Sunday, March 8, 2009

Piles

by Cassondra Murray

No, I'm not talking about the disease. I'm talking about the mountains of books which surround me.


I've been reading, you see. I had a job change, and finally, after four years of having almost no time to do what I wanted, I have more time to write and...ahhhhh...to read. The reading marathon is actually what I'm doing to fill the well as I start down and dirty to work on a neglected manuscript.

My keeper shelf is sagging from the weight of having more books crammed in than should fit. The list of just-read, reading-now, and to-be-read has sprawled off of my "by the bed" bedroom shelf and is now piled up against the wall and my nightstand.


You know, the books that you just read but want to keep close because they made you feel so darn good? And then they get all mixed in with the ones waiting to be read, then when you're looking through the stack you see an old favorite, so you have to re-read it? Yeah.

It's sad really. All those books and nary a shelf to be had. Something must go. You know--I have to vacuum before the dust bunnies animate and eat the cats. I have to be able to get to the bed. I have to make room for MORE! Oh....uh...ahem...

Before the entire pile goes the way of all things, divided among "Keeper Shelf", "Pass On To Friends," and "Library Donations," I thought I'd share a few of the titles in my progressive pile. I've never done a What I'm Reading Now blog, so bear with me, as the choosing is nearly impossible. I'm bound to list way too many. I may break the blog with cover pictures. If there's only text at midnight, you'll know what happened. These are most of the books from the last three weeks. I'm hoping at the end of it you'll tell me if you've read the ones I'm reading, the ones I'm avoiding (yes there IS a category for books I'm avoiding, though not for the reason you think), about-to-read, and what you thought of them.


In order--sort of--here's the first couple of stacks in my pile.


What I've just read:


Y'all already know Kate's book is wonderful. She's the first Bandita to hit the NYT list, and she absolutely deserves that honor.

Homicide In Hardcover was a fantastic read. I've already read it twice. I loved the heroine, and I WANT MORE of the hero. Ahem (raises voice) AHEM, KATE! WE ARE GONNA GET MORE OF THE HERO IN FUTURE BOOKS AREN'T WE? Ahem. Okay....now to recover my sense of decorum.


Kate is to blame, you see, for a disturbing trend in my TBR pile. A complete deviation from my purpose--trimming the darn thing down--and she's corrupted me with a whole forgotten genre. It's romantic mysteries. I liked Kate's book so much that I went back to the shelf the following day (yes, I stayed up all night to read it) looking for more to feed the new habit. I bought two more books. And that, my friends, was the beginning of the end.


Right there on the shelf near Kate's book, in front of God and everybody, I found Madelyn Alt, and her Bewitching Mysteries.


Y'all have to read these books in order, starting with The Trouble with Magic. (No, of COURSE it's not required, but it's better that way. Trust me.) I didn't. I started with A Charmed Death, then I went back to the store and bought the entire series, and started over from the beginning . Yes, they're that good. So far my favorite is Hex Marks the Spot, but I've just picked up book four, and book five is due out in July. Circling like a buzzard I am. I immediately began stalking Madelyn and, mostly to get rid of me I'm certain, she's agreed to be our guest here in the lair when the next book comes out. Yay!

She has one of the hottest heroes in these books that I've read, ever. Subtle. Sexy. Nice in that way that could lure you in big time and make you not notice the wicked under the charm. Okay, somebody fan me now. But there are actually two guys....okay I'll shut up and move on. Y'all will like this series. I promise.

Another great read from the romantic mystery shelf is A Veiled Deception by Annette Blair.

I haven't read this whole series yet, but I'm starting on them next. Seriously Kate, you are SO on my list to smack next time I see you. You did this to me. Okay maybe I won't smack you. Maybe I'll buy you a drink instead.

All three of these authors weave a really good mystery plot, along with enough romance to keep me circling like a buzzard forever, waiting for the next installment.

Last but not least on the I-Just-Read-It pile is The Magic Knot by Helen Scott Taylor. I found
this book because Trish interviewed Helen weeks ago here in the lair. Remember, Helen was the American Title IV winner this last time. She was in the running with Trish and they were the last two. I just got around to reading this book last month.
I am so impressed with this story! This is a really good read, and Helen did a great job of creating a world and mythology--plus a hero that you can't help but love and a heroine who comes into her own in such a fulfilling way. If you haven't read this one yet, I recommend it.


Okay, ignoring all the other good reads piled up over there, I'm moving on.

Now for the TO-BE-READ stack:

Alas,I can include only a few.

Y'all know I love Susan Crandall. If you don't know her work, check out this link to the blog from last summer: http://romancebandits.blogspot.com/search?q=Susan+Crandall

Her latest, Seeing Red, was released in February. I've read the first two pages
and I can tell you it looks like her best one yet. Nobody does small town suspense better than Susan. I got interrupted (only two pages in, thank goodness, or I'd have been homicidal) and this book is sitting next to my lamp, making faces at me, taunting me that I haven't read it yet. Grrrrrr.

If I died having written a set of books even half as good as Susan's backlist, I'd die happy and fulfilled. Anyhow, Seeing Red is at the top of the pile.



Next up is Christie's new book, Every Time We Kiss. I loved Every Night I'm Yours, so I'm excited to get to this one.

Sorry about the cover picture from Amazon. It's the only one I could find that was large enough to include.

Christie sets up such interesting, different plots. That's hard to do with the number of historical romances on the shelves. It hasn't been out long. Have y'all read it yet?

There are four in the pile that I know nothing about. Three of them came from the RWA National conference last year and are still in line to be read.

They are as follows:

Dark Needs at Night's Edge by Kresley Cole, This one won't leave me alone because the guy on the cover looks strikingly like Erith from Anna Campbell's Tempt The Devil. Okay, fan me again.

The other two are by Victoria Alexander. I have What A Lady Wants and A Little Bit Wicked. Have y'all read any of these?

Now for my two other categories.

Books I've been avoiding


Tempt The Devil by Anna Campbell. Yes. It's a dark truth. I'm avoiding Anna's latest. But there's a reason.

You just don't trifle with an Anna Campbell book.

It will live with me for weeks. I'll read it two or three times immediately. I won't be able to focus for a while afterward. I know this. So I've been saving it. This week, however, I'm out of class for Spring Break (I've been taking a Spanish class). I have four glorious days with no work and no class. Then I have a long weekend of long hours ahead of me next weekend, but I'm thinking this week might be the time.


What do y'all think? Should I do it? I'm serious. Do you think I can recover for the weekend? I won't be worth a darn while I'm reading, or for a good while afterward. I'll have to be certain there are groceries in the house. Such is the power of a Keeper-Shelf author, and Anna is one.



The other one is a book Anna recommended to me. It's The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss. (Picture me, ducking flying fruit.) Yes, yes, I KNOW. EVERYBODY who loves romance has read this book. It's on more keeper shelves than any classic out there. But somehow I managed to get through years of reading and writing without finding this book. Anna made me get it.


Now I have it. I read the first few pages--into the first two or three scenes on the boat, and I admit that I had to stop. I didn't have the mental stuff to keep reading right then. Even Anna's Kylemore in Claiming the Courtesan didn't have this kind of effect on me. He was dark and haunted and even mean, but the situation was a little different, ya know? And Anna gave us, always, that glimmer of guilt to make us believe Kylemore was not what he appeared. With this hero, I've seen no glimmer as yet.

I have to pick it up again, but the hero is such a jerk, and he's treating her so horribly, that I just can't do it yet. I know, I KNOW...the worse they are, the harder they fall when they're redeemed, and the better we like it when they get their comeupance. I have to do this. I know it. I'll just have to be in a good frame of mind. We're heading out of winter when it's not so gray and depressing. Perhaps.....


Last, but far from least are the re-reads.

The first is what someone in the lair recently called a comfort read. I have a keeper shelf full of them. But a couple of weeks ago I pulled out an old faithful. One I didn't have to work so hard for because I've read it before . But it's still powerful enough to give me a solid fix.


That comfort read, recently has been Ain't She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. This is a forever keeper book for me. I'm not crazy about most of Susan's sports heroes, but this book, I love. I love everything about it.



The other re-read in recent weeks has been Tawny Weber's Risque Business .

I love this heroine. I love her all-too-real human-ness. I love what she learns about herself, outside and mostly, inside. I LOVE that Tawny could do this in a short book like a Blaze. Oh, and I love the steamy parts too.

Tell me, Bandita Sisters and friends, what are you reading right now?

Have you read any of the ones I've been reading?

Are there others you think I should be reading right now? Somthing I should drop everything, go out, buy, and read?

Have you ever avoided a book because you knew it would be too powerful and you weren't ready?

How do you decide whether a book is a keeper or is just passing through. I mean, we can't keep all of them. Can we? If you do keep them all, where do you put them?

Inquiring minds want to know.

144 comments:

limecello said...

!

Treethyme said...

You got it! For a minute I thought I'd be lucky, but it looks like the GR has already found a home for the night.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, no, I thought I was going to get him! MISSED HIM BY THAT MUCH!!!

Mind you, my part of Australia is gray and windy and unpleasant today so he probably doesn't want to visit!

Congratulations, Limecello!

Coises! AC twirls moustache, swirls black cloak and disappears back into the lair to sulk.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, man, THREE of us, so close!

Casssondra, what do you mean I'm on the AVOID PILE????!!!!

Dem's fightin' words, my girl! It's 80s bodicerippers at 20 pages next time I see you. Actually I'll be interested to see what you think of the Woodiwiss when you finish it. It started the whole historical romance industry so I think we owe her a huge debt of gratitude. And I have to say I'm currently running a favorite historical romance contest:

http://www.annacampbell.info/contest.html

And Shanna by KW is far and away the most popular choice! She's clearly still got a hold on readers' imaginations.

Treethyme said...

Anna, our posts must have crossed in cyberspace!

I looked through this post and realized that a) I've read several of the books featured here and b) the ones I haven't read are currently residing in my TBR pile, which has grown a lot this week while I've caught up with Karen Rose's latest trilogy.

Kate Carlisle kicked off the week for me, too, and I loved Homicide in Hardcover -- I'll be following Brooklyn through her adventures, and I'm excited to read the next in the series.

This has been a bad week, in a good way. A lot of books I've been waiting for just came out, which means my TBR pile has grown accordingly. Plus, on the drive to Orlando we passed a billboard that said "All Books $5 or Less," so of course we had to swing by and pick up even more books.

You can see my TBR pile in Photos on my Facebook page: Becke Martin.

