15 November 2012

Book Bible

When I say book bible, I'm talking about  RT BOOK REVIEWS magazine.

I LOVE this magazine.

It literally is my go to each month to discover what's new and upcoming in the world of books.

This monthly magazine, in a nutshell, is just plain fun to read. I've even been known to haunt my local bookstore(s) impatiently awaiting each new issue.

I read it from to cover to cover (well almost) and  I even pay attention to those eye-catching ads (I have discovered books I'd have missed otherwise).

After I've read each issue, I grab my highlighter and go through it again and mark every book that has caught my attention whether I plan to buy it or not. Later, I'll use the computer to make those decisions and if it's going to be a purchase, I'll use a pen to write the release date next to the book.

I can't wait to see what the new issue holds.

Upcoming Books- The Keepers L.A. Series


I'm really excited about this upcoming series of books. The Gatekeeper is a short e-book only novella to give the reader a taste and what a tasty little bite it is.

I have to give Heather Graham credit for writing such a great story in just a handful of pages. Not many authors can do it with such success. It was fast paced and fully developed with great characters.

There's just enough here to whet your appetite for the December release, also by Heather Graham, Keeper of the Night.

Don't miss this little treat.


12 November 2012

Slump

Slump.

To me that's kind of a taboo word.

People in sports don't want to hear it.

People in sales or business don't either.

Single people trying to date may not like it.

And I'm fairly confident that's a dreaded word for authors.

But you know what, as a reader, I pretty much hate that word too.

I read every day. The speed varies and there are times I can read a book in a day(rare) and there are times it takes me a week (also rare). I average almost two books a week most of the time.

Depending on who you talk too, those numbers can be high or low. The fact is those numbers, for me, pretty much stay the same no matter how busy or not busy I am in my life.

Except when that word rears its ugly head.

SLUMP

For me several things can/ may bring on a reading slump:

Anticipating an author's upcoming release can make it hard to concentrate on a book as I daydream about what I really wish what I could be reading.

Reading a few clunkers back to back can also make it hard to get into a book.

Bad timing- just plain picking a few books to try to get into but nothing catching my attention can make everything seem uninteresting.

I hate reading slumps. Books I'd normally love to read can just simply just sit unread.

So how do you get out of your own personal reading slumps?

I typically take a break. I'll put my book(s)  down and walk away. Give it a couple hours to refresh my perspective. When I'm in a full blown slump trying to find a book, I'll only give a book a few pages to click with me(unlike what I would normally do, but that's a topic for another day). Usually that works.

Once in a blue moon it doesn't. Even switching genres and to magazines doesn't help.

Let me tell you, as someone who eats, breathes and sleeps books... this really really sucks.  I joke that I was born with a book in my hands, so not reading is like nails on a chalkboard.

Horror movies don't scare me.

What strikes terror into my heart is that Twilight Zone episode with Burgess Meredith. You know the one... end of the world... last man alive... nothing but time to read all of the books in existence... eyeglasses break...fade to black...

Told you- total nightmare right?

My point is, not being able to read in any regard stinks.

So here's wishing us days filled with good health, laughter and ...yes reading.





08 November 2012

Please Read??

I admit it.

I'm a bit obsessive compulsive.

When I decide to read a new book there are certain things I do. And I wonder if you do too.

For example:

Do you read the book's summary whether it is on the back or inner dust jacket?

How about if there's a teaser on that first page when you open the book?

Do you look in the back of the book to see if there's news about upcoming books or excerpts on the next one?

How about author bio info?

Or quotes from reviewers or celebs etc plugging the book?

How about dedications, acknowledgments or dear reader letters?

I have a secret to tell you.

 I read it all.

And I LOVE  it. 

Especially author dear reader letters and acknowledgments. Even if you don't agree with me I'd like to leave you with a final thought. If the author took the time to write us- the readers- a note then we should take a minute to read it, don't you think?

06 November 2012

Jingle Books

I love Holiday books, don't you?

The hard part is actually waiting til the day after Thanksgiving to read them. Most years I cheat and start one on Turkey Day but never before. I'm just  glad the holiday is early this year.

Some years, the publishing world puts out so many titles I want, it's hard to choose. Other years, pickings are so slim it's kinda sad.

This year I'm sitting pretty. In fact, I'll probably have too many. And because I am a bit compulsive (okay A LOT) I already have certain books targeted for T- Day, Christmas Eve/Day and New Years Eve/Day.

I usually pack away what I didn't read from the year(s) before and often forget.  So for me, it's like an yearly present opening that storage tub and finding Christmas books stuffed inside. Do I always get to them? Nope. But it's nice to have them.

So here's hoping that your own stash of Holiday themed books bring you a smile this season.


 

05 November 2012

Expectations

Expectations.

The word can mean so many different things.

But for the purposes of today's Blog, I'm referring to books.

