Sunday, December 31, 2017

Books read and books anticipated.

Same old me, but with new goals. I'm not counting the books I read anymore. I just need to escape into them.

Last week, I posted about the books I'm hoping to write. This week is about reading!

First a look back. Of course. I stopped keeping track of everything I read months ago. Usually, either Goodreads or my personal spreadsheet has (approximately) everything. I think because I was doing so much re-reading? Or because it was extra work to go to my computer to log it instead of downloading a new book? Anyway.

Some of my favorites were my multiple re-readings of Sarina Bowen, especially her college hockey series, Goodbye, Paradise and Hello, Forever and her collaborations (more hockey) with Elle Kennedy: Him, Us, and Good Boy.

So that's how I started reading more Male/Male romances - Cat Sebastian, KJ Charles, Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell, and so on.

I re-read Alyssa Cole's post-apocalyptic trilogy and then read her Civil War historicals. Anything she has coming out is now an auto-buy.

I've also re-read all of Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters one and a half times (waiting for book 13 to come in from the library. I own the first 10 or so in paper and ebook). There are still some in the series that I'm not a huge fan of, but she is maybe back on track with the newest one, Some Kind of Hero. I had a few problems with it, but it was a good read. Her best work recently, though, I would say was the trilogy of novellas starting with Free Fall. Honestly, though, it was clear she was trying to get out of the Troubleshooters rut with her paranormal/futuristic/suspense/romance book, but when it was panned (because, seriously, it wasn't that great and her world-building was mostly just confusing) and she got busy with other projects, her writing came to a halt. It appears, anyway. I don't know her whole story, but with the heroine of that book being and author who's just getting over massive writer's block, I'm guessing.

I was fascinated by Hillbilly Elegy, as a slice of life of the exact part of the world I grew up in. I strongly disagree with his conclusion that everyone should pull themselves up their bootstraps and the only way out is to have a strong family member who raises you right. Well, maybe it is, but having sh*tty schools and no food is definitely NOT the way, either. Giving the kids with no support network decent nutrition and an education sounds much more sensible to me. Just because he claims schools gave him nothing much (because he was busy being angry at his family and the world?), doesn't mean the schools themselves are to blame. Schools give back about as much as you put in and most teachers are trying really hard to bring in all the kids and get them to put in more.

I loved The Alice Network, but am having a hard time getting through The Lilac Girls. Both are about women spies and war.

I'm trying to think of what else I've read that I loved. Without writing things down, it's pretty hard!

So what am I looking forward to? 

Courtney Milan's Worth series doesn't seem to be moving forward. I adored the first book and the novella and then.... she did other projects, which are all fine, but I need those Worths. So maybe one of those this year, I hope?

And whatever the next Bowen/Kennedy Canadian WAGS hockey collaboration book is? Are there more?! I haven't been as entranced by her other collaborations, though I am, of course, along for the ride whenever she publishes anything at all.

Alyssa Cole's next Civil War book? I bet there's another one? Pretty please?

Monday, December 25, 2017


I've been working for the past nine months and have missed a total of 1.5 hours due to various appointments. I haven't been sick enough to take a day off and thankfully, no one else in my family has either. I've done a ton of overtime.

What I haven't done much of is writing.

I've abandoned the last books in my French series, because the first five haven't sold well and I just can't get up the creative energy. If anyone wants to know more about the next generation, there's a very rough rough draft for Francoise and a couple different partial attempts at Dario's story.

I have two books in my Oldies series (college kids, one of whom listens to 60s music, so the chapters are centered around the albums she likes best). I started a third one, but got bogged down in despair, when I can't even get an agent to look at the first one. I might be self-publishing these. I need a good editor, though.

I also started a fun Christmas novella that got too complicated. I have been working on it off and on for a couple of months now and am trying to simplify the backstory parts. It's going to be my main focus for the next little bit. I have to power through the first draft to figure out where it's going. I'm only on day 2 of the 12 days of Christmas, but I think I know where it's heading. I mean, other than through the next 10 days of Christmas. ;)

So now I'm going to use my blog as self-encouragement.

Happy Christmas!