• Carmine Valentine

Would Oprah read my book while snuggled up in a quilt?

What author wouldn’t want Oprah Winfrey to read their book. I'd stand in line for the chance. Her review matters to readers. It can launch successful sales. And although an Oprah review, or any professional review, isn’t going to get me to buy a book as much as the blurb on the back of the book will or a recommendation from a friend, what Oprah likes still matters. Women trust her. She’s like the seal of approval. A guarantee that the book has substance and meaning and is worth the read. I’ll tell you right now, that my books are written for entertainment. They are not intended for deep literary discussions, but I wouldn’t object to one. Maybe a circle of readers could open my eyes to some deeper meaning that I didn’t realize was behind a character’s actions. I love it when someone points out something between the lines.

If Oprah were in the mood for snuggling up in a quilt with a light mystery, one with a strong female protagonist whose imperfections are relatable, a woman who could be feminine one moment and handy with the duct tape the next, and a hero that makes your heart skip a beat as he befriends the less fortunate, I might stand a chance in making it to her bedside reading table. If she likes sub-characters who might be quirky, fun, irritating, lovable, and, yet, have ‘got-your-back’, my chances might improve. Deeply provocative and mind-bending, my books are not. If they are, please alert me immediately. I do try to put substance in my books by bringing in elements that remind my protagonists that life isn't easy for some. As for the plot, I aim for a light mystery and not too terrible of a crime otherwise I’d have to write it with my eyes covered. The settings in my books are places in the Pacific Northwest that I’ve visited, either often or not, but fell in love with the location non-the-less. I like to think that my Barefoot by Moonlight Mystery Series are unique in that they offer up a little tour of the area as my protagonists follow the clues, escape danger, and fall in love.

It's in the news. Oprah is the new owner of a piece of property on Orcas Island, the location of my All Fired Up mystery. I can’t send Oprah my book as a gift. I’ve already researched those rules. Here’s my plan. I’m going to contact the independent bookstore on Orcas Island. I’ve read great reviews about Darvill’s Bookstore in Eastsound. It’s a favorite up there for locals and visitors. If they agree to carry my book on their shelves and one day Oprah wandered in there looking for a cozy mystery set on Orcas Island… Anything can happen, right?

Here’s to the absolute joy of reading a good book while snuggled in a quilt. The quilt in this picture was made by my sister Nola Bradley.


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