Examples:

We expect our favorite author to always write a book we love/like (for the purpose of the rest of my Blog I'll just use the word love). Does that always happen? Maybe, maybe not. I think it can be hard to always love an author's books. And what happens if we don't? Do we feel guilty? I think it has to be hard, with a tremendous amount of pressure, for any author to be constantly on top of their game. Especially one who churns out more than one book a year OR someone who has been or remains on ANY type of bestseller list.

We expect cover content(at least I do) to relate to the story inside. I wouldn't expect a romance novel cover to look like that of a horror novel or vice versa. However it happens. Most authors have very little or no control over the cover of their book. Which to me is completely and utterly ridiculous. How many times do you read a book with a hero with black hair but on the cover he is blond? Or the heroine has short hair on the cover but long hair in the book? That cat on the cover...oh wait..it's really a DOG. Covers can be tricky sometimes, making that old saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" really ring true and apply. I'm one that needs and wants a good cover on my books. Have I bought books based on their cover alone? You bet. Have I bypassed books based on their cover? Yup.  Fair? Nope. I'm sure I've missed reading some gems, however that brings me to my next point.

We expect, and trust to a certain degree, that book reviews and/or recommendations are spot on. Whether that they come from a magazine, news media, celebrity,  bookseller, friend...the list goes on and on. Before the indy bookstore my best friend(s) and I worked at went out of business, we would get customers, who all the time asked us for recommendations. Something we were very careful about doing, in those few instances, when we did. We put a large amount of weight on what others think about books sometimes. I'm not saying that is a good or bad thing.  Just look at any bookstore site or Goodreads. People have varying and different opinions. And if we buy/read a book based on any review or recommendation....then whether we love or hate the book is on us- and us alone. I remember once my best friend and I(check out her Blog at Romancing the Readers) bought a book based solely on the extremely poor review it received (if you want to know, I'm going to make you ask). Turns out we LOVED the book. In that case our gamble paid off.

Lastly- how about what do we expect from our books?  If they are FICTION, then pretty much anything goes for me. Two words straight from the dictionary under fiction are: INVENTED and IMAGINED.  So why do so many people get angry when and author gets a fact wrong in their work of...wait for it...FICTION?  We shouldn't. After all, it's, say it with me, FICTION.

And I expect that I'll both love and dislike many of the books I'll read in the future and I expect you will too.

    

29 October 2012

BOOK ME

I can't help it.

No matter how hard I try not too, I can't go ANYWHERE without checking out books.

Doesn't matter if it's the grocery store, a gas/food mart, a hospital or... YOUR HOUSE. If there are books present, I am going to check them out.

It has gotten to the point where I ask for books for gifts. Hey- at least that way I know I'll get something I'll love.

In addition to my romance addiction, I also really enjoy non-fiction. My collection of NF has grown so large that it really is time for me to invest in another bookcase. Problem is- I really have no more room. There are bookcases or shelves filled with books in almost every room of the house. I probably buy at least one NF book a month in addition to my LARGE  amount of paperback purchases.

I buy way more than I read. I know I hoard my books, but I can't help it. I'm addicted. Plus there is something magical and almost arousing about the feel and smell of a new book.

In fact, like that old saying goes- I would probably buy my books first and if there is money left- food.

Book me. Book you. Book everyone. 

28 October 2012

Skipping Around and Back to Back - Gena Showalter and others

With the amount of series out there, whether they are paranormal, contemporary, or whatever, it's easy to get behind. I don't mean too, it's just that I tend to read such a variety, it can be easy to accumulate a stack of books, especially with the amount of talented authors out there.

 

I don't normally read books by the same author within the same week or even back to back . Especially if they are in the same series. They can tend to run together and start sounding the same. Gena Showalter is one of those authors I've made an exception for. Her writing voice is crisp and engaging enough that even reading her books so closely together, I'm not bored or on overload.
 
I have to admit that, I'm behind, okay- way behind,  on Ms. Showalter's books. All of them. But I decided to pick up and get caught  up with the Alien Huntress Series. That's because she has a new series offshoot of these books coming out at the end of the year that has really caught my ATTENTION (gorgeous, I mean a GORGEOUS cover and it sounds so good that I wish I had it in my hands right now to read, but then I'd be contradicting myself-see below).  Last weekend I  read Savor Me Slowly (book #3). I LOVED IT.  The first two in this series (I only read book #1) were written in 1st Person and starting with book #3, they shifted to 3rd Person and became more romantic. I knew I wanted to quickly read book #4 (pictured above) Seduce The Darkness , which contains Devyn's story(sigh). Plus I have her new anthology with P.C. Cast (also talented- love her) that I plan to read on Halloween.
 
 
My BFF(check out her blog - Romancing the Readers) and I have had many conversations about reading books in a series. She is faithful and dedicated about reading them in order and not skipping around. I agree with her opinion that books in any given series should be read in order. It not only enriches the reader's experience, but it can also be down right confusing because many authors develop such a complex world and to die for characters it's easy to feel left out (so to speak) if you jump around.
 
