The Book Savor series grew out of my love for good friends, good books, and great conversations about what we are reading.

This week’s guest, Canadian mystery author Sandra Nikolai, shares the books she savors.

1.Carmen Amato: What was the first book you read that marked the transition from reading kids’ books to grown-up fare?

Sandra Nikolai: When I was a young teen, I read The Diary of Anne Frank. The story touched me deeply because I imagined myself in her situation during the Nazi occupation. It brought home the realization that not every young person has a carefree youth and that some pretty bad things can happen in this world.

2. CA: You are shipwrecked with a crate labeled “Books.” What 3 books do you hope are in it?

SN: I’d hope to find a book on survival skills because I’m a city girl, and I’d need all the help I could get. If an escape plan didn’t work out, I’d dig out Somewhere Over the Rainbow to bolster my hopes of being rescued and returning home. I’d also hope for a huge joke book, because if I were going to die, I’d want to die laughing.

3. CA: What book would you give as a housewarming gift and why?

SN: A coffee table book with lots of photos and illustrations on a topic that ranged from art to cooking to travel, depending on the guest’s interests. Coffee table books attract attention and encourage conversation in a wide variety of topics.

4. CA: You can invite any author, living or dead, to dinner at your home. What are you serving and what will the conversation be about?

SN: I’d invite forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs, bestselling author of the Dr. Temperance Brennan series on which the program Bones is based. I’d serve lasagna with a tossed green salad and a bottle of Chianti. Nothing with bones! We’d chat about her books and Montreal—a city we both know well. I’d wait until we’d had coffee and tiramisu before asking her about the grisly details of her work in the lab.

5. CA: Can you leave us with a quote, a place, or a concept from a book that inspired you?

SN: “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936

Tell us about yourself in 3 sentences or less.

SN: My parents encouraged my love of reading and I’ll be forever grateful to them. I couldn’t imagine my life without books. Even more so without writing.

More about this week’s guest: Sandra is the author of a mystery series featuring a ghost writer and a crime reporter; a real departure from the standard police or private detective cast of characters. Her first book, False Impressions, had a character so duplicitous I was glad he was the victim! Her second book, Fatal Whispers, has just been released and delivers more of the psychological twists that readers enjoyed in the first. The title is a fabulous twist on on the murder weapon, which you’ll never guess. Her links:

FYI: uses Amazon Affiliate links.


  1. Sandra Nikolai

    Thanks for inviting me, Carmen. Loved the interview questions!

    • Carmen

      I may do a “best of author dinners” post. Yours would be included, of course, but only if I’m invited, too!

      • Sandra Nikolai


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© 2018 Carmen Amato.


I'm author Carmen Amato. I write mystery and suspense, including the Detective Emilia Cruz police series set in Acapulco. Expect risk, power, corruption. And relationships with heat.  More

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