Secrets of Hallstead House by Amy M. Reade‏

Amy M. Reade is a debut author of romantic suspense. A native of upstate New York, she grew up in the Thousand Islands region and was inspired by the natural beauty of that area to write her first novel, Secrets of Hallstead House. She now lives in New Jersey with her husband, three children, a Bouvier des Flandres named Orly, and two rescued cats who refuse to answer to their names of Porthos and Athos.

Upon graduation from Cornell University and Indiana University School of Law, Amy practiced law in New York City, but soon discovered that her dream job was writing. In addition to volunteering with school, church, and community groups, Amy is currently working on her second novel, set in the area around Charleston, South Carolina.

Though Amy lives within sight of the Atlantic Ocean, she is partial to the blue waters of the Pacific and spends as much time as possible on the Big Island of Hawaii, which is the setting of her as-yet-unwritten third novel.

Twitter: @readeandwrite
Kensington website

Macy Stoddard had hoped to ease the grief of losing her parents in a fiery car crash by accepting a job as a private nurse to the wealthy and widowed Alexandria Hallstead.

But her first sight of Summerplace is of a dark and forbidding home. She quickly finds its winding halls and shadowy rooms filled with secrets and suspicions. Alex seems happy to have Macy’s help, but others on the island, including Alex’s sinister servants and hostile relatives, are far less welcoming.

Watching eyes, veiled threats…slowly, surely, the menacing spirit of Hallstead Island closes in around Macy. And she can only wonder if her story will become just one of the many secrets of Hallstead House…

Available at Amazon

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
I grew up in a town close to the St. Lawrence River and the Thousand Islands, and I want to share the beauty of that place with everyone. When I was thinking about the plot it never occurred to me to set the story anywhere but the Thousand Islands.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
That first novel took quite a long time, almost two years. I only wrote sporadically until I decided to become serious about it and try to get it published. Now I write every day and my second novel only took about six months to write. It helped having a deadline!

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
There are so many things I love about writing, I don’t know that I can choose a favorite, but I’ll try. I love the challenge of coming up with a story that is believable, engaging, and suspenseful, set in a place that readers will want to visit once they’ve read the book.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
My least favorite thing is waking up in the middle of the night with questions twisting in my mind about the plot and reminders in my sleep-fuzzed brain of things I need to say or include in whatever story I’m currently working on. I can’t turn off the writing part of me. Come to think of it, though, maybe that’s actually a good thing!

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
I would be Beatrix Potter because I want to see what the English countryside looked like when she lived there so long ago. I’ll bet it was beautiful, even more so than it is now.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
The oldest thing in my fridge is a bottomless jar of pickled jalapenos that we must have bought from a place like Sam’s or BJ’s. You couldn’t even buy a jar that big in a regular grocery store.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
My next book is set on a plantation outside Charleston, South Carolina. Its working title is The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor and I don’t have a publication date for it yet. I hope to get the date soon, though, and I’ll certainly post it on my own blog and website!