Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Finding time to read

No time to read that stack of novels on your nightstand? Here's how I fit in a few pages here and there and usually get through a novel a week.
  • Take the book everywhere with you. You never know when you'll be waiting outside the preschool pick-up, at the doctor's office, or in line for McDonald's.
  • Read while you exercise. I actually have a hard time reading a novel while I exercise, but I do cruise through my magazines on the treadmill or spin bike.
  • Make reading your treat. Think of the extra time (not to mention the calories saved) if you read instead of baking or running to the store for a pint of Ben & Jerry's. At the end of a long day promise yourself that you can read a chapter of The Lost Symbol. You'll get so into the book you won't feel the deprivation of your taste buds (maybe).
  • Don't discount toilet time. Now I know this sounds gross, but no child is going to bother you in the bathroom. Well, they might try to bother you, but you've got the greatest excuse in the world.
  • Read during couple time. My honey can think I'm watching a football game with him while I read my latest Susan May Warren book. All I have to do is comment on every four to five plays. That's about as often as something exciting happens anyway.
Follow these tips and you'll not only get some reading time in, you'll also improve your multi-tasking skills.
Friday, October 16, 2009

Whitney Awards

I just found out that I was nominated for the Whitney Award. They don't announce the winners until March, but I was so excited I had to share!
I'm entering a blogger contest on Monday. I committed to write a one-line blog and leave it up until Friday. Whoever gets the most comments to their post will win a free copy of Ghost Waves by W. Everett Prusso. Of course you all want me to win because then I'll review it for you and with the author's permission do a giveaway. So I'll try to think of some witty one-liner and you all post even wittier comments and together we'll be winners!
Have a fabulous weekend,
Thursday, October 15, 2009

Life Support and Life Everlasting - Robert Whitlow

I finished Robert Whitlow's Santee series. It was an interesting premise. Here's the blurbs on both books.
Life Support
A tragic accident in the Carolina mountains leaves a young man paralyzed and in a coma. Soon, a fierce legal battle erupts between the man's wife who wants to terminate life support and the young man's father who wants to keep his son alive at all costs. Caught up in the turmoil is a young female attorney who takes the case and finds out that her client's husband isn't the only person in need of life saving measures.
Life Everlasting
Book two in the Santee Series picks up with Baxter Richardson's recovery from a near-fatal fall from a cliff. Married to Rena, a suspicious and highly unstable woman, Baxter is faced with a choice of staggering ramifications.
While Rena Richardson is desperately trying to conceal her crime, her attorney, Alexia Lindale, struggles to put the pieces of the case - as well as her own life - back together. As the mysterious circumstances surrounding Baxter's brush with death are revealed, the focus shifts from Life Support to the question of Life Everlasting.
I enjoyed the books. They were well-written if a bit verbose for me. I found myself skipping quite often, but then I got in trouble because I'd miss something important. I'd recommend these books because they were interesting and I liked the heroine quite a bit, but be prepared to spend a lot of time reading.
Do you like books that are heavy on the description of settings, characters, history, etc. or would you rather just read the story?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cozy Mystery

My latest WIP is a murder mystery set in a retirement home. It's different from my usual suspense novels so I've been trying to find a spot for it. I thought it might be a cozy mystery with a senior sleuth because the protagonist is an older woman.
I found this definition, "The crime-solver in a cozy mystery is usually a woman who is an amateur sleuth. Almost always, she has a college degree, whether she is using it or not. Her education and life’s experiences have provided her with certain skills that she will utilize in order to solve all the crimes that are “thrown her way.” The cozy mystery heroine is usually a very intuitive, bright woman.
The cozy mystery usually takes place in a small town or village (click here to read more on the village setting). The small size of the setting makes it believable that all the suspects know each other. The amateur sleuth is usually a very likeable person who is able to get the community members to talk freely (i.e. gossip) about each other. There is usually at least one very knowledgeable and nosy (and of course, very reliable!) character in the book who is able to fill in all of the blanks, thus enabling the amateur sleuth to solve the case. (i)
As I read this I realized that Josi Kilpack's Lemon Tart and English Trifle definitely fit in this genre. Here's a list of some other great cozy mystery authors with senior sleuths:
Deb Baker
Nancy Bell
Emily Brightwell
Dorothy Cannell
Sue Henry
Sherry Lewis
Stefani Matteson
Cynthia Riggs
Deborah Sharp
Patricia Wentworth
Rita Lakin
Suzann Ledbetter
Camille Minichino
Have you read any cozy mysteries that you enjoyed? Please share the authors and titles.
(i) http://www.cozy-mystery.com/Definition-of-a-Cozy-Mystery.html
Friday, October 2, 2009

Royal Target - Review

I recently read Royal Target by Traci Hunter Abramson.
Back cover blurb:
When CIA agent Janessa Rogers meets the royal family of Meridia on assignment, she expects to use her skills in linguistics and security detail to protect and serve, but she doesn't expect to find herself engaged to Prince Garrett Fortier, Meridia's most eligible bachelor, as part of the security plan. And she certainly doesn't expect to fall in love with him.
Janessa resists her feelings, fearing conflicts in her personal and professional life, yet when the Prince admits his feigned affection has become genuine she can no longer pretend. Matters of security, society, and spirituality make their unlikely romance even more complex, and escalating political intrigue gives Janessa an excuse to ignore the questions in her heart. But when a terrorist plot against the royal family endangers them both, Janessa and Garrett must face the challenges of loyalty to family, to country, to God — and to love.
My thoughts:
It was a cute royalty falls for commoner story. Ms. Abramson is a talented writer. I've enjoyed her other books, but I had a hard time suspending disbelief throughout this tale. I kept questioning the characters and their motivation. Have you ever read a story where you enjoyed the story-telling and characters, but didn't quite fall for the plot?

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