Cassondra said...

Limecello, congrats! What are you two going to do for the next 24 hours?

Treethyme, you missed him by a feather. He doesn't hang around long since I made him stack wood all day on Saturday. His chicken muscles are quite likely as sore as my own.

Cassondra said...

Haha, Anna! You're up and about. I'm glad.

I wanted to see your reaction when you learned I was afraid of TTD. Not really of course. It's one of those "I know I'm going to love it and I want to have time to savor it" things.

The Woodiwiss book, however, is going to take even more courage. I feel that I've missed an icon by not getting to this one, or to Shanna, before now. Still, that difficult beginning--I have to be in the right mindset for it.

Cassondra said...

Treethyme said:

This has been a bad week, in a good way. A lot of books I've been waiting for just came out, which means my TBR pile has grown accordingly.

It has been a "bad" week in that way hasn't it!

It's going to be a good-bad couple of months actually. I have about 20 friends with book releases during March and April. There's no way I can keep up if I get anything else done. The TBR pile MUST be trimmed or it'll take over the house. You see what a fix I'm in, don't you?

Cassondra said...

Treethyme said:

Kate Carlisle kicked off the week for me, too, and I loved Homicide in Hardcover -- I'll be following Brooklyn through her adventures, and I'm excited to read the next in the series. It's a phenomenal book isn't it? Have you also read Madelyn Alt?

I actually have another one in the TBR pile. It's called Dying For Dinner by Miranda Bliss. It had shifted a little to the side so I missed it. I haven't started it yet either, but it's another from the same shelf as Kate's.

Cassondra said...

Anna said:

Dem's fightin' words, my girl! It's 80s bodicerippers at 20 pages next time I see you.

Oh, Fo, you KNOW I'm one of your biggest fans. Maybe THE biggest fan. What I want to know is, do you get as angsty emotionally when you WRITE these books as I get when I read them?

Trish Milburn said...

Piles, I'll show you piles. I keep track of how many books I have on Library Thing, and it currently stands at 951. Of course, that's every book I have -- keepers, books I've not read, fiction, nonfiction, research, everything. Still, the vast majority is fiction I've not yet read.

Right now, I'm finishing up reading my RITA entries, so I can't say what I'm reading. But come Tuesday, I'm going to be reading two books -- a YA called Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe) by Kimberly Pauley, and Colleen Gleason's As Shadows Fade.

One book that I read recently, before the RITA books arrived, and thought was fantastic was The Hunger Games, a thought-provoking YA by Suzanne Collins.

Treethyme said...

I have a couple of books by Madelyn Alt in my TBR pile. I know I read something by her and liked it, which is why I have others in my stack. Annette Blair's new mystery is also in the TBR pile, likewise Seeing Red.

Shanna is one of the books I've read, although it was a REALLY long time ago. I read all the Woodiwiss books back in the day, but I haven't re-read them, for some reason.

Cassondra said...

Trish said:

I keep track of how many books I have on Library Thing, and it currently stands at 951.

Okay. You win. Nuff said. If I had that many books in the house, I wouldn't be able to walk or sit down. My house is not that big. Now, I might approach that number if all the books in the garage were unpacked, but not in the house. Not now anyway.


Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire

I would buy that book because of the title alone! Let us know how it is, will you?

Cassondra said...

Treethyme said:

I have a couple of books by Madelyn Alt in my TBR pile. I know I read something by her and liked it, which is why I have others in my stack.

Oh, if you've got the Bewitching Mysteries in your stack, go get them in order. The buildup to some of the stuff that happens in Hex Marks the Spot is so much more powerful with the history there between Marcus and Maggie. I'm not saying ONE MORE WORD. NOT.

Anna Campbell said...

Cassondra, sadly, I go through all those horrible emotions with my characters - SEVERAL TIMES!!! I'm a disaster when I've finished a book. I crawl around the house for a couple of weeks and hope someone will shoot me and put me out of my misery. Olivia and Erith were really tough - especially her. You'll see what I mean when you read it, but her back story was really tough to have to deal with.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, and C, the fan comment sorta gets you forgiven. It's 80s bodicerippers at 30 paces now! ;-)

I've actually been on a bit of a category kick lately. Read Tawny's latest which was brilliant as usual. I highly recommend COMING ON STRONG and can't wait for GOING DOWN HARD which is out next month. I'm always in awe of what great writers my sister Banditas are! Then I read two Bronwyn Jameson. For anyone who hasn't read her, she's marvellous. The way she writes sexual tension is absolutely breathtaking. One was called THE TYCOON'S ONE-NIGHT REVENGE and the other was the first in the DIAMONDS DOWN UNDER series, VOWS AND A VENGEFUL GROOM. Hmm, she seems to be on a vengeance kick at the moment - actually both were beautiful reunion stories. I've just started Amy Andrews's PREGNANT NURSE, TOP-NOTCH DOCTOR. Oh, man, those Harlequin titles! Don't they give you the willies?

Cassondra said...

Anna said:

I'm a disaster when I've finished a book. I crawl around the house for a couple of weeks and hope someone will shoot me and put me out of my misery.

Oh, good. No, I don't mean that. But I was beginning to think I was the only person in the world who got this involved with fictional characters. When they're painted as deeply and as fully as you paint them, they just won't let go of me. I lament their pain, and I lament that I have to leave their world. It's a bit insane actually. I don't think I've ever admitted it out loud before.

Jane said...

I've never read Kathleen Woodiwiss or Madelyn Alt. I did enjoy the two Victoria Alexander books you mentioned and "Risque Business." I've been dying to read "Seeing Red" after I read "Pitch Black" last year. I'm looking forward to reading Monica McCarty's new trilogy. Most of the books I read are keepers. I have a hard time parting with them unless I really hated the story. I don't know what I'll do when I run out of space. I might have to rent out a storage unit.

Congrats on the GR, Limecello.

Cassondra said...

Anna said:

Read Tawny's latest which was brilliant as usual. I highly recommend COMING ON STRONG

Okay, what gives? I preordered that, and I still don't have it. I thought it wasn't out yet. I'm obviously out of the loop and haven't been paying attention. Now I'm aggravated. I WANTS IT. I WANTS IT NOOOOOWWWWWW.

Cassondra said...

Jane said:

I've been dying to read "Seeing Red" after I read "Pitch Black" last year.

Wasn't Pitch Black wonderful? If you get the chance to find the rest of Susan's backlist and you haven't read it, it's SO worth the effort to get it.

I have not read Monica McCarty.

Cassondra said...

Oh, and Jane said:

Most of the books I read are keepers. I have a hard time parting with them unless I really hated the story.

It's a bit like saying goodbye to a friend, isn't it? It's actually painful to get rid of books sometimes.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, man, maybe it helps to have contacts at the top... I'm just sayin'. And believe me, you'll love Tawny's latest. Yeah, that's mean!

I loved Pitch Black. Must get Seeing Red. I've got about 30 books piled up on the bedside tables and that's just the stuff I'm going to read now. That doesn't count what's on the bookcases.

Actually, Cassondra, I've had experiences with books where they just won't let me go. They're the books that I'll read and re-read. And often, strangely, they're books where I don't feel I 'get' the whole story in one go. Maybe that niggle is what makes them stay with me. The Dorothy Dunnett Lymond series are like that.

Cassondra said...

Anna said:

Oh, man, maybe it helps to have contacts at the top... I'm just sayin'. And believe me, you'll love Tawny's latest. Yeah, that's mean!

Okay, TEN paces Aussie chickie, and I'm digging into the garage stash for extra Ammo. ;0)

Tawny said...

Now I'm aggravated.

Uh Oh.

I'm going to hide for awhile. An aggravated Cassandra makes me nervous.

limecello said...

Wow - haha looks like I skipped out on/participated in a battle royale without even knowing it!

Great post, Cassondra - a lot of this has been swirling around in my head as well. As for what I'm reading... it FEELS like nothing, but when I take actual count, I'm in the middle of five books right now >.< But my reading has been sporadic, while normally, I'd have 3/5 done in half a week and will have already started new books.

I've heard of a number of the books in your piles. If you don't like SEP's sports heroes - have you read Breathing Room? Or Kiss an Angel? And... this is closer but not really - Lady Be Good? Those three are some of my favorites by her.

I too have a number of "comfort" reads. >.< About 200 of them. (Can you tell I'm a) fickle and b) have no restraint?) I generally/used to read books only from the library - and if I REALLY wanted it - if I still thought about it in 3-4 months, I'd buy it. (I live on a budget. Yes, the life of a student is quite glamorous.) I'll pick up a book and re-read my favorite sections. (I think this might skew my opinion of certain books, as I re-read only snippets so often I forget about other parts.) Off the top of my head, I love Lisa Kleypas's historicals. And Rachel Gibson's books. (Although I will say I like some more than others.) Same with Erin McCarthy.

And I understand completely about the "avoid" or "wait." I find that's how I react to say, books by Mary Balogh, or Jo Goodman. I can't read them one right after the other. I'm sure they're fantastic books, but when I try, I just can't. But if I read either their books a few months apart, I love them.

... Haha, longest comment ever :P (Can you tell I exaggerate and that I'm happy to wax poetic about books at any given time?)

Cassondra said...

Tawny said:

I'm going to hide for awhile. An aggravated Cassandra makes me nervous.


Snork.

Hey, if I'd had Coming on Strong it would be up there in "what I just read."

I WANT MY BOOK! WAAAAAH. Okay. Whine over.

Cassondra said...

limecello said:

If you don't like SEP's sports heroes - have you read Breathing Room? Or Kiss an Angel? And... this is closer but not really - Lady Be Good? Those three are some of my favorites by her.

I haven't read those actually. I'll look for them. I love SEP's writing. I just don't relate well to the sports heroes because...once again, they're such jerks to start out. I have trouble believing they actually change in the span of the book, with the events taking place. With Ain't She Sweet it was dark enough and the people had matured enough and been through so much, I believed it. I did like Match Me If You Can which was in the Chicago Stars series wasn't it? But it wasn't one of the players.

I'll definitely find these you've suggested!

Cassondra said...

Oh, and limecello, HOW do you read more than one book at a time. The one book I didn't include that I'm reading alongside all the others is the Martha Stewart Living Cooking School cookbook. But that's not fiction. I can do a fiction and a nonfiction together, though I don't get as much out of either one that way. But if I'm into a novel, I can't stop reading it to start another. I'm completely absorbed into that world. It would be WAY too jolting to leave it and go into another.

