What Are You Reading – Quick Five?

A Perfect DistractionOne of the joys of putting a book to bed, is that I can finally make time to do some reading. Most writers will tell you that one of the hardest things to make time for when you’re on deadline, is the thing we love most and what got us into writing in the first place – reading!

Over the past year, with the launch of A Perfect Distraction and the forthcoming launch of A Perfect Trade (as well as the as-yet-unnamed book 3) my TBR pile has gone nuts, as reading time has made way for ‘author’ time. Even though technically more than half of that mountain of books is on my iPad, you’d never believe it from the enormous piles of books spread across my office floor.

There is a sort of method to the madness, in that there’s a pile of category books, a pile of historical, a pile of romantic suspense … well, you get the picture. Then there is the pile of favourite authors’ latest books, which is right at the front, along with the pile of my best writing buds’ and Banditas’ books. Those are the priority reads when I get time! Somewhere in there is a pile of books for authors I would like to try.

Speaking of which, another excellent opportunity for reading is when we’re travelling – although on our recent trip to NY, I was working! – nothing like seven hours on a plane to give you uninterrupted reading time :).Β I usually save books in a series for when I’m travelling, because I can often read two or three in the series straight off.

LUD_382_LIV_COUV.inddSo, for this month’s Quick Five, I thought I’d get you to tell me about what reading recently:

1. What are you currently reading? What is the first line of the book?

2. Which book have you just finished and did you enjoy it?Β Which book is up next?

3. Do you read one book at a time or do you have several on the go?

4. Which authors do you have to move to the top of the pile when they release their latest?

5. What was the last new series you started?

And just because I love him … this cover so much – for your viewing pleasure, here is the cover of the French version of A Perfect Distraction (le sigh!)

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  • Jane says:

    Hello Anna,
    1. Currently reading Robin Covington’s “Sweet Southern Betrayal.” “Teague loved Washington, D.C.”
    2. Just finished and really enjoyed Nikki Narvaez’s “The Scars of Us.”
    3. I sometimes read several books at the same time.
    4. Besides the Banditas are Lisa Marie Rice, Laura Griffin and Loretta Chase.
    5. Can’t think of any new series I just started.

  • Hi Anna! Firstly, congratulations on getting the new book in. Can’t wait to read A PERFECT TRADE! You set the bar very high with A PERFECT DISTRACTION!

    Great quick five this month. OK, here’s my answers:

    1. I’m reading FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK, a YA by Melina Marchetta, an Aussie author. First line: A long time ago, in the spring before the five days of the unspeakable, Finnikin of the Rock dreamt he was to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save the royal house of Lumatere.

    2. Just today I finished CHARMED, a threefer Nora Roberts compilation from Harlequin that I got at a conference a couple of years ago. The three stories are CAPTIVATED, CHARMED and ENCHANTED. And I enjoyed them all very much.

    3. I used to be a one book girl but these days I seem to have a few on the go at once.

    4. The Banditas, Liz Carlyle, Carola Dunn, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

    5. Actually there’s a fourth in that Nora Roberts series that I’ve just ordered from the Book Depository, so I think that must count as the latest series for me.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Thank you so much, Anna! Not much pressure on the next book then LOL!

      Oh I loved that series by Nora – one of my favourites! Almost as good as the Three Sisters trilogy. I remember the fourth book came out a while after the first three, and it wasn’t released in the UK. In those days there wasn’t an Amazon to track the book down or an ebay – so I searched used book stores in the US every time we were over there until I found a copy.

      • Actually, Anna, this one was pretty annoying from the publisher’s point of view too. The volume had 1,3 and 4 (as you say 4 was a bit of an add on anyway, although very enjoyable). I’ve now had to buy a twofer to get 2 which also includes 1 which I’ve already got. Very bad play, Harlequin.

  • flchen1 says:

    How fun, Anna! And that IS a dreamy cover!

    I’m currently reading Patricia Briggs’s Bone Crossed. Its first line is, “I stared at my reflection in the mirror.”

