Saturday, March 29, 2008

Reading challenge continues . . .


Just finished this one.

All right, it is an old title, copyright 1996. Found it buried in my TBR (to be read) stack, and that bright red cover leaped out.

If you've read my earlier post, you'll know I have a reading challenge going on for any who want to join.

Simple: read a book a week for a year. At the end I'll have enjoyed 52 new authors and adventures.

For as disappointing as last week was (see previous post), this week's read of BRIDE OF FORTUNE by Shirl Henke was excellent. I was, actually, surprised to see that it only had a 3 1/2 stars on Amazon.

If you love actual history folded into a story, then this is a great tale for you. If you like heroes who fill up the page, then this is the novel for you. Not only does our hero save the heroine, he saves her dog and an orphan. Okay, that makes him pretty great. And if you believe in great love stories, then this is one you'll want to read.

Thanks, Ms. Henke for a read well worth my time.

Now, I'll need to dive back in and see if I have another of her treasures buried in my hiding spot.

What did you read this week?

Remember, busy isn't an excuse to NOT read . . . it's a cop-out!

Until next time,
~Sandra

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I tried, really I did

I should so be sleeping. Dealing with 3rd graders on a daily basis is wearing and right now it's way later than I should be sitting at the computer. Okay, maybe they're not tiring. Maybe I'm just old. That aside, here's what happened with my reading challenge this week:

It was a sad state of affairs. I raided my TBR (to be read) stack -- and it is worthy of raiding, folks -- for a contemporary. For over one hundred pages I tried to like this book. After chapter . . . I don't even know, I gave up counting them, I chucked the book. Not a normal response for me. I'll push through to the end most of the time -- even though my reading hours are precious -- because I figure that the author went to a serious amount of work. And I'm not saying this multi-published author didn't go to a lot of work, however, I never cared what happened to these characters. In one hundred pages, I didn't care -- not even a little bit. Alrighty then, if the writing can't snag me in that count then it's truly not worth finishing.

So back to the TBR stack; this time for a historical. Maybe in was bad karma, or I'd pissed off the reading gods or something because this one was worse. Now since I can't write historicals, trust me I've tried and it was anything but pretty, I have loads of patience for the slower, more methodical pacing in historicals, BUT, the language didn't fit the period, the US state the characters were living in during this historical setting wasn't even a state at that point, the characters had conversations -- in mixed company -- about things folks would never have talked about back then. AND then, and then, and then, did you get that, and then the author kills off an injured wolf and her pups, ALL without remorse. Okay, I was done. Second book chucked.

Now, maybe because I've read so many fabulous books since the first of the year, I'm a little picky at this point; I will concede that possibility. But I didn't get my read in for the first time since the beginning of the year and that disappoints me.

I'm already a hundred pages into another historical -- this heroine has overcome huge obstacles and is one sassy creature for the effort. I love her. The hero is bold, brass, and lurking under all those rough edges is the man every woman would want. I'll be posting about this book by week's end.

What did you read this week?

Feel free to share.
~Happy writing and reading
Sandra

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Break



Oh, I so wanted to bask in the sun this week . . . hey, I live in Texas, I should get to bask in March if I want. HOWEVER, mother nature had other plans and it rained, yep, we're talking real cats and dogs type of rain. Everyone from the middle of the nation on east has seen the effects I'm talking about.


Instead of sun basking, I've been cleaning. What drudgery, but after two sick kids there wasn't much choice. Do these kiddos not realize they're wasting my valuable sun basking time? Nope, probably not. But I did draw the limit after 12 loads of laundry. If ain't clean by now, too bad.


My other task this week has been writing -- and frankly, when my head is stuffed in the computer because I'm creating, it doesn't matter if it's raining, the kids are sick, or the timer is ringing on the dryer . . . it's all good. So, I'm pushing through hard and fast on Trickle of Lies, trying to get these characters to talk nicely to one another. It may just work. But it has to be finished. Two of my beta readers are asking almost every week when they'll get to see the finished draft. Time for stalling is over.
What did you do on your spring break?

