Posted by Suzanne Ferrell May 21 2013, 12:40 am in baseball, books, Lost & Found, Rocky-the-wonder-dog, writer's life
Do you ever lose things? No, I’m not talking about your cell phone or car keys. Those I can keep track of quite nicely. I mean things you’ll need once in a while or months later? You’ve put this object or objects away in a “safe” place so you’ll remember where to find it and when you go to get it…it’s not freaking there!! Yep, I’m having some problems with that these days.
Sometimes you know something is gone forever, but good news pops up anyways! But then sometimes you’re looking for one thing and find another! And sometimes, you find what you were looking for and it turns out better than you ever imagined!
Example #1. Baseball Tickets.
My husband and I are HUGE baseball fans. We currently have 2 favorite teams. Our #1 team is always The Cleveland Indians. (I’ve done entire blogs about the team!!) Our #2 team is the Texas Rangers, our new home team. We root for them as long as they aren’t playing The Indians. Hubby’s birthday is a few days before the annual start of Baseball season, so after we moved to Dallas, I started buying him tickets to the series of games when Cleveland played here against Texas. Yes, he was quite shocked. Every year I try to get better seats, near the field and right behind the visitors, (Cleveland)’s dugout. Well, this year the tickets came and unfortunately I didn’t put them away where I would find them.
So, after a massive search of the house and no sign of the tickets, I reach out to the Rangers ticket office.
Ah! The lovely man on the other end of the line chuckled. “Happens all the time, ma’am. Just have your husband present the email with the confirmation at the ticket office anytime before the game and we’ll print him up new ones.” HALLELUJAH! Did I mention he was a lovely man?
Example #2. Rocky’s coat scratcher.
A while back I noticed Rocky-the-wonder-dog’s coat was looking a bit mangy. He’s a short-haired dog, so he sheds the extra thickness in his coat every year about this time. I went to look for his coat scratcher, It’s this metal thing with zigzag teeth that I pull through his coat and it thins out his coat, bringing all the old dead hair with it. Could. Not. Find. It. Anywhere. It wasn’t in the usual spot where I always put it when I’m done. What the heck did I do with it? The more days I couldn’t find it, the mangier poor old Rocky looked.
So, while I was hunting for tickets, what do I find? Yep! Rocky’s coat scratcher, outside, behind the chest where we store the out door furniture cushions in the winter. (Why was I looking for tickets out there? I was desperate, I tell you, desperate!) So, I spent the entire morning grooming Rocky, who did the bend-myself-in-two-because-it-feels-so-good act he does when I scratch him and now his coat is smooth and he looks way happier.
Example #3. VANISHED.
A number of years ago, I was working on a book to follow KIDNAPPED and HUNTED. I’d started the book and then for presonal reasons, decided to change the entire book. So I began again, different premise, same characters. I worked on it for some time, but my heart was never into the new pages. In the mean time I had a WADD (Writer Attention Defecit Disorder) moment or two and moved on to other projects, eventually selling The Surrender of Lacy Morgan to Ellora’s Cave.
Then I decided to try my hand at self publishing. KIDNAPPED and HUNTED were out, but I knew I had more books in the series. I decided to make a novella with the married brother of the Edgars’ clan, Dave and his wife Judy. That turned into SEIZED, which will be out in June of this year.
In the meantime, I revisited the idea of Luke’s story, (the youngest brother in the Edgars’ family). Unfortunately, my old computer died a year ago and when I moved files from it to this new one…I somehow manage to lose both the new and old stories I’d started for Luke. Dang it! I was going to have to start from scratch!! Sigh.
Well, back in January, I spent an entire 3 weeks unable to talk…no voice. So one day I’m sitting in my office staring at the hutch on my desk, when what do I spy? This little box containing those 3.5″ square discs I used to save my manuscripts to. OMG! You don’t think I could’ve possibly saved that original story there?
A quick investigation found one labeled LUKE. OMG!! Hubby opened it on his computer, because my new one doesn’t have a drive for that and then he emailed it to me. Wha-la! There it was in all it’s glory!! Hallelujah!! I sat and read it. I still loved this original beginning and now felt it was the perfect way to tell Luke’s story.
And the best part?
It was 12,500 words!!!