Let me tell you, from personal experience, this can SUCK. Who wants to start a series from the start if there are 6, 10, or even 20 books already written OR if you've fallen behind (more than 5 or 6 books) but really want to read something the author's just put out in that series?
 
I think some authors, in writing their series, try to allow it so you can read books out of order without missing too much. But again, no matter how well they try to include you, it's still not the same.   
 
Now I wasn't writing all of this with Ms. Showalter in mind. Besides, she does a pretty good job of bringing you up to speed as she did in the Alien Huntress series.  
 
So, what I'm wondering: IS SKIPPING AROUND or  BACK TO BACK okay with you??   
 
 




 




27 October 2012

Dogs Love Books Too

That's my bulldog in front of one of my many many many many (you get the idea) bookcases. I'm waiting  for the day he helps himself to one of my books!  Below he's sleeping in front of one of them too (best seat in the house! Well, close.)  Actually, it's the same bookcase, just at a time after I played with arranging the shelves. And before you ask- yes it looks different today! Books have been read and/or shifted to another case. This one's in the bedroom. I figure if I put the books on my most wanted to read list up close and personal so to speak, maybe I'd read them faster. Not true, and again, the bookcase doesn't look this way today. Happy Reading!      

26 October 2012

The Trouble With Cowboys - Review




So I have just finished reading The Trouble With Cowboys by Melissa Cutler. As posted in my previous blog, it was chosen for my book club.

Told you it had one of those covers.

A showstopper. An eye-catcher. Enough to make you want the book. Plus the model looks older. What I mean by that is way too many times when a male model's face is featured (in addition to his body) , especially when it is a full on front face, they look, UM...teenage 21ish. Can you say EWW. I'm nearly twice that age. Don't want to have baby faced men on my book covers thank you very much- ESPECIALLY when they aren't close to that in age in the book. But I've gone off topic. This is a fab cover and the male actually resembles the age of his character.

 You know a book is good when you find yourself thinking about reading it(even you aren't) and thinking about it when you are done.  Ms.Cutler has a cinematic writing style. In plain English- she has a way with words that makes everything come alive and roll like a movie through your head.

 The lead characters Amy and Kellan are well developed and their interactions are believable. Plus, I thought I was the only one that got hot and bothered over nice knives. This book has the perfect mix of heat and heart.

 I am looking forward to the next book in the Catcher Creek series even if it's a long wait...however I'm excited  to try out Ms. Cutler's romantic suspense titles from Harlequin.

 Do yourself a favor and take the trouble to track down The Trouble With Cowboys - it's well worth it!      

           

25 October 2012

Reading Time Part 2


What am I reading now?

Well, not right now...I'm blogging!

But when I stop typing, I'm going back to: The Trouble With Cowboys by Melissa Cutler. What a tasty little treat this book is!

I discovered this book many months ago when it was listed on Goodreads in one of their contests. Although I didn't win, the book was still on my 'To Buy' list. How could it not be? The title alone sold me, although the cover is pretty convincing too.

Since I run a book club, myself and my BFF(also in the club) decided on this book for November. The author is a sweetheart too. I was excited that while running errands I was able to score a copy of her Harlequin Romantic Suspense: Seduction Under Fire (another nice cover).

Speaking of covers- In choosing books, it's like food to me. In choosing food at least you can use your senses of smell, sight and even (pre) taste. Books.... sight is the cover(better be appealing) and taste- I'd liken that to an excerpt. 

Books like food, have to whet my appetite before I devour.

Reading Time


I love to read. LOVE IT. Like books are my drug of choice. I am truly an addict. I have so many books that if a Revoultion (LOVE THAT SHOW) type disaster occuried, I'd been able to provide kindling for years. Not that I'd ever set fire to my beloved books. Maybe one or two clunkers but even then. Plus the thought of dog earring pages or defacing a novel makes me feel a little bit queasy.

And I'll read almost anywhere or at any time. OK. So that's a bit of a lie. I draw the line at reading while...oh, say...DRIVING!  There are a few other places/times that aren't quite appropiate but I'll leave that up to you to ponder about.

I'll also read just about anything. I said just. My favorite is probably romance. I can give my mom credit for that. I often joke I was born with a book in my hands. You know, like on Family Guy? When Stewie is born with a map of Europe(victory is mine! lol)- well picture baby Cyndi with a paperback book.

And when I read- I get in such a zone that almost everything fades away. I was recently somewhere where I was able to get some reading in and I heard plenty of laughter only to find out several people had been repeatedly calling my name... uh...OOPS.

I love discovering new authors. I discover most of them through social media sites, word of mouth and my bible - RT Book Reviews.

I also run a book club(readers group) called Reading is Sexy. Two of my BFF's and a few other ladies are in the group. You should be a fly on the wall for some of those conversations- not for the faint of heart, or family friendly! :)  Although we don't always agree on what we read, we always have fun. There hasn't been any blood shed yet... well almost...!

The beauty of books is that there is something out there for everyone, and well, that's just plain fine in my book.