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23 February 2015

Review, Interview, Giveaway: 'Finding Amy' by Phyllis A. Humphrey (2014)

When SABRINA GILMORE attends the funeral of her grandfather in England, she learns the family manor is in foreclosure. She also finds her inheritance is nothing but an old trunk containing, among other things, her childhood doll, Amy. However, Sabrina soon discovers the doll has hidden inside it a jeweled necklace. How did it come to be there, whose is it, and is it valuable? In the process of finding the answers to these questions, Sabrina meets a handsome man, HUGH PENDLETON, who makes a play for her, but also falls prey to a kidnaper and thief who has his own interest in the necklace. This is the exciting story of how Sabrina, a Chicago girl, confronts these problems while at the same time dealing with an Englishman who wants to marry her.

I love discovering new authors and today I have a review of the novel ‘Finding Amy’ which was written by, previously to me unknown, author Phyllis A. Humphrey to share with all of you! Phyllis herself contacted me at the end of 2014 about possibly reviewing her latest release ‘Finding Amy’, which was published by Criterion House last Spring. I did a bit of research and quickly discovered that Phyllis has actually written ten romance novels over the years, so I was quite surprised I hadn’t stumbled upon her work any sooner. Luckily, I received the chance to check out her work and I’m delighted to also share an author Q&A with Phyllis and an exclusive giveaway of one of her novels with all of you; just be sure to scroll down!

Sabrina Gilmore was born an American, but finds herself back in the UK for her grandfather’s funeral and the reading of his will. She once spent a summer at Gilmore Manor, the family country home, and now is her first time back in England since she was a little girl. To her surprise, Sabrina learns she has inherited an old trunk filled with children’s books, dress-up clothes and her old childhood doll named Amy, which she left behind all those years ago. However, inside the doll someone has hidden an expensive necklace and Sabrina has no idea who the necklace belongs to or who put it there. On her search to find the answers to these questions, Sabrina is helped by the handsome British Hugh Pendleton who seems to have fallen for her. But when Sabrina’s hotel room is burgled and she even gets kidnapped, things start to become very serious very quickly…

I have to admit I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of this novel when I started reading it. I personally wasn’t particularly drawn in by the cover and the blurb seemed to promise a mixture of both romance and mystery, but already gave quite a lot of information about the storyline away. However, as soon as I had read the first chapter I was intrigued by the main character Sabrina and I finished the novel in two sittings, constantly wondering what would happen next and who had put that necklace in Sabrina’s doll. The author’s writing style was fast-paced and pleasant to read and there were quite a few twists and turns that managed to hold my attention until the last page.

The storyline includes a good dose of romance between the main character Sabrina and easily likeable Hugh Pendleton, but also includes an intriguing mystery element which made the book feel a bit like a detective novel. I really enjoyed this combination of romance and mystery and it has made me curious about Phyllis A. Humphrey’s other novels. It was a bit of a shame that we didn’t really get to know the characters, particularly Sabrina and Hugh, on a deeper, more detailed, level. I would have loved to have read more about them, their backgrounds, and the things that made them the persons they are. Overall, though, ‘Finding Amy’ is a well-paced, fun, and intriguing read that had me captivated from start to finish. I’m really glad I got the opportunity to discover Phyllis A. Humphrey’s writing and already look forward to reading more of her works in the future!
Rating:8/10
 
For more information about this book: Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.



Author interview with Phyllis A. Humphrey!

Can you tell us something about your novel, ‘Finding Amy’?
I think of FINDING AMY as "Romance and mystery in London and Paris."

Where did you get the inspiration for your novel? Is it in any way based
on your own personal experiences?
I've been to both London and Paris several times and always hoped to set a novel in those great cities.

Can you tell us a bit more about the main character, Sabrina?
Sabrina is a woman I think many of us would like to be: resourceful and smart, yet caring and with a sense of humor.

There’s a great cast of supporting characters in the novel as well. Which
character did you most enjoy writing?
The hero's "man" Leonard, was fun to write about, because I'd never had one like him in a novel before.

Did you do any particular research for parts of the book?
I did a little research about areas in London and used my book about Cockney accents and terms for a few minor characters.

Can you perhaps tell us something about your future plans? Are you
perhaps already working on a next novel?
Since I often put elements of suspense or mystery in my romances, I'd like to try straight mystery. In fact I just got a contract for such a book, titled EYEWITNESS, but don't have a publication date yet. If you and your readers want to be informed when this - or my next novel - is available, please send me your names and e-mail addresses. I promise I'll only send book information and won't give your addresses to anyone else. 

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
After many years of writing, and especially trying to get published, my most important advice is "Never give up."
What is the last book you read that you’d like to recommend to others?
FOREVER MINE by Carolann Camillo is another romantic-suspense novel that I can heartily recommend.

Which book could you not live without?
My favorite novel of all time is REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier. I reread it every few years.
And last but not least, if you had to describe ‘Finding Amy’ in just
three words, which words would you pick?
My three words would be: romantic, suspenseful, humorous.

Thanks so much, Phyllis!



International giveaway!

I'm incredibly excited to be able to make 1 reader very happy with an Phyllis A. Humphrey e-book of choice! You can pick one of the following titles:

    FREE FALL. 
Can a woman who's afraid of heights fall in love with a skydiver?

    THE ITALIAN JOB. 
A love story in Rome, Florence & Venice with complications.

    STRANGER IN PARADISE. 
This Paradise is Hawaii, and the Hero and Heroine have a misunderstanding to solve before the Happy Ever After. 

 Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below; good luck to everyone! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 comments:

  1. Hey Jody, I've nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award, check out the link below to see what to do next :) Hope you're well too!

    http://emmasbookery.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/ive-been-nominated-for-versatile.html

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    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks so much, Emma! I'll definitely check it out! :)

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