The working title is VANISHED, not because I couldn’t find it, but for other reasons, but hey, if the pun fits!! And hopefully, if I work really hard on it, YOU might get to read it in the fall.
So, do you ever lose things? Ever have something turn up when you least expect it? What was the oddest thing you ever lost? What was the most IMPORTANT thing you ever lost?What do you lose more than anything?
Posted by Caren Crane Apr 21 2012, 1:13 am in book clubs, books, Caren Crane, David Sedaris, ella minnow pea, Genres, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Shakespeare, something different, The Weird Sisters, what are you reading
Maybe because many people know I write, I’m often asked what I’m reading. I read a ton of books every year, especially considering I work full-time. I buy, beg and borrow lots of books in lots of different genres and sub-genres, and people are sometimes surprised at what I’m reading.
I also belong to a book club with about 14 other people at work. We take turns picking a book for each month, then meet for lunch once a month to discuss the book. This can be a bit like herding cats for the facilitator, but makes for energetic and lively conversation. It also forces me to read books I would not normally pick up. My sisters, mother, daughters and sometimes my son, recommend books they are sure I will love. Almost 100% of the time, these books are nothing I would ever pick up in a million years. Many, however, have turned into some of my favorite books of all time.
I wanted to share some of the most interesting books I have read lately that may not have crossed your radar, so here is a short list of books you may want to pick up if you’re looking for something different:
1. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown – This book is women’s fiction and is a tale of three grown (30ish) sisters. Their father is a Shakespearean scholar and professor and they grew up in a small college town in Ohio. They are brought home when their mother is diagnosed with cancer – and due to circumstances in their own lives. The two most interesting things about this book, to me, were: 1) the exceptional and excellent use of third-person collective, omniscient POV; and, 2) the insistent interweaving of childhood anecdotes throughout the book. A fun, fast read that feels different. This was a book I picked for book club based on reviews and I was very happy with my choice.
2. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark – This book is set in the Regency, during and after the Peninsular Wars. It is the story of two very different magicians who are attempting to resurrect “good English magic” and the trouble that ensues. My mother recommended this book to me and it was an absolute delight. It is also lengthy – almost 900 pages – so anyone who enjoys stories set during the Regency and also enjoys a bit of fun and magic in-depth character studies all set in a hefty book should enjoy this one. I have not had so much sheer reading delight in a long time (okay, since last summer’s plow through the whole A Song of Ice and Fire series – recommended and gifted to me by my son).
3. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris – If you’ve never read David Sedaris, you may not want to start with this book. His books are all hilarious collections of essays – some very true, some mostly true, some slightly true and some purely fictional. You get to decide which are which. For the beginner, I would recommend Holidays On Ice or Me Talk Pretty One Day. He is laugh-out-loud funny and tells painful truths about himself and all of us. This is a fairly recent (2008) collection of essays and, now that Sedaris is 50-ish, his painful truths of being middle-aged, living with a long-term partner, living in foreign countries, dealing with family and handling things like trying to quit smoking are even more searingly close-to-home for me than his earlier fare. This was a book club pick by another member and I was delighted she chose it.
4. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn – The original hardcover title was Ella Minnow Pea: a progressively lipogramatic epistolary fable, but apparently people were intimidated by that title, so they dumbed it down for us. This is a short, insanely fun book about a fictional island nation off the coast of South Carolina, where the inhabitants pay undying and very serious homage to their most famous citizen, Ned Nollop, the supposed creator of the well-known pangram “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” In the course of the book, letters from the pangram begin falling off the statue of Nollop in the town square and the reactive town leaders decide that as letters fall off, they must be excised from speech, writing and literature. Communication quickly becomes both difficult and frustrating for island inhabitants. The punishment? Public censure for a first offense, lashing or stocks (violator’s choice) upon a second offense and permanent banishment from the island nation upon the third. Compelling, fast-paced and a rollicking good time!
So what great book have you read lately that was different from your usual picks? Do you have friends, relatives or a book club that push your reading boundaries? Please share, because we all love to discover great new (to us) books!
Posted by Anna Campbell Jul 10 2011, 4:02 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, books, games
by Anna Campbell
I think it’s time we played a game!
Stay tuned, there’s your choice from my books to be won today!
Wahooooo as they say in the best of circles.
I’m kinda talking circles today – circles of HELL!
