Sunday, May 30, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
I've been reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I'm always behind in my reading - they already made a movie from this book but I won't see it until I've finished the book. It holds my interest and I like the heroine Lisbeth - she is very different. You never know quite what she is going to do.
I just completed reading The Host by Stephanie Meyer. It took me forever to read the Twilight books and once I dived into them I couldn't seem to come up for air. I usually don't read YA but the Twilight books grabbed me in the gut and wouldn't let go. What I liked the best about them was the way Bella loved Edward, and the way he loved her. To me, it was visceral. I saw the first movie and was aghast. It just did not have the impact of the book. Mostly the hero felt all wrong.
The Host is a book I would have read anyway, because the premise was so intriguing. It's Invasion of the Body Snatchers from the point of view of a Body Snatcher. The way the Body Snatchers were rather clueless about taking other sentient beings' bodies was chilling. The heroine's choices appalled the humans who captured her - until her gentleness and horror at what her species was doing won their hearts. It was still a YA, though I've heard it was presented as an adult book.
My first Black Rose release, Sacred Guardian, is available now through Wild Rose Press. It's my dark angel book and I've been blogging about it on my site: www.carolinamontague.com/blog/Skating on the edge of forever. The blog is about the real story of how an angel saved my life and the life of my son. Sacred Guardian is the book I promised him that I would write. There are several scenes in it that are exactly as they happened to me.
I'm not sure if I can insert the cover into this blog, but I'll give it a go :-)
Nope - sorry. No can do. Here is the link for the cover: www.carolinamontague.com/books.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Despite having an ever expanding menagerie of books that I have to read, I currently have about 20 sitting on my bookshelf needing to be read, I always have my favorites that need to be re-read. These are the classics that captured a piece of my mind and heart. They have made me take notice, smile, laugh and cry and by the end of the book, I have lamented the fact that it was over and the characters would never grace the white pages of another book. These are the books that I take down year after year and re-read, much to the disbelief of my husband. So with that introduction, let me list a few of my dog eared favorites.
The Odyssey by Homer: Okay, this one usually throws people off because I really couldn't stand The Iliad but this is my all time favorite book tied with the next book on the list. This is a yearly re-read for me and it has everything. Language, conflict, action and a love that defies everything that can be thrown at the main character.
The Plague Dogs by Richard Adams: I originally read this book because a friend told me I would have no idea what the Tod (Fox) was saying. A challenge was issued and I buried my nose in the pages and found to my delight that I could understand Tod and not only that, but I loved the imagery and the whole story. It has many sentences and paragraphs that have inspired me to follow my husband around saying, "You have to hear just this one part," much to his annoyance.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: For reasons that probably don't need to be explained, I usually re-read this on a yearly basis since I love everything about this book.
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton: This was a gift for Mother's Day this year and while it hasn't been re-read yet, I enjoyed the voice so much that I have already been tempted to re-read it after only a few weeks. It is definitely on the list to be tied with my other favorite books of all time.
While there are several other books that I enjoy reading a second or even third time, I have to say that these are my favorite. What about you, do you have any books that you re-read on a yearly basis?
Sirena Van Schaik
Author of Immortal Desire
Available Now at Wild Rose Press
"Monsters are real, and they stand before me pretending to be human...
Caught in a world of vampires, dark desires and addiction, Angela Cross has walked on the edge of the surreal and found herself in a struggle for her own heart. Drawn to two dangerous men, Angela must make the choice between a life with vampires or a life against them. Will she succumb to the immortal's desire...or will she become the hunter?"
Monday, May 24, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
I like catchy covers. If a title tweaks my interst, this reader is totally drawn in. An author's voice often prompts me to pick up another book he or she has written. Since the beginning of the month, I've escaped into The Joining by Erica Sands. This Scarlet Rose author knows how to create a gripping, steamy love story. I couldn't turn the pages of He of the Fiery Sword fast enough. Skhye Moncrief's poetic use of words and humorous double entendres breathes life into this sexy tale. Oh. Our hero's a dragon, so no pun intended. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown - well, now I know more about secret societies and building in Washington, DC than I did before. I loved his other books, but Brown's study of a demented mind almost seemed more important than the lost symbol. The final book I read, Effective Instruction by Jim Burke, I also led a book study on. As a vice principal (along with parent conferences, suspensions, and reports) I get to do this sort of thing for professional development in school. So if you're called upon to teach anything, anywhere, Burke explains in simple terms how to delve deeper into a topic. Workshop presenters can find great tips here as well.