I know a lot of people who DO read more than one at a time. Trish does, as she noted in her comment. But I can't. I think I'm too one track and I just get too wrapped up in it.

Anna Campbell said...

Tawny, she's gunning for me. I think you're OK!

Cassondra said...

WHERE are the cabana boys. It's late. We need food and alcohol.

I'm going to have to get a bit of sleep. Keep the party rolling will you? I'll be back in the morning.

limecello said...

Cassondra - uh oh, I hope you like those books I suggested. I LOVE them. But the heroes can be a bit jerkish. I like to think that's their "crusty exterior" and the heroine gets past that to their softer insides, so it isn't so much the hero has *changed* as he allows her to see the "real him." :P That's how I excuse a lot of alpha/jerk heroes anyway. [Although I do have lines that can't/shouldn't be crossed - and get annoyed if the hero doesn't grovel enough.]

As for reading multiple books at the same time... well I'll pick up one- then get distracted by another. Maybe one will be closer. Or I can't find the first one. Or the third one will be a library book so I need to read it because it's new and can't be renewed. Or I'll get bored with one genre and start another. And two I'm reading now are ebooks, so unless I've got them open - they're easily missed :X. I'm a multitasker, and get antsy if I'm only doing one thing at a time. Apparently it really manifests in my reading.

Tawny said...

I'm innocent, I tell ya!! Innocent!

What? You don't believe me? geeze, why is that innocence thing so hard for me to pull off?

Cassandra, I am so thrilled that you liked Delaney. And that you'd re-read her story just tickles me to no end. Enough to stand here, knowing you have ammo *g* and say hey - wanna hug?
Sooo, lessee. Right now I'm reading book 2 in The Malloreon (thanks, Jeanne)- KING OF THE MURGOS. Next up is Kate's HIHC, and a couple Blazes after that. I just finished my first Blazing Bedtime story and loved it, which rocks since I get to write one *g*.

How to keep the piles manageable? We added on to the house to build a huge walk-in closet with shelves on 3 walls two years ago. They are alreayd filled with books, in addition to the ones in the bookcases and on my nightstand and in the family room and... Oh heck, I love books. Its like a gardner filling her house with flowers, right? Its wonderful LOL.

Minna said...

I'm reading ALL WORK AND NO PLAY… /MISTRESS IN PRIVATE by Julie Cohen in German.

Minna said...

I can't really say what makes me keep certain books and read them over and over again, while I get rid of others.

Ray Parker Jr - Ghostbusters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4uxIo4t7xM&feature=related

Minna said...

Anyway, I don't have enough space to keep them all. I just wish I could find someone else who also likes to read books in foreign languages...

Anna Lucia said...

Oh my goodness, yes, I know what you mean about avoiding a book because it'll take over your life! Most of SEP's and Linda Howard's do that to me.

And a sci fi/fantasy author I recommend to everyone for sheer heart-and-gut-wrenching characterisation CJ Cherryh.

I'm on a Mary Balogh binge at the moment, with occasional excursions into Julia Quinn. A read a lot of historicals, because they're so different to what I write, so I can switch of the editor and enjoy!

Minna said...

But it's not easy, since I live in the middle of nowhere.

Due South Vocabulary Lesson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fxj3r1Mt8MQ&feature=related

Helen said...

Congrats limcello he couldn't stay away from you for too long have fun with him

Cassondra great post my favourite subject books I have read & books in the TBR pile

At the moment I am reading books for the Aust Writers Association RBY contest and I have 10 Mills & Boon books to read I am onto the
6th one and loving them and I just recieved Kate's book today (thank you Kate) so that will be the next book I read I came home from the conference with 36 new books my TBR pile is just so huge now but I love it you can never have too many books the only thing is I feel guilty for not getting them read but working 40 hours a week cuts into my reading time see I need to retire.

A couple of books I read not long a go (thanks to the Bandits & Joanie) were Pamela Clares's Surrender and Untamed they are awesome books and I really loved Iain and Morgan the Heros in the books (I think you should share Morgan Joanie) I loved Anna's Tempt The Devil read it Cassondra saviour it I loved that book. I have The Magic Knot in my TBR pile so I will move it up looking forward to it and Cassondra you really need to read The Flame and The Flower one of the best books I have ever read I read it when it was first released.

As for re reading books I don't do that often because I feel guilty about the books I have that I haven't read but I keep them because I do know that I will re read them one day.

Have Fun
Helen

Helen said...

Cassondra

Those Victoria Alexander books you have to read are fantastic books as well highly recommend them they are part of The Last Man Standing series I loved them

Have Fun
Helen

Amy Andrews said...

Oh Banditas!!! How wonderful it is to be back, ever so briefly, visiting amongst your number. I'm so sorry I don't get here so much any more :-(
Imagine my surpsie to find my name being bandied about....Ms Fo? LOL at the title - its actually Top-Notch Surgeon, Pregnant Nurse. You cracked me up on that one ;-) Hope you like it.

I have to say Cassondra that I also have to duck behind the couch with you and say I too have not read Woodiwiss. And ahem... Heyer.
Okay, leaving now, before I'm torn from limb to limb.
Mssed you guys and congrats to Ms NYT!!! Fab, fab, fab.

liz said...

What are you reading right now?

I'm doing the same thing you are, actually, going book by book through my shelf to determine the keepers and the ones better off passed on to another reader.


Have you read any of the ones I've been reading?

I'm not even sure I own any of the books in your post today but what a great jumping off point.


How do you decide whether a book is a keeper or is just passing through. I mean, we can't keep all of them. Can we? If you do keep them all, where do you put them?

I have a mental rating system similar to one you'd see on Amazon.com. While I'm reading things like the author's voice and the pull of the characters are a big influence on whether or not I'm going to keep a book. Finally, when I finish the story, I decide if the plot was worth it - sometimes I don't even get to the end before making up my mind. If the plot has a huge gaping hole in it, it had better be full of riveting historical details for it to stay on my shelf. Otherwise, a satisfactory plot is usually enough.

Might I suggest if you have the time to do it (I know, 'yeah right') that you join such groups as www.bookmooch.com and www.paperbackswap.com instead of bringing your unwanted books to the library. These sites give you "points" for sharing your books with others which you can then use to request books of your own. For the cost of postage (never over $2.85, media mail rate) you can get brand new books for your shelves. That's even cheaper than buying from t used bookstore. There are many wonderful titles available with more being added every day.

Gillian Layne said...

I won the Magic Knot and finished it a couple of days ago--I was VERY impressed by the story and the world building, and loved the secondary characters just as much as the h/h, and am looking forward-hopefully?-to their story continuing.

And I just finished Her Best Friends Brother, a Harlequin Superromance. I was expecting something a little more light-hearted, but wham!--this book is packed with emotion, and the characters do get their HEA--boy, did they deserve it!--and was beautifully written, but I was wrung out afterwords.

Dear Louisa Cornell is at this blog today:
http://romancewritersonthejourney.wordpress.com/

You all should stop by and say Hi! :)

PJ said...

Congrats limecello!

Fun blog, Cassondra. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever conquer my tbr stash. Combine books I buy, books I win and books that follow me home from conferences and I'm now inching close to 300 in the tbr.

Lately I've mostly been reading review books. Some good ones coming out in the next few weeks are Some Like it Wild (Teresa Medeiros), The Secret Wedding (Jo Beverley) and Kiss of Darkness (Jennifer St. Giles).

I took a break from review books this weekend to read Her Best Friend's Brother by Kay Stockham. Gillian, Kay's books are always packed with emotion. If you liked HBFB, try the first two books in the Tulanes of Tennessee series - Another Man's Baby (Garret's story) and His Son's Teacher (Nick's story). The rest of her back list is terrific too.

I won The Magic Knot here at the lair and thoroughly enjoyed it for all the reasons previously stated.

Next up on my tbr will be more review books but waiting in my "reward" stash are Highland Outlaw (Monica McCarty), Every Time We Kiss (Christie) and Sunset Bay (Susan Mallery).

Gillian Layne said...

You know, PJ, I had never read her (Kay Stockham) before but I bought the book after "meeting" her on a blog post. I checked out her site, loved it, and bought the book.

For all you hard working, not-enough-hours-in-the-day writers who wonder if blogging time is worth it? It is. We readers love to find new treasures. :)

Barbara Monajem said...

I've read The Trouble With Magic and I'm in the middle of The Magic Knot. It's this week's treadmill read -- and it sure does make the time pass quickly. I'm also reading Linnea Sinclair's Hope's Folly (thanks for last week's blog)!

I avoid books by Diana Norman until I have the strength for them. She puts her characters through such agony and reveals so many historical ickinesses that I can only read one now and then. But they're wonderful!

I'm not AVOIDING Tempt the Devil, I'm SAVING it. Going on a business trip in a week or so, and it will be my escape lit (there is an HEA after all the anguish, right?) along with C.L. Wilson's Lord of the Fading Lands.

Keepers used to be anything I would reread. I don't reread much any more, but I still cling to them... Georgette Heyer, Dorothy Sayers, Rosemary Sutcliff... more recently, Lois McMaster Bujold, Loretta Chase, John Straley... Long, long list. Come see my library!

Margay said...

I read The Magic Knot and absolutely loved it - I think I devoured it in about three days! All of Anna's books are on my tbr list (can't wait to make time for them - work, work, work, argh). Right now, I am reading To My Senses by Alexandrea Weis for review.
Margay

Kay Stockham said...

Hi, guys! A little birdie (Gillian) told me HER BEST FRIEND'S BROTHER was being discussed over here and to come visit. I'm so glad I did!

Gillian, PJ, thank you so much for the compliments! I'm glad you enjoyed Luke and Shelby's story. And Gillian? I'll try not to "wring you out" like before! LOL I can't seem to help myself. I love big, deep, emotionally dramatic stories ala Catherine Anderson etc so I just seem to gravitate toward writing them.

Again thanks so much for the compliment!

Someone commented on Pamela Clare. She's a new to me author I'm loving very much. I've now read one of her contemporaries and one of her historicals. Both were phenomenal. The woman has a gift for detail and description, without it being too overwhelming.

I just did the whole sorting books process, too. Keepers, donations, etc. The thing is, they're all sorted--but I've yet to actually remove them from the house! ACK! LOL I'm a pack rat when it comes to books.

Ladies, great blog. I'll be visiting on March 16 via Donna McMeans and hope you'll come join me then to chat more on our favorite subject--books!

Kay

terrio said...