    I did just finish Where Have All the Cowboys Gone by Kate Pearce and Mary Balogh’s An Unacceptable Offer.

    I used to read just one at a time, but now I’ve got several going–one or two in my purse/tote/car, at least one on the nightstand, one in the kitchen… πŸ˜‰

    Shelly Laurenston, Sarah Mayberry, Julie James, Joanna Bourne, Jeannie Lin, Ann Aguirre… actually, there are many more…

    Kate Pearce’s is the start of a trilogy, which thankfully I have on hand πŸ™‚ I LOVE a good series, but nothing is more awful than having to wait for the next book to be released πŸ˜‰

    Write faster, Banditas πŸ˜‰

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Fedora! Isn’t it funny how so many of us used to read one book at a time and these days we have several on the go – different books for different times and places?! I know I do.

      I love Julie James’ books – they remind me of our own Bandita Susan Sey!

  • Helen says:


    I am so looking forward to your next one I loved the first one πŸ™‚

    1. Uncovering Her Secrets Amalie Berlin . How could a woman be so afraid of a situation of her own making

    2. I just finished Tawny Weber’s Naughty Vegas Nights wow loved it and I am not sure what is up next lol way too many to choose from

    3. Normally one but lately I have often had two on the go one on the tablet and one on the e reader

    4. The Bandits πŸ™‚ Anne Gracie Shana Galen Annie West Michelle Douglas Pamela Palmer Donna Gallagher way too many to name πŸ™‚

    5. I can’t think at the moment I read so many series and love them all

    Have Fun

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Helen – aww thank you! I do hope Tru and Jenny’s story lives up to expectations πŸ™‚

      You’ve named some of my faves too – very much looking forward to the new books from Anne, Annie and Shana!

      I know what you mean – I’ve just finished two books (my upstairs book and my downstairs book!) and debating whether to go on a series binge or try something new.

  • Amy Conley says:

    Right now I am reading the soon to be released THE MASTERFUL MR MONTAGUE. And I am pretty sure this is a new serirs for her also.

    I just finishedA PROPER COMPANION by Candice Hern, a new author to me.

    I can’t read more than a book at a time. I feel like I’m losing something when I try reading 2 or mor books at once.

    I will probably read LOVING ROSE , also by Stephanie Laurens next.

    I try to read all of my ARCs first so by the time they come out I’m ready for comments, reviews, recomndations. My favorite ARC getting ready to be released on the 25th of this montb is Julie Ann Long’s BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND IAN EVERSEA. This book is what anyone who’read Ms Long’s Pennyroyal Green series has been waiting for, Ian’s capitulation into love.

    Last month while I was so sick I read several books from my TBR pile, TO PARIS WITH LOVE (?) by Elosie James, CONFESSIONS OF A CRACKED SOUTHERN BELL by Susan Rheinhart ( excellent book EVERY woman should read), Tessa Dare’s ANY DUTCHESS WILL DO, an older book but I’m looking through my piles of unread books for more from her, she’s a fav and also Julia Quinn’s THE BRIDGERTONS: Happily Ever After, her 2nd epilouges of the Bridgerton series which now I want to re-read, LOL.

    Since I just got a new batch of ARCs ( being an Avon Addict does have its perks) I have a list of about 6 books I will be reading within the next couple of weeks and after those are done first on the list is a Sophie Barnes book.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Amy – I hadn’t realised you were sick! Glad to hear you’re better and that you got to do some reading while you recuperated.

      I must admit I haven’t read any Julie Ann Long – I’ve heard so much about her books. Oh dear – is that another series for the TBR pile?!

  • Mozette says:

    1. What are you currently reading? What is the first line of the book?

    I’m currently reading ‘Wizard and Glass’ by Stephen King. It’s book 4 of the Dark Tower Series… first line is:
    ‘The town of Candleton was a poisoned and irradiated ruin, but not dead; after all the centuries it still twitched with tenebrous life – trundling beetles the size of turtles, birds that looked like small, misshapened dragonlets, a few stumbling robots that passed in and out of the rotten buildings like stanless steel zombies, their joints squalling, their nuclear eyes flickering.’