Feel free to share.
Until then
~Sandra

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sparkle This!

Yep, it's my turn to Sparkle again.

I have another post on Sparkle This!

Do drop by and follow our story (Short Story #2)



Happy writing and reading.

Sandra

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Yes, I've been reading.


Who's keeping up with the reading challenge? Remember, one new book each week? No specific requirements, no mandatory length, no classical or literary emphasis is necessary -- only reading a new book each week.

Time marches on and your reading stack (those you've read) should be growing -- right along with mine.

This past week, I re-entered the world of teaching on a short-term, if full-time basis. What's that mean? Reading moments must be snagged with ruthless zeal.

So here's my list for the past two weeks:

Jodi Picoult's, My Sister's Keeper
John Reynolds Gardiner's, Stone Fox
and finally, Francene Sabin's, The Courage of Helen Keller
Yes, these last two are children's book. Remember, what I said -- it's the reading that's important on all levels, in all genres. There are some tremendously talented children's book authors -- it you're not reading your kids books, you're missing a treasure trove.


Stone Fox is a poignant story about a boy's love for his ailing grandfather, and a dog's devotion to a boy. Heart-rending at the end; make sure to have your tissues ready.

My Sister's Keeper came as a highly recommended read. The multiple first-person accounts (a little like massive head-hopping) do take a bit of getting used to, however, this story will keep you turning the pages -- the 423 page read was a straight through adventure for me. There is a twist at the end, remarkably well-done and completely unexpected. As a mom, there is one character, in the story, that I neither understand or like -- not the slightest sympathy or empathy can I muster for this character. Perhaps that is Ms. Picoult's purpose. That said, this isn't a book I'd reread based on the miserable failings of this one character. Surely, many will disagree. But for me, personally, the fatally flawed character, who isn't the villain, reeks too much of today's headline news -- not the person I want to root for in a novel. Again, it's all personal, right? Ms. Picoult, as a New York Times bestseller, certainly has her following.


Have you read any of these books? Be sure to add your comments.

~Keep reading!
Sandra

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sparkle This!

Want to see what I'm working on these days?

Pop over to Sparkle This!

A group of seven writers, moi included, are enmeshed in our latest short serial -- a rather twisted 'fish out of water' story -- where our modern-day heroine is transported back into regency time in order to solve a murder. There's a time-jumper, a fairy godmother, an evil stepfather, and a hunky hero.

Drop by and read any excerpt under Short Story #2 to follow along. Every few days another writer will post an addition to the story.

~Hope to see you there.
Sandra

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Love Texas Style



Yahoo! Kick up your heels and set your lasso to pull in a great read.


Love Texas Style, an anthology written by twelve -- dare I say, yes, I do -- unbelievably talented North Texas Romance writers, is now available through the Wild Rose Press.

E-books are available at: The Wild Rose Press


Want your own autographed print version? Then check back here or at LA Mitchell's blog for the latest on book-signings.


Oh, and make sure to drop LA Mitchell (one of the greatest new writers of our times) a line and let her know how much you enjoyed her The Lost Highway in Love Texas Style.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Reading on . . .




Been away from the computer, but reading and WRITING on!

This past week's read was Lisa Kleypas's, Sugar Daddy.

Well worth the investment of my time.

If you love larger-than-life characters, great detail, and dead-solid perfect Texasism, then you'll want to read Ms. Kleypas's Sugar Daddy.

Feel free to leave your read for the week.

Texas sayings

~Watch your step! Cacti, tumbleweeds, and an occasional armadillo might be ahead.

~Welcome to the land of tar-bubbling summers, gas-guzzling pickup trucks, standard Stetson headgear, and mile-high hair.

~Welcome to the Lone Star State, and Romance With A Texas Twist!

Quote of the Day