I think I've determined there are books "to-be-read" in my apartment than books I've finished. And I keep most things I finish, so that's saying something. I used to have one 3-ft bookshelf for the TBR ones. That grew into two shelves. Not the TBR's have infiltrated every bookshelf in the house. All five of them. And they are double stacked on most shelves. So I'll be buying a new bookshelf very soon. *sigh*

I too am avoiding Anna's latest. I have it. It's sitting right there watching me. Trying to stare me down. But I'm still resisting. I think while my kiddo is out of town for spring break, I may dive in.

I'm currently trying to knock off a bunch of my contemps. Reading Christie Craig's Divorced, Desperate, & Dating now, then I'll move to the sequal. I also have Victoria Dahl, Kristin Higgins, and some Rachel Gibsons. Then there's that stack of SEPs. Those are others I avoid, if you can believe it. Only because reading them will a)tangle me up inside for several days and b)make me feel like a complete fraud trying to write these kinds of stories.

But I have read Ain't She Sweet and that book is FANTASTIC!

terrio said...

That should be "there are MORE to-be-read books...."

Gah!

Kirsten said...

Cassondra -- I am so envious of your FOUR DAYS of reading. Gah. I can't even imagine what that would be like.

Note to self: give children growth serum and kick them out of the house to have such experience.

Anyway, TRISH -- I am dying to read Hunger Games. It's next on my TBR pile! I have a good friend who is a children's librarian and she told me I would love it, and she knows EVERYTHING about books. So when she tells me to read, I read.

And in my books I've avoided reading -- The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. An adult book masquerading as YA, set in Nazi Germany. Very very intense and after the first 50 pages or so, I knew I couldn't finish it. It's incredible, probably the best, most inventive thing I've ever come across, and I love Zusak's writing. But I couldn't do it.

Along those lines, I've never read The Diary of Anne Frank. I know, it's horrible of me. But I can't do it. I'm too weak. I already know the ending.

Keira Soleore said...

Limecello, again!! Congrats. Becky, ahh, missed by a tad.

Cassondra, give over, give over. Read Fo's TEMPT. But be sure to leave time in your schedule for an immediate re-read, which is what happened to me. Back to back.

Cassondra and Kate, check my blog for today. I have something about Kate's book, too. I enjoyed it thoroughly!!!

I'm currently reading Mastering the Marquess by Vanessa Kelly and Temptation Ridge by Robyn Carr.

My TBR shelf is embarassingly full, so I'm not even going to go there. The one book that I'm highly looking forward to reading this month is Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas.

Keira Soleore said...

PJ, I'm officially HIGHLY jealous... You have the new JoBev and TerrieMed. WOW!

Nancy said...

Limecello, you're on a serious roll! Congratulations.

Treethyme and Anna C., better luck next time!

Cassondra, you have so described my reading life! When the dh gets home, I'm going to make him read this blog so he knows we're not the only couple who have a jumbled mound of books on the wife's side of the bed and everywhere else. They're on the night table and on the floor and in the bathroom (yes, I confess) and in my study and in the living room. And they're all mixed in together.

My books are shelved by genre, in alphabetical order by author and then in order by publication date. The ones I've officially finished, that is.

What have I just read? Kate's book--I agree that it's fabulous! I have a bias in favor of British heroes, and I love the heroine's job as an antique book restorer (shades of Lord Peter Wimsey, collector of incunabulae - I think that's the right Latin). I also love the heroine and the whole Bay Area vibe and the challenging mystery.

Christie's Every Time We Kiss, a tangle of secrets and honor and desire and denial that I couldn't put down.

Linnea Sinclairs's Hope's Folly, a wonderful SF adventure romance that kept me up far into the night.

I also read Cheyenne McCray's The First Sin, which is a very dark, very intense book that's not for the faint of heart. The hero and heroine are wonderful, but they go undercover to break up a white slavery ring. It's a brutal book.

Eve Silver, Demon's Hunger, a paranormal romance with sorcerers, dark magic, a dynamic hero, and a strong, loyal heroine whose parents never told her what she might be. Now those latent powers are manifesting and turning her life upside down.

Sherrilynn Kenyon and Diana Love's Phantom in the Night. Also very dark and very intense but gripping and extremely well done.

Sherrilynn Kenyon's Dream Warrior, featuring one of her trademark dark, tormented heroes and another fabulous twist on Greek mythology.

How far back are we going?

This is getting very long. Will do reading now and TBR in a separate comment.

Christie Kelley said...

Great blog, Cassondra!

I'm reading Highland Conqueror by Hannah Howell. I seem to be on a medieval theme lately.

What makes a keeper? Characters I can't forget after I've read the book. I have a closet full of keepers and every now and then, I go back and reread them.

And thanks for plugging my book!

Nancy said...

Continuing with the Currently Reading list:

My grandmother had a book in every room of the house so there would always be one at hand. I do this, too, as you may have gathered. The dh says this would make him nuts, but it doesn't confuse me at all. Must be genetic.

Anyway, currently reading: Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson. I'm actually re-reading this for class. It's the story of a Navy SEAL mission gone horribly, horribly wrong (as the title implies) in Afghanistan and was a NYT Bestseller. Like Kate but much less upbeat. :-)

Peacekeeper by Laura E. Reeve, a debut military SF novel with a strong heroine. I'm just getting into it but liking it so far.

Thames: A Biography by Peter Ackroyd. The title says it all. Very readable and full of interesting tidbits.

I need one more in order to have a book at hand everywhere, but I'm mired in revisions now and so am trying to be good about not distracting myself too much.

TBR (a very small sampling)--

Black Ships by Jo Graham, a debut fantasy about an oracle who travels with Aeneas from the fall of Troy.

Liz Carlyle, Tempted All Night, historical romance.

Storm Born by Richelle Mead, dark romantic fantasy.

Read My Heart, by Jane Dunn, the (nonfiction) story of a couple caught up in the English Civil War.

Nancy said...

Anna C.--Tawny's book is out? Since when? I haven't seen it! Grrr.

Cassondra, I haven't read TF&TF in decades, and I don't have a copy to check my recollection. I know what you mean about the scenes on the ship, but if it makes you feel any better, I seem to remember Brandon later suffers great remorse for that. Also if I remember right, his mother actually gives him down the country over it.

Claudia Dain's debut, Tell Me Lies, had a similar situation, and that hero REALLY suffered for what he'd done. Sort of like Kylemore does in CTC.

Shanna doesn't have a similar situation. I really did think she was seriously a brat through much of the book, but Ruark was wonderful, though I had trouble seeing why he was so nuts about her, aside from her gorgeousness. And the scenes at the end, with his family, were great. It's on my keeper shelf.

Which brings me to your question about keepers. A book goes on the keeper shelf if I'm reasonably sure I'll want to read it again. To qualify, it has to have a story that grabs me in some way, so that I think about it after I finish the book, and the writing has to be smooth. In general, choppy sentences, awkward or stilted phrasing, and bad punctuation don't make it. And yes, there are books published with all these problems. One very popular series is loaded with comma splices (sentences separated by commas rather than periods) on every page, and I simply could not finish the first book because I found this so distracting and irritating. I gave it away.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Lovely post, Cassondra!!

What have I read lately? Other than critique partners stuff?

Well, I devouered Jayne Anne Krentz' Running Hot. I'm an Arcane Society addict and am already looking for her next installment. JAK is a keeper for me.

I also gobbled up Suzanne Brockmann's newest, Dark Of Night. Sigh, it was over much too soon.

Also, I'm reading a book for an interview with Jodi Thomas later this month...it is a contemporary and if you love her work, you'll love this one, titled Rewriting Monday. And I've read a debut book by Jaye Wells, Red-headed Stepchild. It's an urban fantasy book which she'll be blogging about with us this month, too.

And I have Kate's book,Homicide In Hardback and Christie's newest, Everytime We Kiss on my list as soon as my blog committments completed.

Cassondra said...

Hello everyone. (Ducks in sheepishly, groggy-eyed and touseled)

Yes, I stayed up reading until seven in the morning, then lay down to sleep for a couple of hours and here it is almost noon. SO sorry. It's a disease. It's what I do. *sigh* I don't suppose we have any real control over our nocturnal leanings. I was just going to read a page or two. That's all. A chapter at most. And here we are. Looks like y'all have been carrying on without me though. Good. As long as the bar is still stocked. I hope the cabana boys are more in evidence today than they were last night. Sven! Over here! That right shoulder. Ow, ow OWWWWWW. Yeah. That's the spot. OW!

Could a girl get a cup of tea?

Virginia said...

Congrats limecello, for getting him again!

My biggest problem with my TBR pile is deciding what to read. I have already read Tempt The Devil a fantastic read by the way. I also loved the Victoria Alexander books you mentions, she is such a funny writer. What A Lady Wants had me cracking up, you'll love it. I haven't read any of the others you mentioned. Although I do have Pitch Black in my pile that I have forgot about, I may just pull it out today and start reading it, because I am in the mood for something a little different.

Cassondra said...

Tawny said:

Cassandra, I am so thrilled that you liked Delaney. And that you'd re-read her story just tickles me to no end. Enough to stand here, knowing you have ammo *g* and say hey - wanna hug?

I TOLD you I thought she was your most powerful heroine as yet. I can't wait to read the next ones. Delaney's insecurities nailed--right on the head--the fears of so many women I know. Including, often, my own. I think it took guts to write that book. Guts, I admire.

Wait. That doesn't sound right. Omigosh, I need TEA! CABANA BOYS, HURRY up with the tea.

Cassondra said...

limecello said:

But the heroes can be a bit jerkish. I like to think that's their "crusty exterior" and the heroine gets past that to their softer insides, so it isn't so much the hero has *changed* as he allows her to see the "real him." :P That's how I excuse a lot of alpha/jerk heroes anyway.

That's a really good way to look at it if you can do it. And I have to do SOMETHING like that if I want to enjoy those books. See, the truth is that I have trouble with that. And the older I get, the more trouble I have with jerky men, although I'm writing one now that isn't the nicest guy on the exterior, so maybe that'll be my therapy and I'll get over it.

The thing is that if he's a really jerky guy, he has to be brought VERY low, in my view, to actually change, because that's how I know real people are. They'll change for the short run, but when push comes to shove, or when they get really comfortable and secure in a relationship, they'll regress into those old jerky behaviors.

That's one thing about Anna's books. She takes the guy down so bloody hard, and so low, that he's GOING to change for real. It's change I believe because it truly is a life-changing event.

