hooked ever since.

Picking up my first Laurell K. Hamilton novel was the turning point when my ever patient family realized that reading was an addiction that I had no intention of giving up. With authors such as Charlaine Harris, Keri Arthur, C.E. Murphy, MaryJanice Davidson, Patricia Briggs, Casey Daniels, Kim Harrison, Vicki Pettersson, Kat Richardson, and so many other gifted new authors releasing books each month there is always an enchanting world to get lost in for a few hours each day.

After years of my family having to listen to me ramble on about books I was asked to try my hand at reviewing and took the opportunity. Talk about a wonderful way to feed my reading addiction! At the beginning of 2007 a genuinely kind and talented reviewer pointed me in Vickie's direction and now I blissfully enjoy every minute of my time with Vickie and her other staff members here at Reader To Reader.

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