I'm currently between books. First on my TBR list is a new paranormal romance by a fellow Black Rose author. It's got a fantastic cover, and I can't wait to take the plunge.
Happy reading to all ~ Mickey
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Since the topic for the Black Roses this month is what we're reading, I wanted to share one of my favorite werewolf books. It's got a bit of everything -- action, adventure, tension, romance -- and is written entirely in prose. To be sure, it's not for everyone, but for those of you who enjoy something different and clever, this is definitely a book for you.
Although there is a lot to be said about the material (the voice is, without a doubt, one of my favorites), I think the video above sums it up best. If you've not read Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow, perhaps it's time to.
Are any of you reading werewolf fodder? Or do you have any favorite stories to share?
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I just finished Shalador's Lady the latest installment in Anne Bishop's Black Jewels dark fantasy series. I love the characters in this series and each new installment adds more depth. I wish I could write like this.
I'm counting down the days until the next Kate Daniels urban fantasy book is available. Once again, a great series and I wish I wrote like this. I love the snarky attitude of the main character and the sexual tension with the single male lead is great.
There are plenty more good stories coming out during the summer. I hate waiting for them but it's worth it once I have the book. Even though I know how long the writing process takes, as a reader I wish books from my favorite authors became available more than once or twice a year.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Romanzo: Love and Corruption Italian Style
by Angela Montgomery
Available from Amazon.com
In the Milan of the early 1990s awash with corruption scandals, rational young architect Marco Fontana befriends scatty, struggling actress, Marsya Wells who comes to his city to teach English. While Marco's career is maneuvered into murky associations, Marsya is sucked into the entourage of a corrupt entrepreneur and his manipulative political movement. Marco struggles to heed his emotions as he tries to prevent Marsya stumbling towards destruction.
Now, why I am reading this.... Well, mostly because I have a never-ending love affair with Italy happening, and I can't seem to get enough of it. Plus, this book is very, very good. It's a romance but not a love story - quote directly from the author herself. It's intriguing, engaging, and very well written, which adds wonderful things to any book as we all know.
I ran across this one via one of my Italian friends on Twitter. I spotted the name of the book and started looking into it. Quickly discovered the website and read more about the novel, and knew I wanted to read it. Imagine my surprise when the author was in touch with me later that day. This one is coming out in eBook format in July, and is currently available in paperback at Amazon. Worked the reverse of what we usually see... Anyway, I am really enjoying this one. It's a very honest and unexpected kind of romance, but it's hard to put down!! I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a really solid and strong story. It's dark in places, light in others - but is always great reading. I'm about half-way through it, it's less than 200 pages, and I know I'll be reading it again.
As you can see, there's a very eye-catching cover on it, too! You can find out more about it, and read about the author here: http://www.romanzo.ws/Romanzo/Home.html
Saturday, May 15, 2010
It’s simple and its fun. I belong to GoodReads and one of the groups I’ve joined is called Romance Readers Reading Challenges. There are many different challenges you can choose from but the best part is that it encourages you to read those books that you just haven’t gotten to yet. The one I joined is the A to Z book challenge. You have a year to read a list of titles, of your choosing, and each of those titles must start with a letter from the alphabet. You can share your progress with others who are participating in the challenge. Other challenges include the A to Z author challenge, which is the same idea as the book challenge only with authors first or last names beginning with the letters from the alphabet. There are various monthly challenges as well as yearly challenges. There’s even a make your own reading challenge, where you list your own goals for what and how many books you plan to read. Certainly, there is a challenge for everyone who loves reading books.
For my own part in this book challenge, I’ve read 17 books with 9 more to go this year. I’m reading randomly so this week I just finished reading Q for Queen of Winter, an anthology with stories written by Lynn Kurland, Claire Delacroix, Sharon Shinn, and Sarah Monette. I’m on to T now and I’ve picked the Got Wolf anthology, Taming of the Wolf Volume II, (by our beloved Black Rose authors!) including stories from Isabel Roman, Autumn Shelley, Dariel Raye, Renee Wildes, and Karilyn Bentley.