I'm just a hard-nose about jerks in books. If they're going to be hero material, they have to go through some real fire. Not just "WAH, they took away my teddy bear."

Man, I'm grumpy when I don't get enough sleep. Did y'all notice that? Sheesh.

Cassondra said...

Minna said:

Anyway, I don't have enough space to keep them all. I just wish I could find someone else who also likes to read books in foreign languages...

Oh, maybe some day I'll be able to read Spanish well enough to read a novel written in the language. That still won't make me a fluent--or even semi-fluent--speaker, but I'd love to get that good at another language.

Cassondra said...

Anna Lucia said:

I'm on a Mary Balogh binge at the moment, with occasional excursions into Julia Quinn. A read a lot of historicals, because they're so different to what I write, so I can switch of the editor and enjoy!

Oh, good, Anna Lucia. Another person who does what I do. I don't write historicals (yet) so that's what I read when I'm engaged with one of my manuscripts. Right now I'm kind of in warm-up mode, and thinking if I glut on mystery and suspense it'll improve my suspense plotting skills. Kind of osmosis I guess. Hey, that's how I learned to write, sort of. And each time I've come up against a wall in my writing, I've solved it not just by writing, but by reading heavily.

Kind of like drinking heavily, isn't it.

Hmmmm. Obviously I'm going to have to get my own cup of tea. Grumble Grumble... Be right back.

Cassondra said...

Minna said:

It's not easy since I live in the middle of nowhere.

No, I imagine it's not. I would think that with the internet someone would come along who'd like to swap books, or take some of your older ones. Don't give up. It's a worthy cause.

Cassondra said...

Helen said:

As for re reading books I don't do that often because I feel guilty about the books I have that I haven't read

Now THERE's a double edged sword isn't it?

This is a true book lover's guilt right here. I don't dre-read an awful lot, but sometimes when I'm really tired and just mentally worn out, a re-read is sort of...Oh, I dunno....easier on me I guess. It doesn't take nearly the work to engage with the characters. I'm not QUITE as on the edge of my seat ya know? AND I can put it down a little more easily. Usually. There are a few that I cannot put down, even on the fifth or sixth read.

And sometimes it's that comfort in knowing where a book is going to take you, and you have one so well-written that it still engages you even though you've been there before. Pardon the expression, but that's a damn fine book when you can get one that does that.

Okay, I'll go ahead and read the Woodiwiss book on your advice Helen. Maybe not this week,as you can see I have plenty to hold me over....but soon.

Cassondra said...

Helen said:

Those Victoria Alexander books you have to read are fantastic books as well highly recommend them they are part of The Last Man Standing series I loved them

Okay good then. That's at least two recommendations for these books. You know how, when you start a series and then the books aren't as good as you'd like? At least, not good enough to make you want to stick it out for three books? I hate that, so I'm glad to have the recommendation.

Because then, even if I wasn't that thrilled with one book, I feel like I HAVE to get the other books in the series--just in case they are the incredible ones where it all comes together.

It's silly. But hey, we're talking about the inner workings of crazed book lovers--readers--here. I don't suppose we have to make emotional sense do we?

Alrighty. A little Bit Wicked stays near the top of the TBR pile on Helen's advice.

Cassondra said...

Hi AMY ANDREWS!

So good to see you among us! At least have a glass of something--or join me for my...ahem....MORNING...cup of tea before you swing back to your writing cave.

Amy said:

I have to say Cassondra that I also have to duck behind the couch with you and say I too have not read Woodiwiss. And ahem... Heyer.

Hey, secrets are safe in the lair. The worst we'll do is throw some of their books at you. There are some seminal works that I haven't read either. You JUST CAN'T READ EVERYTHING. Although Helen and Fo are trying, God bless them. I honestly don't know how Fo writes. She reads a LOT.

Cassondra said...

Liz said:

Might I suggest if you have the time to do it (I know, 'yeah right') that you join such groups as www.bookmooch.com and www.paperbackswap.com instead of bringing your unwanted books to the library.

Hey, thanks for the heads up on that. It's the time factor that will stop me if I don't do it. These days it's anything I can do to reduce time sinks.

And cool on your rating system. You seem to have it down to an art--and know what you like well enough to make it work for you. Some books end up on the keeper shelf only to come down from there a few years later. Only a few nuggets of gold remain on the keeper shelf for long. Even then, some of them end up in a keeper "box" in the garage if I haven't referred to them in ages but still can't let them go.

I love any way that will get a book into the hands of someone who might not be able to afford it, or otherwise wouldn't be exposed to that author. I know it's a conundrum, what to do with your used books that is ethical and responsible to author, environment, and culture, but I certainly can't throw them away. Not when they've taken me on a journey. It would be like murder. Plus, all those trees!

flchen1 said...

Cassondra! You always have the best posts :D I've got stacks upon stacks, too...

I've read your comfort reads, and they're on my reread list, too! And I completely understand holding off on starting on some books that I knew would be emotionally wrenching--sometimes I'm just not ready for that and need light and fluffy! That, and I want to have the time/bandwidth to give them the attention they deserve--I really dislike having to read interrupted if it's a story that I'm entranced by. Finally, sometimes I want to save something new to read by an author I love--it's like keeping a stash of chocolate for a rainy day. If I've blown through it all, then there's that interminable wait until their next release!

It's true that we can't keep them all, but I'm still trying... ;) More seriously, I guess I'm attempting to keep only those that I really think I might reread someday. Ha! Right now they're mostly in either plastic bins or cardboard trays, stacked up high. The latest additions are just stacked up high...

Uh, I need Book Addicts Anonymous!

Congrats on the GR again, Limecello!

Cassondra said...

Gillian Layne said:

And I just finished Her Best Friends Brother, a Harlequin Superromance. I was expecting something a little more light-hearted, but wham!--this book is packed with emotion, and the characters do get their HEA--boy, did they deserve it!--and was beautifully written, but I was wrung out afterwords.

Oh, cool. I LOVE it when I can get a power read in a shorter book. That's so hard to create. Will look for this one--though it may go into my "avoid" pile until I have more days like today--sunny skies and warm temps! YAY! Darn it's been a long, gray winter.

Cassondra said...

Oh, and Gillian, thanks for the heads up about Louisa blogging!

Cassondra said...

PJ said:

Combine books I buy, books I win and books that follow me home from conferences and I'm now inching close to 300 in the tbr.

Man, that's a lot of books. Like Trish, that's one MAJOR time and space investment to store unread books. I'm amazed at you. Unfortunately I don't have the space to do it. I've had to cull and cut back, donate (Library and Goodwill are both good places for my pre-read books I think, as they will be in the hands of people who won't likely buy new ones because they just don't have the budget. I like to get people reading, and reading something hopeful, especially if life isn't looking up at the moment).

I've taken a proactive stance with regard to conference books. I go through the bags and cull. I buy so many books that I end up with dups otherwise. And the freebies on the chairs? Those get culled too. I'm SO glad that RWA instituted the swap table, so people can trade out something they already have or something they know they won't read for something else. And now the extras go to good places. If I already own the book or know I won't read it (there are just SO many reading hours ya know?) I put it on the swap table for someone else. Less energy requirement, less guilt for me.

I'll use used book stores or sites only for books I can't get any more, any WHERE absolutely. But beyond that I like to support the industry since I want to be a pubbed author.

PJ, how are you finding reviewing, btw? I've always been afraid it would take the joy out of it for me. Writing COULD do that if I let it. I really don't want to lose the pleasure of reading. I'm such an escapist that I need it.

Cassondra said...

Gillian Layne said:

For all you hard working, not-enough-hours-in-the-day writers who wonder if blogging time is worth it? It is. We readers love to find new treasures. :)

Aw, Gillian, THANKS for saying that. Now if we could find a way to reach the multitudes of readers who DON'T use the internet to find authors and books. *sigh*

You know, as busy as I am though, I have to say that my life was much more empty before I joined the Bandits and met all of you. This place has made my life so much better, and it's because of y'all who come around and hang with us and share your love of books--or PARTIES--that's a valid reason too. Or...cabana boys or gladiators or appletinis...uh..yeah, that too.

Cassondra said...

Barbara M said:

I'm not AVOIDING Tempt the Devil, I'm SAVING it. Going on a business trip in a week or so, and it will be my escape lit (there is an HEA after all the anguish, right?) along with C.L. Wilson's Lord of the Fading Lands.

Ha! That's what I said too. Saving it. Well, I am. I think it may be this week's read though. And yes, I can almost guarantee that Anna will not disappoint with a bad ending. That's what I love about how low she takes her characters. The lower you go, the better the HEA is at the end. And the realer. Okay I think I just made up a word. Real-er. Hey, I'm a writer. If I can't makek up words, who can?
I've heard good things about Lord Of the Fading Lands

Keepers used to be anything I would reread. I don't reread much any more, but I still cling to them... Georgette Heyer, Dorothy Sayers, Rosemary Sutcliff... more recently, Lois McMaster Bujold, Loretta Chase, John Straley... Long, long list. Come see my library!

I'd love to see your library, and that's an amazing list of iconic writers right there. I don't imagine many avid readers of romance could read through that list without touching on one or two they've got on their own keeper shelves.

Oh, did you like The Trouble With Magic? I just finished No Rest For The Wiccan last night. Now I have to wait until July (pout).

Did I mention I hate to wait?

I hate to wait.

Joan said...

Treethyme, you missed him by a feather.

Which is hard to do since he's recently had his feathers fluffed!

:-)

Cassondra said...

Margay I'm glad you liked The Magic Knot as much as I did. Didn't she do a good job with the scene setting and the world building? I think it's absolutely stunning when an author takes existing mythology and is able to spin it in such a way that it's fresh and exciting like this.

Cassondra said...

Kay Stockham said:

I just did the whole sorting books process, too. Keepers, donations, etc. The thing is, they're all sorted--but I've yet to actually remove them from the house! ACK! LOL I'm a pack rat when it comes to books.

You know what Kay? I do this with books, with clothes I'm sorting to give away--with boxes of stuff I need to donate. I'm lucky if it makes it as far as the car. Even then, it may sit in the back of my car for weeks before I drop it off. When did we get run to death to the point we can't stop off at Goodwill? At least, that's my reason. I have learned that once it goes in the donation bag or box, I don't take it out--for ANY reason, or it'll end up migrating back onto the shelf. *sigh* Clutter is sticky.

Yes, your latest is getting some LOVE on the blog today. So glad you stopped by to say hello.

We're looking forward to your visit with Donna!