    2. Which book have you just finished and did you enjoy it? Which book is up next?

    I just finished ‘The Naughty Book for Girls’ by Candice Hill… and easy guide in finding out if you are a little naughty, really naughty or just a bad, bad girl who loves trouble. πŸ˜›

    3. Do you read one book at a time or do you have several on the go?

    I usually have one main book going and read a lighter book on the go.

    4. Which authors do you have to move to the top of the pile when they release their latest?

    I don’t. I read books years after they’ve been released… they’re cheaper and are easier to read after all the hype is gone. πŸ˜€

    5. What was the last new series you started?

    I don’t read new series… I’m into reading book series that are old and have been around the block a few times… πŸ˜€

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Mozette – I seem to remember you were reading one of the Stephen King Dark Tower series the last time I did a reading Quick Five! I don’t think I’ve read one of his books since Carrie – other than the first part of his book On Writing.

      Interesting that you don’t start new series – your tbr pile must be much more manageable than mine! πŸ™‚

      • Mozette says:

        Yeah… I know. I’m reading all 8 of the Dark Tower Series and they’re all huge books! πŸ˜€

        I took a short break to read something else between book 3 and book 4… and now I’m into book 4, I’m loving it! πŸ˜€

        With reading an old series, I love it because the hype is gone, people have read it, the mini-series was made and shown on tv or Foxtel and the movie is now on dvd… I can read it and not worry about who thinks what about it… just enjoy it or hate it for what it is, was and will always be. πŸ™‚

  • Shannon says:

    1. Loc.889. That’s so I get back to where I was in The Lord of War: Black Angel by Kathryn Le Veque. First line: She’d had the dream before.

    2. The last novella I finished was The Duchess of Love by Sally MacKenzie, a prequel to her series. It was a light bit of fluff that had two pretty innocent characters who meet and instantly fall in love. A delightful scene of a naked duke and a bonnet. The last novel I finished was My Lady Quicksilver by Bev McMaster, the third in her Steampunk/vampire trilogy. I’m not a big vampire fan, but I loved the sweep of this love/political story. The ending wraps up several threads neatly and satisfyingly.

    3. I usually devour them one-by-one but for some reason, I have two open right now. I am afraid the Kindle is going to lose my place.

    4. Too many–Lynn Kurland, Jo Beverely, Mary Balough, G.A. Aiken, Anna Campbell, Sarah MacLean, Julie Ann Long, Jennifer Ashley, Lauren Willig, Grace Burrowes…. I’ll stop misspelling there. Lots and lots.

    5. Cathy Maxwell’s The Bride Says… I hate her. Her hook at the end of book 1 is making me long for book 2. I was lucky when I found her all three of the Chattam books were in print.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Shannon – I always worry about that too. Especially with the Kindle app on my iPad. It seems more temperamental than the one on my phone or my actual Kindle.

      I always think it’s a great compliment to an author that you read something of hers in a genre you’re not usually a fan of and love it. I was like that with Jess Andersen’s Nightkeepers series. I bought them because Jess is a dear friend, but continued reading them because I loved them, even though that kind of book is not normally my thing.

    • Hey, thanks, Shannon!

    • Amy Conley says:

      Shannon, I’ve already read the first two of Kathy’s newest series. I mut admit, I was a bit leary since I bwasn’t sure she could top the Chattem series. A small preview, she does, in spades. You will be very happy. πŸ™‚

  • Minna says:

    1. Fossil Legends of the First Americans by Adrienne Mayor.
    “As I noted in The First Fossil Hunters (2000), the original pathbreaker in combining folklore and paleonthology was the French naturalist Goerges Cuvier (1769-1832).”