It’s strange where blog ideas come from – apart from the big shop of blog topics which is a branch of the big shop of stories where we authors purchase the prefab kits for our masterpieces.
This idea came from a stray Facebook post this week where someone said she was sitting in the coffee shop in a brick and mortar bookstore which didn’t have the book she wanted, so she ordered the book from Kindle. Shock, horror! The upshot was she asked her Facebook community if they thought she’d go to Book Hell as a result.
I made a joke about Book Hell being the place where every book you read has the last five pages cut out. Not an original line, sadly – there’s a wonderful scene in the original Peter Cook and Dudley Moore BEDAZZLED where one of the Devil’s little tricks is to cut the last page out of Agatha Christies before they’re sold.
Oh, the iniquity! Oh, the spite!
So I started to think, for a reader, what would Book Hell be like?
So I’m making you guys honorary naughty little imps for the day.
I know you’re all such angels that that’s going to be a huge stretch, but try, OK?
Well, for the Rooster it won’t be a stretch and Ermingarde is used to dark caverns lit by fire. But I’m talking about the rest of the Bandits and Bandita Buddies!
Oh, and if any of you need help deciding on which book of mine you’d like, here’s a link to the Books page on my website. Excerpts and blurbs enough there to keep you amused to the Crack of Doom.
Set fire to your imaginations and tell me what, to you, would constitute Book Hell! Would it be reading ALL the Black Dagger Brotherhood books and then having the last one withheld from you FOREVER? Would it be every romance you pick up featuring a hero called Murgatroyed? Let your wicked imaginations fly!
One lucky imp will win a very heavenly signed copy of one of my books – your choice.
And wishing you devilish good luck!
Posted by Christina Brooke May 11 2010, 4:04 am in books, Christine Wells, food, music, Sweetest Little Sin
by Christine Wells
With the Banditas shortly descending on Mickey Land and Joanie T’s determination to drag whoever will come with her on the It’s a Small World ride, I thought it fitting to do a tribute to all those catchy songs, TV shows, books, foods that you know are either in bad taste or bad for you but you just can’t get them out of your head or off your playlist or off your plate!
(Not that I would ever allege that It’s a Small World is in bad taste or bad for you, just so we’re clear! It’s the catchy part I was thinking of there. OK, Joanie? OK?)
Here’s my list:
Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out of My Head. Like the song says, I can’t get it out of my head once I hear it on the radio. Another catchy tune is the Woolworth’s supermarket Fresh Food People jingle (solely an Oz invention, I assume!) — caught myself humming along to that one in the supermarket the other day, talk about embarrassing!
And Tonight’s Gonna Be A Good Night by Black-Eyed Peas. They use a snatch of this song instead of a school bell at my son’s school and boy does that song run in annoying monotone circles round my brain all day!
Do you have any series that are just addictive? I can’t go past an Elizabeth George Inspector Lynley mystery. I just have to know what happens next in the saga of Inspector Lynley, even though I don’t care an awful lot about the murder mystery itself.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of reading matter, Marie Claire magazine. I buy it for the articles. Truly! I know it’s just a big ol’ waste of money but I can’t resist. Oh, look, free sunglasses this month. Shiny!
Wait for it… Entourage! Yes, I know, I know. It’s sick:) But I have to laugh sometimes at the parallels between the crazy ups and downs of Hollywood and the publishing world and shake my head over the insanity of it all.
I’m also getting a kick out of How I Met Your Mother, which brings back memories of my own crazy friends in those pre-married, pre-kid years. And look at that, Doogie Howser is all grown up!
The last one, which Vrai Anna recommended a while back is ACE OF CAKES. Not only do they make phenomenal cakes (anyone see the Hogwarts episode?) but they’re a fun group of people to watch.
My Sweetest Little Sin (yeah, you know I had to throw THAT in *G*) is choc chip cookies. I cannot resist them, especially the ones I make myself. I have to ban myself from the supermarket aisle with the choc chips in it so I don’t throw them in the trolley. I also cannot start the day without a jumbo cup of instant Moccona Indulgence coffee. I know. It’s sacrilege. I’m a coffee slob, what can I say?
Over to you, Bandita Buddies! What are your guilty little secrets, hmm? The winner will receive a signed copy of SWEETEST LITTLE SIN!