Cassondra said...

Terrio said:

Those are others I avoid, if you can believe it. Only because reading them will a)tangle me up inside for several days and b)make me feel like a complete fraud trying to write these kinds of stories.

EXACTLY! What is wrong with us? The books we love the most are the ones we're often drawn to, I think, because that's who we are as writers, and they make you feel like a ten year old in the big girl's chair. *sigh*

I read Fo's books, or something like Ain't She Sweet and I think, Cassondra, don't quit your day job girlfriend.

Cassondra said...

Terrio said:

That should be "there are MORE to-be-read books...."

Gah!



Oh, honey. We figured that out. No worries. I'm hung over from a night of reading so it's a typo kind of day. I just hope what I'm typing makes sense. Ha!

Joan said...

(I think you should share Morgan Joanie)

Not a chance Helen :-)

Wow, some great suggestions and thoughts here today. I have BOXES of keepers as my shelves have no room.

I STRONGLY recommend going ahead and reading Anna's TTD, Cassondra. The "darkness" is melded so beautifuly with the hopeful that it in no way weighs on you. In fact throughout the entire book you go back and forth rooting for Olivia...then Erith..then "Oh, Olivia, you didn't" "Yay, Erith, you go boy"..."Dang, Olivia, give the guy a break".

That beautiful tapestry that is a Anna Campbell historical seamlessly takes you right to the HEA.

I just finished reading Gena Showalters "The Vampire's Bride" She's a very gritty paranormal writer but I LOVE every book she's written.

Agree with Suz about "Dark of Night". Those Troubleshooters have SO much trouble...and fun :-)

And my goodness, Kate's "Homicide in Hardcover"? Magnificent! I know that cozy mysteries do not take the romance to the level our romance fiction does, so I'm BEGGING Kate to take Derek and Brooklyn's relationship INTO that genre so I can see....er, read...more about their hot, sparking interaction

Cassondra said...

Kirsten said:

Along those lines, I've never read The Diary of Anne Frank. I know, it's horrible of me. But I can't do it. I'm too weak. I already know the ending.

Kirsten, at least you have an excuse. I know my "avoid" pile will have happy endings because these days I just don't read much that doesn't. I have to psyche myself up for the emotional turmoil Anna Campbell puts her characters through, and it's FICTION. On the weak scale, I fall at "complete wuss" when it comes to my reading.

Speaking of Anne Frank, I never got all the way through it either.I've taken it in small bites, bits and pieces over the years. I said once, somewhat in jest but kinda not, that I think I was a Jew in one of those camps. When I was little my mom had a book called The Hiding Place which was very positive in that it focused on God helping the heroine through that awful time, but I couldn't read it, and couldn't be in the same room where people were talking about it. Something about that time period really pushes my buttons hard, and you want to talk about a lasting effect? Even today, I still get the shivers from having heard those discussions, so many years ago, of the book --from the other room! Small house, couldn't get away from it ya know?

I simply cannot read that stuff. I will get so depressed as to become nonfunctional. I KNOW it happened, I know a good number of details about WHAT happened, and maybe that's why I need to read romance so much, eh?

Whew. I don't think anybody with good sense will criticize you for not being able to finish those things. I think they meet a need--for the naive who think everthing is always cherry pie--beyond that, they're just bloody depressing. I can't read them and go on living.

Cassondra said...

Keira, I'm going to have to just dive right in, aren't I? The thing is, there has to BE time, like you said, for a re-read. That's kind of automatic with an Anna Campbell book.

I'm just sayin.

Minna said...

I would think that with the internet someone would come along who'd like to swap books, or take some of your older ones. Don't give up. It's a worthy cause.

Well, I'm already trading books with Eva, but the problem is how to get rid of the books I've gotten from her. Sending big packages is not cheap, so I REALLY hope I'll find someone a bit closer to home. But I intend to try to get few of my lighter books traded through titletrader. Too bad there doesn't seem to be too many who would be willing to send their books to other countries, like Finland.

Cassondra said...

Nancy that's quite a list you've got there. Nary a bad one in the bunch, so far as I can tell.

And as to your alphabetized by genre and author blah blah blah..

Don't take this wrong, but PFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTT. That's me, blowing a raspberry in your general direction. I am, by nature, an organized person, with the need for a zen-like lack of clutter. Clear surfaces, clean corners, beauty around me. What I have is piles of paper and books. It's aggravating. And thanks to this blog, I just keep getting MORE books.

I am envious of the energy you have to keep your books sorted.

My nonfiction shelves are sorted by subject, though not alphabetical. I know the books so thoroughly I just look for cover color. But my fiction? Pffffffffffft.

And I say again, Pffffffffffft.

Cassondra said...

Christie said:

What makes a keeper? Characters I can't forget after I've read the book. I have a closet full of keepers and every now and then, I go back and reread them.


THIS. The characters you can't forget. Ten books later, those characters from a few weeks back shove the more recent ones out and haunt you. Yeah.

And thanks for plugging my book!

Hey, this is the real problem with the tall TBR stack. You can't get to the ones you KNOW you'll love quickly enough. I can't wait for this book!

Cassondra said...

Nancy said:

Anyway, currently reading: Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson. I'm actually re-reading this for class. It's the story of a Navy SEAL mission gone horribly, horribly wrong (as the title implies) in Afghanistan and was a NYT Bestseller. Like Kate but much less upbeat. :-)

BTW, Steve thinks this is a great book. I've meant to tell you that for a while now.

Cassondra said...

Nancy said:

Claudia Dain's debut, Tell Me Lies, had a similar situation, and that hero REALLY suffered for what he'd done. Sort of like Kylemore does in CTC.

You know, I almost went back and pulled Claudia Dain's stuff off my shelf to use for the blog, but that would not have been fair, as I haven't read it in the past few weeks. I was trying to be sorta honest. *sigh*

And thanks for the heads up about the hero suffering in TF&TF. If that's the case, I'll go ahead and read it sooner rather than later. It's mocking me, there in the pile, with a few scenes read and the rest languishing. I don't like being mocked by a book.

That's really all I need, pretty much. For the hero to change. To suffer in the way that brings about real change. Change that I believe is realistic within the context of the book, which means some down and dirty hard and fast suffering of course.

Cassondra said...

Suz, doesn't Brockman do a great hero? It's not just that they're tough guy SEALs. I mean, they are, talented and tough and all that. What makes them the ultimate heroes, to me, is the HUMAN beings she builds underneath the training and grit. Each one is so individual and so very human. Highly skilled, deadly humans, but flawed, hurting, helping humans just the same. I am never disappointed with a Brockman novel.

Nancy said...

Cassondra, Pfffft! to you and your zen-like lack of clutter. *g* We thrive on clutter, but when I want a particular book, I want it in my hand in under a minute. I did this with my record albums (vinyl), too, and I did it to the dh's when we got married. His were shelved higgledy-piggledy, which would've played havoc with my system (I worked at the radio station in college, so I adopted their shelving method).

While he was writing his Ph.D dissertation, he worked as the archivist at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, so everything had to be in order at his job (now, not so much!) Watching me shelve books and records when I moved in, he shook his head and said, "You should've been an archivist."

My nonfiction is shelved by subject, in chronological order by period, except for the weaponry material. It's roughly classified by weapons. :-)

Thanks for letting me know Steve likes that book. I found it gripping and hope my class will like it, too. I'm reasonably certain they'll prefer it to The Red Badge of Courage, our last book!

Cassondra said...

Virginia said:

I do have Pitch Black in my pile that I have forgot about, I may just pull it out today and start reading it, because I am in the mood for something a little different.

You will LOVE it. Promise. And you'll likely want her back list. You'll want Seeing Red for certain if you like Pitch Black.

And THANKS for the heads up on What a Lady Wants! I could do with a laugh-out-loud-now-and-then historical. I'd be totally into that. OF course, then I'll need time for the whole bloody series. *sigh* So many books, SO little time.

Nancy said...

BTW, Cassondra, I didn't say I kept the books sorted. They aren't sorted and shelved until sometime after I finish them. There are 8 I've already finished stacked up by the bed. I need to shelve them. I tried to sort the TBRs last summer, and that lasted about 2 trips to the bookstore.

Nancy said...

Barbara Monajem, I also keep Sayers and Heyer and Rosemary Sutcliff (I love her Arthurian, Sword at Sunset) even though I don't re-read them often. I know I will at some point, and when I do, I'll go on an obsessive serial reading jag.

Cassondra said...

flchen said:

And I completely understand holding off on starting on some books that I knew would be emotionally wrenching--sometimes I'm just not ready for that and need light and fluffy! That, and I want to have the time/bandwidth to give them the attention they deserve--I really dislike having to read interrupted if it's a story that I'm entranced by.

Ah, another soul like me. I'm vindicated. Seriously I was thinking I was probably mentally ill holding back books that I know will be powerful reads until I'm in the right frame of mind. But I'm not the only one! Yay!

ANd I don't like the interruptions either. One good thing about reading at night is that everyone else is asleep usually. Except for a cat who wants attention (and yes, I CAN pet my cat and read at the same time, though she gets a little huffy if she wants actual attention and not just a massage)I'm undisturbed. No phone. No "honey, have you seen my ________(insert everyday object which is perpetually lost but always in use)anywhere?"

*sigh*

Cassondra said...

Joanie said:

I STRONGLY recommend going ahead and reading Anna's TTD, Cassondra. The "darkness" is melded so beautifuly with the hopeful that it in no way weighs on you. In fact throughout the entire book you go back and forth rooting for Olivia...then Erith..then "Oh, Olivia, you didn't" "Yay, Erith, you go boy"..."Dang, Olivia, give the guy a break".


Oh, this is a GREAT description, and makes me want to pick the book up right now! You're right. Fo's books are a tapestry. That's a good one-word summary. Okay, I'm not waiting. I've already started Seeing Red so as soon as I finish it, I'm on to Christie's and then Anna's.

Cassondra said...

Minna said:

Well, I'm already trading books with Eva, but the problem is how to get rid of the books I've gotten from her.

I wonder if you could donate them Minna? Surely there's a center somewhere that could use great books in other languages? Or perhaps a university library, where the Foreign languages department could make good use of them?