    2. I just finished Response By Penny Jordan, turned into manga. Did I enjoy it? Not really. The story was the kind of story I love to hate! I would really need some brain bleach after reading that one.
    Next… I think I read one of my old in Death books. or maybe the Fabric of the Cosmos By Brian Greene.

    3. I have several books on the go. Especially now that I have an e-reader full of ebooks besides the ink and paper books.

    4. J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts and then there are some Steampunk authors, like Bev McMaster, Cindy Spencer Pape and Jax Garren.

    5. Gaslight Chronicles By Cindy Spencer Pape.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Minna – you must be happy with your hockey team taking bronze from the USA. I was rooting for you to beat Sweden!

      I LOVE the JD Robb books and am sad that I’m more or less up to date with them. I’ll get the new one for my birthday – a long time to wait, but then it’ll be a shorter wait until the next one comes out!

  • Becke says:

    Wow! That French cover model sure sparks some fantasies. Congratulations on the completion. There is nothing like that time right after “the end” and “before once upon a time” for a writer.

    1. What are you currently reading? Reining in the Rancher-Karen Templeton
    What is the first line of the book? Staring at some long-gone hoochie’s phone number etched into the stall door six inches from her nose, Thea Benedict tried for the third time to snap her jeans closed.

    2. Which book have you just finished and did you enjoy it? Death and Hot Pink Leg Warmers-Diane Kelly Yep, her character Tara is fun.
    Which book is up next? D/T and Green Tea Ice Cream

    3. Do you read one book at a time or do you have several on the go? I can only handle one plus working on my own.

    4. Which authors do you have to move to the top of the pile when they release their latest? I avoid that and go with the flow. There are so many great authors, which doesn’t help us as authors.

    5. What was the last new series you started? Diane’s Death and Taxes

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Becke – isn’t he delish?! And very close to how I’d imagined Jake to look too. Thanks – usually I’d agree with you, but this time I’m so glad to get the edits done on the book and to finally dive into the next book!

      I love Karen Templeton’s books. I have so many of her older books on my keeper shelves. She certainly knows how to open her books with a great hook!

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Anna, what a lovely cover for the French A PERFECT DISTRACTION. Oh, my, he’s so ,.. continental!

    I’ve just finished reading THE ROSIE PROJECT, a lovely, first-person tale of an Asperger’s-type fellow who sets out to find a wife.

    And THE LIGHT BETWEEN THE OCEANS. I’m also beginning to re-read Anne Perry’s William Monk books, which got me through my heart surgery 14 years ago. They’re even more enjoyable the second time around.

    Congratulations on your imminent release and, of course, the Frenchman who makes hearts pitter patter.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Jo! He certainly is πŸ˜‰ I may have to rethink my views on the French LOL

      It’s interesting how many characters are coming into popular culture with Asperger’s. I’m about to start watching the second series of The Bridge (the original Danish-Swedish one) – the female detective in that is such a fascinating character and so well-played.

  • catslady says:

    1. Ain’t a bleedin’ bedamned room t’be had in all a bleedin’ Lun’nun, guv!” Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes.
    2. The Virtuoso by Grace Burrowes and loved it.
    3. Darius by Grace Burrowes (do you see the pattern here lol).
    4. It’s always historicals first but I slip in a different genre now and then.
    5. The Windhams by guess who lol.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi catslady! LOL – so something tells me you like Grace Burrowes. Clearly this is another author to add to my TBR mountain. Luckily I can probably hide her away on my iPad πŸ˜‰

      That’s funny because I tend to gravitate to the romantic suspenses and then switch back to the other genres!

  • Caren Crane says:

    Anna, that French cover for A PERFECT DISTRACTION is…well…distracting to say the least!

    1. I am still reading (re-reading) A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY by John Irving. He is one of my very favorite authors. First line: “I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice – not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.” Irving does good semi-colon. πŸ™‚

    2. Before that I read Amy Andrews’ GIRL LEAST LIKELY TO MARRY. It was a hoot! I love Amy’s books and plan to devour all of them when time permits. This one was especially great because the heroine was a rather Asperger’s scientist. I adored her!