Posted by Kate Carlisle Oct 25 2009, 4:30 am in books, Bouchercon, Kate Carlisle, T-shirts, travel
Whew. After traveling back and forth to Las Vegas for my fabulous plot group, and Buffalo, New York, for my lovely niece’s wedding, and then up to Oregon to visit old friends, last week
I went through yet another airport security line, jumped on another plane and headed off to Indianapolis to attend Bouchercon
. That’s the convention that brings together authors, readers, librarians, booksellers, agents, editors and publishers from all over the world to celebrate the mystery genre. It was five days of fun and I had a blast meeting some of my favorite authors, having afternoon tea with a table full of delightful librarians from Ohio, attending my publisher’s cocktail party, and having a marvelous dinner with five super mystery authors, namely, Avery Aames
(Cheese Shop mysteries), Sheila Connolly
(Orchard mysteries), Maggie Sefton
(Knitting mysteries), Kate Collins
(Flower Shop mysteries) and Betty Hechtman
(Crochet mysteries). And in between the many panels and the bar scene and the Starbucks scene and the book signings, I got a chance to hang out with the marvelous Becke Martin (our own Treethyme) from Barnes & Noble’s online book club forums. What a treat!
I have to say, I loved the weather in Indianapolis. It was cold and clear and beautiful, every day. I got to wear jackets and scarves and my leather gloves. Gloves! Believe me, we don’t get many opportunities to wear gloves in southern California.
Because of all the crazy traveling, I recently went on a serious book buying binge. I always pack lots of books, hoping they’ll distract me while I’m waiting in cold airport lounges, or sitting in cramped airline seats several miles in the air, or trying to go to sleep in strange hotel rooms. I’m so thankful to Kristan Higgins and Lisa Kleypas for providing absolutely wonderful distractions on my last trip. I’m also very excited about all the books I’ve pre-ordered that will arrive in next week’s shipment: Jennifer Lyon’s SOUL MAGIC, Susan Mallery’s HOT ON HER HEELS, Lorna Barrett’s BOOKPLATE SPECIAL, Susan Donovan’s AIN’T TOO PROUD TO BEG, Nora Roberts’ BED OF ROSES, Diana Killian’s DIAL OM FOR MURDER, and Judi McCoy’s HEIR OF THE DOG. Good grief, I wonder when I’ll find the time to write my own book??
So, Bandita Buddies, time to share! Have you traveled anywhere recently? Where did you go and what did you do? Did you bring lots of books? What books are you looking forward to reading soon? Do you like to read when you’re flying–or do you have to drink three Bloody Marys and pop a xanax, just to climb on board the plane? Whoa, hey now, that’s not me!
I’m thrilled to be giving away an Advance Reader Copy of my February 2010 book, IF BOOKS COULD KILL to one lucky commenter today! So comment away!
Posted by Tawny Weber Oct 14 2009, 5:03 am in books, Rainy days, T-shirts, Tawny Weber
Ahhh, the rainy season is here.
It’s pouring outside right now. This is our first rain in our new house and its really interesting to listen to the sound of the rain pounding on the skylight, to watch it play out against the backdrop of the redwoods outside my window.
Rain is definitely one of those things you appeciate more from indoors, isn’t it? Although I do have to say, I’m ever-so-grateful for whoever designed the darling raingear for outdoor wear. Have you seen some of the clever boots that are out now? Oh man, I love the edgier rock-star ones. I’d wear them anywhere (actually I’m thinking of making rainboots a standard fashion statement, worn with jeans, leggings, skirts- indoors and out. My daughters are concerned and asking not to be seen in public with me if I do, but I think it could catch on. What do you think?)
Maybe it’s my natural inclination toward footwear, but while I’m all hot for the boots, I’m sort of ‘eh’ over raincoats. Yes, I realize there are some really chic and fashionable ones, but I just can’t get into them. Maybe if they made cuter ones for adults, like they do kids?
But despite my current obsession with rainwear, I’m unfortunately always -ALWAYS- without an umbrella. I don’t get it, I own them. Every season I buy at least one new one. But I can never find them – especially when it’s raining. So while my feet are comfy and dry, I usually show up wherever I’m going with wet hair.