That would introduce new readers to the wonderful authors you've found, and still support the book business so new titles will continue to be available.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, guys, thanks for all the lovely positive strokes. I'm ALMOST ready to forgive Cassondra for saying she's AVOIDING TTD! ;-)

Actually I adore SEP - she's like Shakespeare for me. I tend to save her books up (and Liz Carlyle's and Anne Gracie's and Madeline Hunter's and Connie Brockway's) because I know that if I'm in a reading slump, they'll save me and get me back in the groove again. So I kinda understand! ;-) And I've got to say I'm a sucker for the Chicago Stars guys - I LOVE the fact that they turn out not to be the jerks they present to the world. Most of them, the jerkness is just a shell anyway. They've definitely got redeeming qualities even before the heroine brings them out!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Helen - I was so happy you loved TTD so much. I've got Pamela Clare's first MacKinnon book on my TBR pile near the bed.

Hey, Miss Amy, how did you know I was talking about you? Sorry I got the title the wrong way around. I suppose he had to be there BEFORE the pregnant nurse, snork!

Cassondra said...

Nancy said:

My nonfiction is shelved by subject, in chronological order by period, except for the weaponry material. It's roughly classified by weapons. :-)

We don't have any real "period" nonfiction per se. Mine is mostly plant-related and home design/construction related. The plant/landscape books are divided into hard-core reference (scientific) and what I call "inspiration"--the gorgeous gardening books by Gertrude Jekyll and others of her ilk. Beyond that, they're on the shelves in a way that makes them look pretty. Shallow, aren't I? THere's that need for beauty again.

The weapons books are such a hodge-podge, they're just shoved into one bookcase all their own.

My cookbooks are sort of organized--mostly by main subjec--then there's a major subdivision between "ones I actually use regularly" and "ones I don't"--the one's I don't are getting culled, little by little. There are wine books, then outdoor references, dog training manuals, you name it. Then there's an entire BOOKCASE of writing and songwriting books, also divided by inspiration and true reference. Because I haven't delved into the historicals yet, I don't have period references for that either. One less division I have to fool with. One less division is good.

I DO usually have all of one author together--all of Julia Cameron's books are in one spot, for instance, otherwise it's "like with like."

My fiction? No form or fashion. But my goal to get my keeper shelf under control is to blame for that. I'm not keeping ALL of anybody. Except Bandits. Well, and a couple of other exceptions. I'm tellin' ya I'm getting ruthless. Except for the exceptions.

See...there I go...pulling stuff back out of the metaphoric giveaway box.

Anna Campbell said...

Gillian, Louisa's blog is great. I hope everyone pops over to say hello! And I've bought a lot of great books thanks to blogs. I know I whinge about how big the TBR pile is but you know, isn't it great to think I've got so many good books ahead of me to read?

Barbara, SAVING sounds so much better than AVOIDING! ;-) Hope TTD keeps you entertained on your trip.

Anna Campbell said...

Margay, hope you enjoy the books! Thanks for including them in the TBR.

Kay, looking forward to meeting you this month!

Terrio, look into that man's eyes. You KNOW you want to meet this devil! ;-)

Keira, you're a darling!!! Thank you.

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Virginia. By the way, for anyone wondering, there definitely IS a happy ending!

Cassondra, I didn't read the first year I was published. Or not nearly as much as usual - which as you say is a lot. And I think it made writing harder. I find reading feeds into my writing - somehow it makes my subconscious active. So since then I've deliberately made time for reading. Mind you, having said that, the books are piling up faster than I can finish them!

Cassondra said...

Anna said:

And I've got to say I'm a sucker for the Chicago Stars guys - I LOVE the fact that they turn out not to be the jerks they present to the world. Most of them, the jerkness is just a shell anyway. They've definitely got redeeming qualities even before the heroine brings them out!

Hmmmm. See... I knew this about you already because we'd discussed it. Maybe it's my years spent in the music business, having to deal with spoiled brats. Those puffed-up egos just fall hard in my experience, so I have a hard time getting my skeptical side to buy in. I keep saying to the heroine, "take your toys and leave his butt and go get somebody who can see past his own reflection!" See...I'm a hard*ss when it comes to heroes.

But then, that's the wonderful thing about a writer like SEP. She has a broad range of work. Some will appeal more to one reader and other work will appeal to someone else. I, for one, am SO glad we have the range of voices and styles available now all within our HEA-guaranteed genre. Something for everybody. From Kate's Homicide In Hardcover to Lisa Gardner's latest.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Cassondra, last night you were threatening me with ammo and today you're being so nice to me! What's happened, girlfriend? LOL! Thank you for those lovely remarks! Mwah!

Thanks, JT. That was a gorgeous description of TTD! Actually that's one of the things I like about writing flawed characters like Erith and Olivia. You can play games with the reader's allegiance.

Cassondra said...

Anna said:

Cassondra, I didn't read the first year I was published. Or not nearly as much as usual - which as you say is a lot. And I think it made writing harder. I find reading feeds into my writing - somehow it makes my subconscious active. So since then I've deliberately made time for reading. Mind you, having said that, the books are piling up faster than I can finish them!

It's filling the well I think. I recognized that for the past couple of years, because of life issues and my job, I hadn't been filling that well as I should. Several things fill it most effectively for me, all of which I've cut back significantly during this two year period. Now I'm getting back to it. A marathon of reading is just the first step.

p226 said...

Tell me, Bandita Sisters and friends, what are you reading right now?

Dan Brown, uh... Angels and Demons. And some nonfiction. And some documentation. And two textbooks.

Have you read any of the ones I've been reading?

Not one. :) Though, my wife is currently reading Homicide in Hardcover.

Are there others you think I should be reading right now? Somthing I should drop everything, go out, buy, and read?

I wouldn't have a clue what to recommend for you. Anything I could think of would likely bore you to tears or you've already read it.

Have you ever avoided a book because you knew it would be too powerful and you weren't ready?

Yes. But I'm not going to elaborate.

How do you decide whether a book is a keeper or is just passing through. I mean, we can't keep all of them. Can we? If you do keep them all, where do you put them?

We just keep them all. We have a basement. It has lots of books.

Cassondra said...

Fo said:

Oh, Cassondra, last night you were threatening me with ammo and today you're being so nice to me!

Well, in all fairness, YOU chose the weapon--80's bodicerippers. I was in the garage digging out the stash of ammo--the boxes of old books. (grin)I suspect, though, that if we were to have a novel-tossing contest, you might win. Yours are actually SHELVED in your garage, are they not? I'm thinkin you have more than I do. Do you know how many books you own?

Anna Campbell said...

No idea, C. I suspect it's in the thousands.

Cassondra said...

P226 said:

We just keep them all. We have a basement. It has lots of books.


Wow. An entire basement full of books. I bet you're not the only one around here with that going on. Our basement, if we had one, would be full of power tools. so I'd still be looking for ways to deal with the piles.

Cassondra said...

Anna said:

No idea, C. I suspect it's in the thousands.



Do you keep them all?

You know, I've come to recognize that at first, it's not the BOOKS themselves which attract most of us. It's the stories. We love and become attached to the stories in the books. It's a natural progression, though, to eventually become so attached to the stories that we are attached to the paper and glue and string which contain them and keep them there, waiting for us to return, like old friends who never die.

I keep trying to say to myself, "what you really love is the story, and the story has affected you, changed you, and that will be with you forever even if you let go of the package."

Some packages I still want to keep though. I just do.

Cassondra said...

You know, I can't believe that on today's blog, we've shamelessly and relentlessly broken the rule--we've used the "word that shall not be said" in the romance writing community.

Am I the only one who noticed it?

Fo, you started it.

Anna Campbell said...

No, I don't - I give a lot to charity if I know I'll never look at them again. Mind you, there's lots there that I've kept and never looked at again so clearly I'm not ruthless enough. I never throw a book out. That's a sin against nature!

Anna Campbell said...

Snork! So throw a BR at me!

Cassondra said...

Ah, well. We're not known for our PC behavior here in the lair, are we?

Sven! Over here! Hurry. And bring a glass of riesling, will you? Not too cold.

Minna said...

I wonder if you could donate them Minna?

Unfortunately I'm too much of a scrooge to be quite that generous. But I can be patient. Sooner or later I'll find someone who wants to buy or trade those books I have. Wouldn't be the first time when I've had to wait for some time until I've finally gotten rid of something. But it can be worth it. Like few months ago, when I got huge amount of yarn for bunch of plastic beads.

Nancy said...

Cassondra wrote: You know, I can't believe that on today's blog, we've shamelessly and relentlessly broken the rule--we've used the "word that shall not be said" in the romance writing community.

Fo did start it, Cassondra. I noticed. We shouldn't throw one at her, though, despite her invitation, because those books were honkin' BIG. Impact could be lethal. Besides, much as I hate to admit it, the term is accurate for a lot of books from that period.

Alas, but those '80s books did have that occurring, historically inaccurate though it may have been from a costuming standpoint.

I just wish there were a way to eradicate it from modern perceptions.

Margay said...

Those were my thoughts exactly, Cassondra. I loved the way she worked the mythology and the characters were wonderful, too. I can't wait for the next one.
Margay

Cassondra said...

Nancy said:

We shouldn't throw one at her, though, despite her invitation, because those books were honkin' BIG. Impact could be lethal. Besides, much as I hate to admit it, the term is accurate for a lot of books from that period.

You're right Okay. I guess it's the no sleep and lack of cabana boy attention. And where IS Demetrius when you need a good shield anyhow? I'm getting a bit punchy I guess.

I hate the way this whole thing got embedded into the modern conscience. I don't understand why that stuck but a lot of the good stuff didn't stick. Ah well. Best not to clobber Fo. WE want another book after all. ;0)

Cassondra said...

Margay said, of The Magic Knot:

I can't wait for the next one.


Me neither. I wonder if she's doing the brother's story next? Does anyone know?

Nancy said...

Cassondra, I could go along with no cabana boys and no sleep for that term. As you say, we do want another book!

That being so, we might have to let her sleep.

Last I saw Demetrius, he was fetching chocolate for Joan. She really needs to designate a backup, sort of an executive officer, for him so he doesn't have to run around so much.

Gillian Layne said...

Ok, I'm done with work for the day and cracking up at the number of comments here. Do TBR piles push buttons or what? :)

Kay, so glad you came by. I hate the thought of "book love" and happy comments being missed by an author. It's hard enough as it is, pouring your soul into a piece of work and knowing that you'll never know what 90% of your readers thought.

I never throw away--but donate to the library. And this warm weather will affect my reading--I only read Janet Evanovich in the spring/summer. I'm going to read the entire Colleen Gleason series the week after school gets out. Hurray for summer!

Gillian Layne said...

As for the MAGIC KNOT--I kinda hope Nightshade gets a HEA. I mean, yeah, he's a vampire, but still...he's so lonesome...