    Up next will be two short stories: Deb Marlowe’s A SLIGHT MISCALCULATION and Deb Smith’s THE YARN SPINNER. These are both set in the world on ongoing series by these authors (Deb M’s HALF MOON HOUSE and Deb S’s THE MACBRIDES – CROSSROADS CAFE). Love them both!

    3. I generally have several books or articles or whatever going at once. Right now, though, I’m only reading A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY and the last two issues of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. This week’s has the Oscar predictions. I am also watching nominated documentaries and feature films this weekend to see what all I’ve missed in the past year!

    4. The following get moved right to the top of the pile: Susan Sey, Deb Marlowe, Deb Smith, John Irving, Harlen Coben, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Liz Carlyle, JD Robb.

    5. The last new series I started is tough, because I don’t recall when some of them started. I think it was Christina Brooke’s WESTRUTHERS, though I’m not sure if that was before or after I started Deb Smith’s THE MACBRIDES. Then again, maybe it was your Ice Cats! Who can know for sure? πŸ˜€

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Oh my, yes – he … it is! πŸ˜‰

      I love a writer who can give good semi-colon!

      See, another Asperger’s character!

      This is the problem with belonging to such an awesome group of writers – Bandita books are always on top of my pile! I tend to use them as rewards for when I get my word count or finish a book. They’re a great incentive!

  • Pissenlit says:

    Oooh, pretty French cover but, I’m still partial to the original. What can I say? I like hockey. πŸ™‚

    1. I’m currently reading David Weber – Honor Harrington 03 – The Short Victorious War. The first bit consists of two quotes, “What this country needs is a short, victorious war to stem the tide of revolution.” and “The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions.” but the first sentence of the story proper is, “Hereditary President Sidney Harris watched the long cortege wind out of sight along the Promenade of the People, then turned his back upon it.”

    2. I just finished David Weber – Honor Harrington 02 – The Honor of the Queen. After my current book, I’ll probably end up reading David Weber – Honor Harrington 04 – The Field of Dishonor.

    3. I used to read up to 4 books at a time but nowadays, I read 2 at a time, at most. I’ve only got one going at the moment.

    4. I don’t really have a top of the pile. Well, I suppose I do…ish…but what I read next always has to do with what I feel like next. So even if I’ve moved some authors’ books to the top, if I’m not feeling like it, I might not read those books till much later.

    5. David Weber’s Honor Harrington series is the last new series that I started(if you haven’t noticed :D). The one before that, I think was Jaye Wells’ The Prospero’s War series where the first book, Dirty Magic, came out in late January.

    • Pissenlit says:

      Oops, I forgot to say that yes, I did very much enjoy The Honor of the Queen. πŸ˜€

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Aww thank you, Pissenlit they’re both great covers in different ways. I’m very lucky. Hopefully the cover for A Perfect Trade will be lovely too.

      I hadn’t heard of David Weber’s Honor Harrington series, but went and looked them up after seeing your fascination with them! What fun that they’re also going to be released as graphic novels. One of my dreams is to have a book released in manga – I think A Perfect Distraction would be great in manga, but I dont’ get to choose πŸ˜‰

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    Reading Fear Nothing by Lisa Gardner. First line: Rockabye baby on the treetop. Just finished A Chance For Love by Karolyn James. It was a simple sweet read. I usually have two books going at once, one on my Kindle, the other print. At the top of the pile Marie Force, Lori Foster, Jill Shalvis, Carly Phillips, Robyn Carr, Lee Child, David Rosenfelt, and Alex Kava. Just discovered Elisabeth Naughton and Suzanne Ferrell. Latest series I started is Perfect, Indiana by Barbara Longley. It’s fantastic. With s The heroes or heroines are war vets suffering from PTSD. The arrive in Perfect and find healing and love.

