If you’ve spent any time on my Twitter feed or on my Facebook page, you’ll know that I’ve been seriously whining about not having had time to read in a very long time. It’s true. It’s a truth and an inevitability that I hate even as I acknowledge why. My first priority is to write MY books and give my readers the stories I promise them. Then and only then do I get to indulge in being a reader and fan of OTHER authors’ works.
Now I read fast and the thing is, when I do get some precious time to read I an one grumpy bitch if I get interrupted. I binge read to the exclusion of all else. I’ll stay up an entire night reading one book after another and once I START a book I am absolutely resentful of ANYTHING that interferes with me finishing that book. I HATE having to close a book in the middle of it.
So for the past few months, I’ve continued to buy books, even knowing it might be forever until I got to read them. But there is a certain comfort in having the books on my Kindle for “when I get the time” And if I don’t buy the book I’m interested in RIGHT THEN, I’m likely to forget all about it and never get to go back and get it. I try to preorder as much as possible just so the books are automatically downloaded and I don’t have to worry about missing a great book.
I finally got a chance to do some reading over the weekend. I didn’t really have the time to be honest, but I was at “that point” where my brain was just shutting down. I’m tired. I tend to cram into three months what a normal year’s worth of work is, so I feel like every three months I NEED some sort of vacation. And I can’t just read as soon as I finish up one of those back to back to back deadlines because my brain is seriously so shut down that I can’t even fathom opening a book to read.
Reading is…I can’t even explain it in words. I mean it’s something I’ve loved since I was a child. A very young child. I never owned a television growing up. Books were my EVERYTHING and I do mean everything. Libraries and my local librarians are absolutely why I’m a writer today. They fed my voracious appetite for books because I simply could not have afford to buy 40 every week to read. So I wore out that library card and read every single thing I could get my hands on.
So when I go a long time without reading, I get cranky and the longer I go, the harder it is for me to actually be able to open a book and dive back in. Weird huh? So it always takes me a little bit because I resist all the books I have because I’m just so tired and brain dead and I have this fear that especially since I’m trying a “new” book that it won’t be awesome or that I’ll be disappointed which is WHY I do a LOT of rereading. I have my “comfort” reads and these are the books that I pull out when I’m really dragging the bottom of the barrel and I need my batteries recharged but I don’t want to take a risk on a book I won’t like. So these comfort reads get read over and over. I have print copies and I have kindle copies because I’m one of “those” readers who will absolutely buy both formats.
Anyway to get to my point, not only was I craving some time to read but I really wanted to branch out and try something new and different. Maybe a little out of my comfort zone. I never read in the genre I’m writing in, and I really have no explanation for that one, but I just don’t. I know other authors who are the same way so at least I’m not alone in my neurosis. So the fact that I write so many genres? Well, it limits my options. I’ve only just recently started reading a few erotic romances simply because I’m not writing as many as I used to. I’m very picky about it so I’ve been selectively getting a few to read here and there. Since my other two “main” genres at the moment are romantic suspense ( hate that tag. I really don’t write suspense. I write action adventure) but anyway and I also write historicals so I’m not reading romantic suspense or historicals. Which leaves me with contemporary….and well, paranormal. And I’ll be honest. I don’t read a lot of PNR. And I never ever read Urban Fantasy. I just don’t. Nalini Singh is like my one exception but she’s made of awesome so really, she’s worthy of being an exception!
But several months ago I decided to give Kresley Cole’s IAD series a try. The current blurb intrigued me so I read it. It wasn’t my favorite but I was sufficiently intrigued enough to go read the first in the series. Now. Holy shit. THAT book I loved. Liked seriously had mad love for. So I bought the rest of the series and loved some more than others. Like LOVED some. Was okay with others. But It was definitely enough to make me buy Lothaire and I loved it. Kresley has a very entertaining way of writing that keeps you turning the pages. It’s kind of like crack. So maybe she’s found a way to be spell her books?
And then I emailed a friend because (and I’m still not sure what prompted me) but I was suddenly and inexplicably intrigued by Patricia Briggs. Now I should explain I do not read first person books. DO. NOT. LIKE. So WHY was I contemplating reading her Mercy Thompson series? I have no bloody idea. In fact I once sent a love letter to Nalini Singh THANKING her for writing an Urban Fantasy series in third person because I was like YES, FINALLY someone broke some implied rule that all UF MUST BE first person. Ok I’ll stop now lol.
And then I was told about her Alpha/Omega series which IS in third person so I pounced on that first and very quickly consumed the novella and first two books in the series. And the thing is I love her writing. It’s just very evocative. I can’t even explain how it makes me feel but it’s mesmerizing. (Maybe she and Kresley Cole are onto something with that be spelling thing??)
So then I bit the bullet and bought the Mercy Thompson series and it had the same mesmerizing quality that her writing had for the A/O series (and yes people I do know that Patricia Briggs is a writing team but for my purposes it’s just much easier to say HER instead of him/her at every turn) I’m only up to book 2 so far but obviously I’m not stopping until I get to the present book at which point I will bitch and moan ENDLESSLY over having to wait for another goddamn book in the series. I mean I’m already whining because I have to wait until March for the next A/O book. (Patience is not one of my finer virtues, BELIEVE ME)
So the verdict? I have loved THREE PNR/UF series in the past year, people. That’s huge for me as before I only read like a very, very (count on one hand) PNR authors.
Let’s see what else have I read in my binge? I read two Lisa Marie Rice novellas. They were “snacks” because the thing is I love her full length books so much and it’s kind of frustrating for me to read something so short from her because I just want to say NOOOOOOOO where’s the rest?? But they were good and satisfying and a good follow up to the original novels.
Awhile back I did a shout out on twitter to see if anyone had read Barbara Elsborg and if so what they thought? I didn’t get many response and they were varied but nothing just overnethusiastic. But there were two of her books that I had bought because the blurbs intrigued me. This was a few months ago and I finally decided to take the plunge last night.
Holy fuck, people.
Ok, I get that maybe I might be in the minority. Maybe a lot of people just haven’t read her. But wow did I love the two books I read. They were An Ordinary Girl and Strangers. I really don’t have the words to describe how compelling I found these books. I mean it was like I just couldn’t stop reading. They weren’t easy, “fluffy” reads by any means and I kept reading with this sense of dread KNOWING that the entire world was going to go to shit at ANY minute. I was holding my breath at some points and then was cursing because I was like damn it, this is stressing me out. Strangers was my favorite of the two but they were both just so good. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love me some angst and drama, the more the better and Strangers had it in spades. The ending of that book just had a huge knot in my throat and my chest was tight because I just knew what conclusions the hero had drawn based on how they “met” and that he was going to think she was dead because he couldn’t find her anywhere. And then they find her abandoned car… Ok I’ll stop but wowza, those books just hit all my buttons. They were meaty reads that had me absorbed from beginning to end.
So anyway, that’s my reading report for now. I’ve been on a great self published search and I’ve bought a couple of titles but I’m scouring for more because I know there are some hidden gems out there and I’m always very happy when I find a new to me author who knocks my socks off. So I’ve been hoarding some, buying as I come across them but the search continues :)
And now that I’ve told you all about what I’ve been reading, what about you?? Got any awesome rec’s for me? I may not be able to READ them right away but my one click finger works VERY well hahahaha. I click and then just know it’s there to read later ;)