Okay. I realized tonight, mid-writing-of-the-finale of my WIP, that yikes, it’s my Thursday to blog. I don’t know how I had it in my head that it was next Thursday or what triggered the duh, yikes awareness, but suffice it to say, I’m knee deep in villains and tears and heartache, and I’m about coherent right now as a stick, and I’m afraid that’s an insult to sticks everywhere.
So I’m going off the grid. Being unorthodox. Thinking outside the box. (What box?) Hitching a ride along Crazy Street… okay, I’ll stop.
I’m having a contest. In celebration of several of our MSWers who have books out right now (Rocki’s and Debra’s latest, and Laura’s next week–see our sidebar with the book covers–I think that’s all the newest releases)… and in honor of the upcoming holiday of Thanksgiving, where we all slouch around the house comatose after a meal (here in the states, though it is a highly recommended practice, for all of the rest of you, we welcome you in our festival of overeating and under-moving), where we can curl up in a chair and read…
Besides our MSWer’s books :D, name at least five other books that you would love to give for the holidays… in these categories:
(Note, for those of you who, like me, love a lot of different genres, it’s okay to mix ’em up… or go thematically with one genre. Whatever works for you. You can have more than one in any category if you’re having a difficult time choosing.)
1) Favorite book that changed your perspective about something in your life (and if you can, what that was)
2) Favorite “great escape” book that took you completely away from your problems, worries, or exhaustion, and is probably one that you re-read
3) Most recent favorite absolutely-could-not-stop-reading-it book, the one that you stayed up until you were finished
4) Favorite book that you did not expect to love or enjoy, which ended up grabbing you anyway.
5) Just a favorite, no particular category. 😀
Prizes: 5… as you could win one of FIVE $30USD gift certificates to an online bookstore of your choice. If you’re not a US resident, then an online bookstore that I can send you a gift certificate from is important–if you don’t have one, we’ll work out an alternate plan. DEADLINE: Saturday, noon, US Central time. CHECK BACK SUNDAY FOR THE WINNERS.
Okay here are my answers:
1) Outlander. I think Gabaldon broke so many “rules” that were touted in that era, that you absolutely must have the hero introduced early, that you couldn’t have a big book as a new author, that you couldn’t do time travel, etc., etc. The book is compelling and hooks you, though there’s not a real hint of any real danger for many many pages, and yet–it pulls you in beautifully. This taught me, as a writer, to listen to my own story instincts and quit worrying about what the “rules” are. It’s important to grasp what the rules are, and to have honed the craft well enough so that when you break them, you’re so compelling doing it that no one cares… but you can break them. [For readers, the change in your perspective will obviously not be about writing! so please do tell us.]
2) Welcome To Temptation. I had given up on romance back in the eighties, I think, and not for any particular reason other than I had begun to feel like they were all the same [they weren’t, I just wasn’t reading widely enough]. Also, no one was writing humorous romance [they were, I was just clueless]. Then a friend practically forced me to read Welcome to Temptation and I laughed and nodded and nodded and laughed and was in awe of la Crusie. I re-read it fairly often. Another favorite is Joanna Bourne’s My Lord and Spymaster. I hate the title and the cover and almost didn’t read this, but Bourne is amazing with both language and character and this is another one I re-read frequently. She just does so very much so very effing brilliantly, I would dearly love, from the bottom of my heart, to take some sort of master course from her. Or just sit somewhere for a few hours and pick her brain. I’d try to hold back the fawning. (I would probably fail.)
3) The Watchman. Author is Robert Crais, and this is Joe Pike’s novel, and I heart Crais and Pike and Elvis (Pike’s friend, who usually is the main character of this series). Pike doesn’t talk much, and I wondered how on earth Crais was going to pull that off without diluting that aspect of Pike, and he did it brilliantly. A master of suspense. As are Harlan Coben and Michael Connelly. Now there’s a triumvirate I’d also love to learn from.
4) The Iron Duke. Meljean Brooks’ newest, a steampunk novel, and she almost lost me when the description mentioned zombies. I was so not going to read anything about zombies (just not. my. thing.) but I think Meljean is one of the best there is at world-building and characterization, and her plots are always a labyrinth that are hellified difficult to guess ahead of time, so I trusted her. And it was worth it–I thought she pushed the envelope on the genre and did a damned fine job doing it.
5) Barely a Lady, by Eileen Dreyer — a historical romance that has everything it should have, and in just the right mix. I know it’s on a lot of top reads lists and it deserves to be there.
Okay, now your turn.