    • Aw, thanks Debbie. I’m glad you found me, too!

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Debbie. Ah you’ve just mentioned one of my absolute favourites – Lisa Gardner. I’m such a huge fan girl about her books. She and Karen Rose are not only top of the pile authors, but hardback authors too!

      I’ve heard a few poeple mention Barbara Longley. Will have to check her books out as they look great.

  • Hey Anna,

    Congrats on the upcoming release! YEA!! I’m working on the final edits to VANISHED, so my reading is a little on the tight schedule right now.

    1. What are you currently reading? What is the first line of the book?

    Kinked, by Thea Harrison

    Aryal floated and spun in the wild dark night.

    2. Which book have you just finished and did you enjoy it? Which book is up next?

    Seducing Charlotte by Diana Qunicy and yes I did enjoy it very much. Next will be STYXX by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

    3. Do you read one book at a time or do you have several on the go? Often I will read 2-3 at a time, unless I’m trying to meet some sort of publishing deadline. Then only one book at a time.

    4. Which authors do you have to move to the top of the pile when they release their latest?

    The Bandits, of course, Julie Garwood, Jayne Anne Krentz/Amanda Quick, Sandy Blair, Lorraine Heath, Jo Davis, Julia Quinn. JR Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon write such in depth books of their series, that I tend to set aside time to savor those slowly.

    5. What was the last new series you started? Jo Davis Sugarland Blues.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hey Suz – yay on those final edits. Can’t wait to get Vanished!

      Wow – did the Bandits come ahead of Julie Garwood on your list?! LOL

      I know what you mean – although I don’t read JR or Sherrilyn, I’m like that with some of my RS authors. I like to have the time to read and savour and ride the roller coaster!

  • Carol Cork says:

    1. What are you currently reading? What is the first line of the book?

    I’m currently reading Wicked Little Secrets by Susanna Ives…first line:

    Vivienne Taylor repressed a mischievous smile as she gazed at the female members of the Wesley Congregational.

    2. Which book have you just finished and did you enjoy it? Which book is up next?

    I’ve recently finished Viking Fire , a debut novel by Andrea R. Cooper. It had just the right mix of romance, action and intrigue.

    3. Do you read one book at a time or do you have several on the go?

    I like to totally engross myself in a book and so I only ever read one at a time.

    4. Which authors do you have to move to the top of the pile when they release their latest?

    Elizabeth Hoyt, Loretta Chase, Anna Campbell and Delilah Marvelle.

    5. What was the last new series you started?

    The Wicked Widows series by Manda Colluns.

  • I DO love that French cover and I really loved A Perfect Distraction! Can’t wait for the next one.

    1. What are you currently reading? What is the first line of the book?

    Actually, I am currently reading CREATING CHARACTERS : HOW TO BUILD STORY PEOPLE by Dwight Swain. I usually alternate between writing craft books and romance – sometimes reading one of each at the same time. As I am editing/finishing a book to send out to an editor who requested it my romance reading is on hold. The first line of Swain’s book reads :

    The core of character, experience tells me, lies in each individual story person’s ability to care about something; to feel, implicitly or explicitly, that something is important.

    2. Which book have you just finished and did you enjoy it? Which book is up next?

    I just finished Vampire Most Wanted by Lynsay Sands and I really enjoyed it! I think Elizabeth Hoyt’s new one or Julia London’s new one will be next.

    3. Do you read one book at a time or do you have several on the go?

    As I said, I usually have one research or writing craft book going at the time along with one romance novel at the time.

    4. Which authors do you have to move to the top of the pile when they release their latest?

    Any of the Bandits, of course! And Elizabeth Hoyt, Courtney Milan, Erica Monroe, Grace Burrowes, Loretta Chase, Sabrina Jeffries, Madeline Hunter – good grief, I could go on for days!

    5. What was the last new series you started?

    The Black Dagger Brotherhood actually. I just started it this year and I am really enjoying it!