Cassondra said...

Nancy said:

Last I saw Demetrius, he was fetching chocolate for Joan. She really needs to designate a backup, sort of an executive officer, for him so he doesn't have to run around so much.

Why? I LOVE watching him run around. He has such nice...uh...manners.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Tell me, Bandita Sisters and friends, what are you reading right now?
Right now I am reading Seducing a Scottish Bride by Sue-Ellen Welfonder. Next up will be Christie's newest.

Have you read any of the ones I've been reading?
Yes, I have read all of Victoria Alexander's books and what you have is part of a "The Last Man Standing" series.

Are there others you think I should be reading right now? Somthing I should drop everything, go out, buy, and read?
I don't know if you would have to drop everything and go get them but...there is an author that is writing some unusual paranormals that are different, I have never seen the premise used that she is going with. They are called the Relics of Merlin and her name is Kathryne Kennedy.

Have you ever avoided a book because you knew it would be too powerful and you weren't ready?
Yes I have and there have been some that I should have avoided but didn't because I didn't know they were going to do me that way. Ms. Campbell's first book was one of them. J.R.Ward's books do me that way, I get into that world that she made and then I am disorientated when I come out again.

How do you decide whether a book is a keeper or is just passing through. I mean, we can't keep all of them. Can we? If you do keep them all, where do you put them?
I don't keep them all but darn near it. I have 4 bookshelves and all are full, the books being three deep on each shelf and stacked from shelf to shelf with not an inch of space left anywhere. They are also stacked in my bedroom and under the bed in storage units not to mention I have some in my vehicle. You got me, I don't know what I am going to do because I can't let them go. Please, ask for a kidney, not my books.

Cassondra said...

Gillian said:

And this warm weather will affect my reading--I only read Janet Evanovich in the spring/summer.

Okay Gillian. I can accept this if you explain it. Must. Understand.

Why JE only in warm weather?

Cassondra said...

Gillian Layne said:

As for the MAGIC KNOT--I kinda hope Nightshade gets a HEA. I mean, yeah, he's a vampire, but still...he's so lonesome...

OH, I do too. I like Nightshade. I thought he was a good guy. A good guy with issues..oh...and he happens to drink blood and all...but hey, we're open minded here in the lair. We can deal with that.

Dianna Love said...

Of course you bring up the subject that makes me feel guilty every time I walk past my "special" bookcase. I was so irritated at my computer on a recent flight when the battery had not charged all the way up...but then I thought "well, this would be a great time to read." So I did and just taking that time seemed like a guilty pleasure.

I have to admit, Cassondra, I only read the Flame and The Flower about a month ago. I told my husband I was looking for the original and he actually found a bookclub hardback original. He's the best.

Now it looks like I'll have an even bigger TBR pile...

Cassondra said...

a.k.a. Dianna said:

They are called the Relics of Merlin and her name is Kathryne Kennedy.

OOOOOOO. THIS. This sounds SO up my alley. Okay, writing this down. Going to look for these.

Ms. Campbell's first book was one of them. J.R.Ward's books do me that way, I get into that world that she made and then I am disorientated when I come out again.

Yes. Actually the deeper I get into Madelyn Alt's world, the more it's this way for me. I dwell on it. Not in the same way that Anna's books haunt me, but still. I AM disoriented when I come out of it. I find it really hard to focus on the mundane. Most of me is still stuck in that world.

You got me, I don't know what I am going to do because I can't let them go. Please, ask for a kidney, not my books.

How in the world do they have such a hold on us? It's a tangible thing, isn't it? You just can't let go of certain ones.

Cassondra said...

Dianna Love said:

I have to admit, Cassondra, I only read the Flame and The Flower about a month ago. I told my husband I was looking for the original and he actually found a bookclub hardback original. He's the best.

Hey Dianna! (waving madly)Thanks for stopping in. I know you're in deadline hell.

So, how did you handle it? Did the first few scenes bother you as much as they've bothered me? Were you tempted to stop at all, or did you just power through it?

Beth said...

I had my TBR pile down to 2 books but then started buying again *g* As a matter of fact, I just placed an order over on eHarlequin yesterday.

Right now I'm reading Christmas Confessions, a Harlequin Intrigue by Kathleen Long. I just finished Marked, a YA by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast. I'm not sure what will be up next but I'm hoping to have the TBR pile down to under 6 by the end of April. Guess I'd better not place that order at Amazon, huh?

;-)

Gillian Layne said...

The first time I read Stephanie Plum was when we were spending the summer in New Hampshire a couple years ago. The girls and I hit the library right off the bat while dh worked, and when I found One for the Money and started reading it, I could not quit laughing. I had to take the books outside to the park. I went through most of the Plum series that summer--and about died when I found out J. E. lived in Hanover, where we were staying.

So she's summer-in-the-park reading for me, like Anna C's works are winter, wine, chocolate, crackling-fire reads. Not much logic behind it, but it works for me. :)

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

OOOOOOO. THIS. This sounds SO up my alley. Okay, writing this down. Going to look for these.

Here is her website, that will be easier and you can read some excerpts.

http://www.kathrynekennedy.com/

PJ said...

Re: The Magic Knot

Helen is writing Michael's story now. It's titled The Phoenix Charm and is scheduled for release either 12/09 or 1/10. Nightshade's story will be the third book in the series.

Cassondra said...

Beth said:

I had my TBR pile down to 2 books but then started buying again *g* As a matter of fact, I just placed an order over on eHarlequin yesterday.

I cannot ever see this happening for me--I mean the part about having the pile down to two books. Although I don't intentionally keep too many books here, I have to wonder if I wouldn't go through some kind of anxiety knowing there were only two books unread in my house. I mean, what a narrow selection, ya know. What if I'm not in the mood for that? Right now I have the *cough cough* luxury *cough* of having several laundry baskets and shelves of books to choose from.

In all seriousness I need to get this TBR pile down some, but I'm guessing I'll never get to two books. Beth, I'm in awe of your organization and determination!

Cassondra said...

Gillian said:

So she's summer-in-the-park reading for me, like Anna C's works are winter, wine, chocolate, crackling-fire reads. Not much logic behind it, but it works for me. :)


Oh, I think it makes perfect sense though. I love the associations you have of good times in your life and certain seasons which therefore go with certain authors! That's a ritual sort of--a tradition and I enjoy having some of those in my life. Makes the passing of time matter a little more I think. And it gives something definite and rewarding to look forward to, no matter what else is happening.

Cassondra said...

a.k.a. Dianna, thanks for the site!

Cassondra said...

PJ said:

Helen is writing Michael's story now. It's titled The Phoenix Charm and is scheduled for release either 12/09 or 1/10. Nightshade's story will be the third book in the series.


Oh, Excellent! I'll be glad to get both of these. Waiting until winter will be hard though. :0/

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey darlin'! I'm so LOL about the dust bunnies animating...I shudder to think...and the image in my mind is WAAAAAY too real.

I have so many of the same piles and seperations. I love my books and I have stacks of books to read. I've been in the cave getting my June book ready to go, and I'm crosseyed.

To help with the crazies I get when I "cave" too long, I picked up Angie Fox's Accidental Demon Slayer - ya'll will remember Angie was a guest here in the lair - and I've now read it through and am on a re-read.

I also got the first Sookie Stackhouse book. Yes, I know...

Cassondra, I love Annette Blair's books. Really good.

I have to agree that Anna's TTD is, as Cassondra says, one you have to have a couple of days to get over. Ha! (In a good, immersion, wow, kind of way, you know?!)

I'm not going to have an hour to read through everything, but wow on the lotta posts, C. And Congrats on the GR, Limecello!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Beth...I'm so excited because PC and Kristen Cast are going to be guests at this year's WRW Retreat in April. I cannot WAIT to meet them!

Tell me about the books...

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

Cassondra, I love Annette Blair's books. Really good.


I really enjoyed A Veiled Deception. The cover says "A Vintage Magic Mystery." I dunno if that means there will be more in this series or not. I hope so. I notice she has a whole series of others though, including Sex and the Psychic Witch which sounds WAY too good. I think I'm going for that one next, unless somebody has a suggestion for what should come next.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Cassondra,

I'm enjoying your posting!

From your lists, I've read Flame &
The Flower (and quite a few other
Woodiwiss novels, I've had some 50
plus years to do so!) and Tempt The
Devil plus Anna's others.

I've just finished Mary Jo Putney's Dangerous To Know & Jasmine Hayne's Open Invitation.

I'm currently reading Nicola Marsh's The Boss's Bedroom Agenda.

Up next:Annie West's Billionaire's
Bought Mistress.

To make my Keeper List, a book must
be autographed, must be by Anna
Campbell, or be wrap around my
heart great!!

Pat Cochran

Cassondra said...

Pat Cochran said:

To make my Keeper List, a book must
be autographed, must be by Anna
Campbell, or be wrap around my
heart great!!



Pat, I LOVE your criteria! This is pretty much mine too, although recently I've been culling (with great despair) a few of my very old autographed copies. Stuff from long ago, from writer friends who I no longer know well or keep in touch with, or who are no longer writing. It's a sad day when you have to cull an autographed copy, but if I have neither touched it nor had a desire to touch it in ten years, I figure it's time.

This hurts my heart to even say, but honestly once they're gone, like most other "stuff" I never miss them.

Okay, I'm sure I'll be splattered with flying fruit for admitting to the above. :0/

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, thanks, Dianna, Pat and Jeanne! Mwah! Goodness, what a nice blog for me to be part of!

Cassondra said...

Everybody, I'm gonna hop in a nice hot tub and see if I can lull myself into actual sleep at a normal hour. I'll check back befoer I got to bed, so keep on partying if you feel like it.

Thanks to all, though, for making this day such a fun one! Thanks for the suggestions on the great reads, and the info on the ones I was wondering about. And for a look into your own TBR piles and what's on the agenda for Spring!

Kate Carlisle said...

Cassondra!! I was out of town for four days and just read your post so please forgive me for sneaking in late!! And wow, thanks for including me and saying such nice things! Sorry you lost sleep reading my book... okay, I'm not really sorry, but I AM honored! :-)

Now I'm not sure that hero you mentioned will be back in book two.

KIDDING!!! OMG, of course he'll be back! I love him!

And now I'm going to pick up the first of Madelyn Alt's series. It sounds like a really fun series!

And AIN'T SHE SWEET just might be my favorite SEP of all--and that's saying something. :-)