These are, I’m sure, along with miserable traffic, the reasons that rain really is an indoor delight (and yes, the reason I’m trying to make cute rainboots an indoor/outdoor fashion statement). Indoor rainy days are simply made for cuddling. For quiet pursuits like crafts or baking. Or best of all, for reading. I hear the rain hitting the windows and my fingers actually twitch for a book. Like Pavlov’s dog, I’m trained to read in the rain.
There’s nothing better than spending the evening curled up next to the fire, with the rain pounding away, a hot toddy or hot buttered rum and some deliciously decadent baked treat next to me while I lose myself in a wonderful romance. Or, if my daughter is reading with me, reading aloud Harry Potter or Percy Jackson along with some popcorn (or caramel corn if I’m feeling super indulgent) and hot cocoa. I’ll even settle for an afternoon with my laptop, writing my own romance while sipping iced tea (what can I say, it’s a year-round addiction) and nibbling on something healthy like fruit.
The time of day, the drink of choice and the snacking deliciousness are all interchangeable. But it’s always about the story, the rain and the deep feeling of relaxation.
How about you? Do you like rainy days? Are they reading time for you, or do they inspire some other form of entertainment? What’s your favorite rainy day reading treat to snack on?
And seriously, don’t you think cute rainboots could be an indoor fashion statement? Really?????
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Aug 28 2008, 2:22 pm in alone time, books, Cheryl Brooks, NCIS, Project Runway, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Sophie Jordan, Suzanne Welsh, The Closer
by Suzanne Welsh
My husband is out of town this week, so I’ve got the house all to myself. While I miss his company immensely, I love being alone.
Mind you, I didn’t say I like being lonely. In fact, I rarely feel lonely. Between the internet which allows me to chat with all the Banditas; my AOL chats with my sister, mother and at least two of my kids; and the phone which rings constantly with people worried about the state of my estate, my FHA loan rate and my need for exotic vacations in places no one has ever heard of, I’d say I have plenty of contact with people. In fact, at my work people leave their nice warm comfy beds just to come to see me…patients because of their labor and doctors because I took the time to call them! And then there is the gaggle of nurses, who love to chat into the wee hours of the night! All these interactions with others is good and provides fodder for both story ideas and characterizations.
No, I’m rarely lonely, but I do enjoy having time for me and my thoughts. I enjoy putzing around the house in my pajamas with no one home to wonder if I’m “getting dressed” today. Rocky, the wonder dog, doesn’t mind at all! He knows that jammies mean one of two things. Either I’m writing all day or we’re heading back to bed for a long nap at some point.
When I’m home during the daytime the television is never on. The CD player on the other hand is. I enjoy listening to mood music while I write. In an action scene? Usually you’ll hear some ZZTop or Lynard Skynard pounding out in my office. A sexy scene? Some Sade or Alison Krauss.
Having alone time in the evenings allows me some freedom to catch up on reruns of The Closer, NCIS (a very cool, underrated show in my opinion) or any CSI, and the latest Project Runway (did y’all see last nights outfits?!)…I already have my hopeful finalists picked out!
And then there’s the reading!! OMG…let’s see I just finished Sherrilyn Kenyon’s ACHERON,(absolutely loved it) and am reading Sophie Jordan’s TOO WICKED TO TAME, (very good so far!). SLAVE by Cheryl Brooks is next on my list.
One other project I’m starting this week is a scrapbook for a Christmas present for one of my daughters. (can’t tell you which one since they occasionally read this blog!)
So do you enjoy having alone time? When you do, what do you indulge in?
Posted by Anna Campbell Jul 10 2008, 4:30 am in Anna Campbell, Bandita Booty, books, C.S. Harris, Kathleen O'Reilly, Nicola Cornick, reading, untouched
by Anna Campbell
Among my favorite bits of bulletin boards are the “What are you reading now?” threads.
People list the last book they read, the book they’re reading and the next one off the TBR pile.
It’s fun from a whole heap of viewpoints. It shows what people are actually reading rather than talking about. It introduces me to writers I’ve never heard of but often end up enjoying. It reveals individual reader tastes in a way I find fascinating. Even HarperCollins have put their money where their mouth is in agreeing that people find what other people read endlessly interesting. On their newly revamped website, there’s a place for authors to list books on their bedside table. You can find mine here. Just keep clicking refresh and you’ll see a list of my current reading.