If you feel adventurous, I welcome you to join me in these challenges. They’re fun and the best part is they are all about reading books!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I just finished J.R. Ward's Lover Avenged. I became addicted to the Black Dagger Brotherhood a couple of years ago. I find the world intriguing, the writing style interesting and in this particular book, the hero is the ultimate bad boy and I was curious how she was going to redeem him. The cover's very eye catching as well.
The next book I plan on reading is Raymond E. Feist's Rides a Dread Legion. I've been reading Feist's books for years. I've fallen in love with multiple characters from Midkemia. The first book that caught my eye was Shadow of a Dark Queen. The title attracted me and I felt compelled to see what the book was about because of the whole Dark Queen thing. I read it and loved it and have devoured most of the books set in the world.
So what attracts me to a book? If I'm doing a quick browse, it's all about name recognition. I look for my favorite authors to see if there's anything new. If I'm loitering in the store then I'll check out titles and see if anything intrigues me. Finally, if it's on the endcap, it's all about the cover. Then I read the blurb and the excerpt. If I'm on the fence then I'll start reading the first few pages and see if I get hooked.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
It's Mother's Day and the most I hope to read is the newspaper and a manuscript that's due. LOL
Saturday, May 8, 2010
But if you're like me, you're always on the look out for great book, so I thought I would share one other neat place I've found to get book ideas: Literature Map.
Ever been stuck trying to decide what to read next? You really enjoyed the books you read by author X, and feel like something similar but what? Literature map is a great place to start.
Say like me you like Nalini Singh (one of my favourite paranormal authors), or Katherine Kerr (great fantasy writer), all you do is stick in their names and it will generate a map of authors it deems similar.
Check out my maps below for the two authors I mentioned:
Okay, I admit at this size they're a bit busy and hard to read, but you get the idea - and that's exactly what I got, more ideas :)
-- Louise Delamore
Friday, May 7, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
From there, I went on to read The Flame and the Flower and The Wolf and the Dove and my love affair with romances began.
I read that whole summer after high school, but once I started college, reading fell by the wayside. So did writing. It wasn’t until after I got pregnant with my first child that I started reading again. And I didn’t start writing again until after my second child started school.
I started out writing children’s stories but I wasn’t very good at it. So I turned to writing the type of books I loved to read. Romances. And after thirteen years, I finally got a publishing contract.
OUT OF THE DARKNESS—a paranormal vampire romance—will be released May 28, 2010. And any free time I have now is spent working on the sequel or trying to figure out ways to promote my book when I suck at self-promotion. So lately, I haven’t had much time for reading. And I miss it. But I am reading two books at the moment because I bought them so long ago and am just now finding some time to read them.
I start reading Jenna Black’s THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND after attending her book signing a few weeks ago. Jenna is my former critique partner. If it wasn’t for her and Amy Corwin, OUT OF THE DARKNESS would never have been published. Then a few days ago, I was in the mood to read a historical romance so I picked up Sabrina Jeffries, BEWARE A SCOTT’S REVENGE—a book I bought six months ago!
Sabrina is a member of my local RWA chapter. She’s a wonderful speaker and a mentor to new writers. And her regency romances are HOT. And since my reading time is so limited these days, I try to support the readers I know personally.
I’d like to read more books from The Wild Rose Press writers but there never seems to be enough time to read and write. Do any other writers have this problem?
How do other writers balance time writing with their jobs and families and still find time to read? Do they set aside a time to read each day the way I schedule my writing time? Or do they just read whenever they can and hope to one day finish a book?
How do you find balance?
Sunday, May 2, 2010
For me it's been the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward. I just finished Lover Avenged and can't wait to read the next book.
Ms. Ward's vampire world is a delicious addition to vampire fiction. The stories are dark with tantalizing romances. What I love is how she draws you into her world. You care about these hard, ass-kicking men who are all heart when comes to treating their women right. The friendships within the brotherhood rocks, too. Each book deals with one of the brotherhood and their love interest, but there are ongoing subplots that are just as intriguing.
There is never a dull moment in Ms. Ward's world.
So what have you been reading? What series kept you coming back for more and why?
Karen Michelle Nutt
Author of Time Travel and OtherWorldly Romances