Anyway, I thought we’d play that today! I also thought I’d talk about a couple of books I’ve read recently that I really liked. In case any of you are coming to the bottom of the TBR pile and need some additions. (Laughs hollowly!)
The first is THE LAST RAKE IN LONDON by Nicola Cornick, who is extremely talented and, curses, up against me in the Regency RITA category with her wonderful LORD OF SCANDAL. LAST RAKE was written as part of Mills & Boon’s 100th anniversary celebrations this year. For anyone who doesn’t know, M&B in London started the category romance juggernaut and are part of the Harlequin empire.
LAST RAKE is set in the Edwardian era which is great fun. You get cars and Suffragettes and telephones. The heroine is an independent, emotionally scarred woman called Sally Bowes who runs the Blue Parrot nightclub (perhaps it’s because I’m an Aussie, but I kept reading that as P*ssed Parrot nightclub – clearly I have no class!). Enter our hero, the dashing, extremely sexy Jack Kestrel, heir to a dukedom, rake and alpha male, who sees Sally and immediately decides he must have her. Do I need to say more to get you interested?
The next on my whirlwind list of recommendations is what I can only describe as a Regency noir! It’s WHAT ANGELS FEAR by C.S. Harris. This is the first book in a mystery series, featuring the seriously tortured but extremely sexy Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin. I honestly couldn’t put this down – it’s dark, it’s desperate, it’s terrifically romantic. C.S. Harris used to write fantastic historical romances as Candice Proctor and you can see that background here in the emotional depths and the strong characterization. I’ve got the next two books on the TBR pile and I’m having trouble keeping my hands off them. I’ve got a manuscript to finish before I allow myself a reading binge. I already know Sebastian St. Cyr isn’t the man who will let me put him aside after a couple of pages so I can get a good night’s sleep and front up to work all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the next day.
The last book I’m recommending is a Blaze by Kathleen O’Reilly and again, it’s the first in a series. SHAKEN AND STIRRED is about one of the sexy (OK, I’m overusing this adjective, but sometimes the right word is the right word and nothing else will do!) O’Sullivan Brothers and the stories center around a bar in New York. What I loved about this story aside from the emotion, the fantastic characters and the beautiful writing (hmm, perhaps that’s ENOUGH to love!), is how real it all felt. The world was so rich, compelling and tangible. When you read this story, you know these people, you know their environment, and you live through every moment. Great stuff!
So here’s my list for the game:
The last book I read: DARK AND DANGEROUS by Jeanne Adams. Fantastic!
The book I’m currently reading: SEX STRAIGHT UP by Kathleen O’Reilly. Need I say more?
The next book off the TBR pile: NOT WITHOUT HER FAMILY by Beth Andrews.
So over to you. What are you reading? Do you have any recommendations for must-reads? Inquiring minds want to know!
I got such a lovely response to my last blog where I offered a copy of CLAIMING THE COURTESAN to someone who hadn’t read it, this month, I’m offering a signed copy of UNTOUCHED. Same deal. Please just mention in your comment if you want to be in the draw for the book. Good luck! And may the Games begin! I look forward to building a TBR pile that blocks out the sun.
Posted by Suzanne Ferrell Mar 27 2008, 7:32 pm in art, books, music, Suzanne Welsh
by Suzanne Welsh
As a mother I’ve said to my kids I love you the same, but different. (How many of us have said that?) Well it’s true. Take my girls for example. Both my daughters are singers, artists and readers. I take great pride in all this, but swear I had little do with their development other than pass on some genes. While they’re similar in their talents, a fact that still amazes their father and me, they are unique in their styles.
Music: Both girls have been soloists in school and church groups since elementary school. Alison is the soprano who loves blues and rock-a-billy these days. I think the mournful guitar riffs of the blues speak to that deep part of her soul, while the other is just plain fun. Lyndsey loves Christian Rock and punk. The girl can sing soprano and alto and has an ear for harmonies like you wouldn’t believe. As their mother, I could listen to both of them sing forever. And given the chance they still perform for audiences in blues bars or churches.
Art: Since they drew their first crayon compositions on their bedroom walls, they’ve always been drawing. As they’ve grown their art has evolved into their own styles.
Alison’s is very realistic. As you can see by these examples, she likes to draw people in their quieter, more introspective selves. She works with inkings and
pastels on large sheets of drawing papers. I love the intensity, the raw emotions they touch inside. Alison is all self taught, well except for that one semester in college. And recently has been showing her work in galleries in the Deep Ellum Art district.
Lyndsey is a lover of the manga style of art. A very vibrant and fun style, full of surprises. She’s had more classes to develop her understanding of art, but her style is strictly her own. She sketches on paper, scans it into the computer, then does the coloring by computer. Which given the details and special effects, you can see aren’t easy. Each and every picture she develops amazes me and makes me smile. The one above of the girl with the glowing shield uses special light effects. The one below with the hands was a painting she did for a charity. And currently she’s working with a Christmas Card company doing fun cards.
Books: Here is where I had a little influence in their tastes. Well, okay maybe a lot. From the moment they were born, I read to them, and they always saw me reading. I encouraged them to read, took them to the bookstore on a regular basis. And when I started writing, they learned how much I love the romance genre. Alison is all over the spectrum with her reading choices, Ann Rand, Sylvia Plath, Sherrylin Kenyon, Elizabeth Lowell, and anything with fantasy, Tolkein and J K Rowling. Lyndsey loves sweeter romances, such as Debbie Macomber; Kinley MacGregor, especially the old Pirate books; and fantasy books such as Gena Showalter and Cathy Spangler.
So what does all this have to do with a romance writing blog? Simple, just as I love my daughters the same but different, so do I love the many subgenres of romance. I love to be whisked off to a new dimension with space heroes and vampires. Give me a good psychic contemporary suspense to read late at night when the house is creepy silent. Give me a historical that makes me yearn for years gone by. Make me laugh, make me cry, make me go YUMMO at the heroes.
And sadly, I write the same way. I love to step back in time and create my version of history. I love creating the American contemporary small town and all the zany characters. I love to have the good guys defeat the bad guys and get the girl. Perhaps someday I’ll find my one niche, but for now, I love them all…the same, but different.
So how about you? Is there anything you’re so passionate about you can’t see any other style? Or are you like me, a bit of a smorgasbord reader/writer?
Posted by Kate Carlisle Mar 8 2008, 6:34 am in books, Kate Carlisle
By Kate Carlisle
Whenever readers and writers get together, the conversation eventually winds its way around to books. It’s our common bond.
Here in the Lair, we’re always talking about our favorite books and authors.
We’ve had posts that reminisced about the first romance we ever read.
We’ve interviewed wonderful guest authors whose latest books have hit the shelves.
We’ve had fabulous parties to celebrate our own Banditas’ book releases.
We love books!
So today I’m wondering … what are you reading right now? Are you loving it? And what’s coming up next on your TBR pile? Do you read more than one book at a time? Are you always buying more despite the very real threat of an avalanche pouring down from your bookshelves and burying you alive?
Me, too. And despite that, I just finished another book-buying frenzy. I’m not sure where I’m going to put them all. I might need a bigger house …
But never mind that little detail. Let’s talk books! I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. Books, I mean! I’ll go first.
I just finished Deanna Raybourn’s Silent in the Sanctuary, the second book in her fabulous Lady Julia Grey Victorian mystery series. I’m sort of hooked on Victorian mysteries lately.
Another favorite is Tasha Alexander, who writes the Emily Ashton Victorian mysteries. Her latest, A Poisoned Season, is next in line for me. After that, I’ve got the new J.D. Robb, Strangers in Death. I just love Eve and Roarke, don’t you?
And no list of my recently read books would be complete without mentioning two favorites. Namely, our very own Anna Campbell’s Untouched and Christie Kelley’s Every Night I’m Yours. I hate to gush so I’ll simply say, honestly, they were both absolutely fantastic!!
And if that’s not enough, I’ve ordered more books that I’ll be picking up this afternoon at my local RWA chapter meeting. We’ve got bestselling suspense author Lisa Jackson and her sister, mystery author Nancy Bush, speaking at the meeting and I ordered each of their latest books, plus two new Silhouette Desires by fellow chapter members Maureen Child and Charlene Sands.
So … that should take care of my reading needs for the next few days anyway!
How about you? Read any good books lately? What new authors are you excited about? And how about your old favorites? Does someone have a book coming out that you’d like to recommend? I’m always looking for someone new to read. And I’m giving away a $20 amazon.com gift certificate to one lucky commenter for sharing the news!