Monday, September 27, 2010

How big is yours?

I'm addicted to reading, but lately my to-be-read pile has been...well...piling up. It has me wondering if the size of a writer's TBR pile is directly related to where they are in their writing career, or if it's merely a product of life in general. Do deadlines and multi-book contracts suck up reading time any more than kids, illness, and daytime careers? It's probably a draw. Everything is relative. Right?

It's poll time! How big is your TBR pile?

A) 0-5 books
B) 6-11 books
C) 12-20 books
D) Greater than 20

What robs you of reading time more than anything else?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Coffee or Tea?

I personally love both. Which one I indulge in depends entirely on the time of day, my mood, what I've eaten, and the type of caffeine I need. But enough about me. I'm more interested in what the heroes and heroines in the latest books I've read drink.

Most of the time, I have no problem with their choice of coffee or tea. It seems to flow with the story. In historicals, I almost expect them to drink tea or hot chocolate. In westerns, it's coffee for the cowboys and tea for the ladies. In contemporaries, you get more variation, but there was a time where the hero in the book I was reading drank tea and it just bugged me for some reason. I felt that the big, alpha dude needed to be drinking coffee. He wasn't into health, organics, herbs or Zen. He had no cultural background that would lean him toward tea drinking.

For some reason, I think coffee fits universally with heroes and heroines, whereas tea you have to be careful with...down to the type. Tea can come off as feminine if not done right. Am I being unfair?

Coffee, tea, and the sexes. What do you think? What do you and your characters drink?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Book store family outings

I'll admit that I do much of my book buying online. I love book stores. I used to spend time browsing them, but having kids changed that. I blame the fact that book stores now carry a tempting selection of toys. Why in the world would a book store carry toys? Geesh! I understand why they're doing it from a marketing perspective, but if mothers have to drag wailing kids out the doors because they want toys instead of books, isn't the store losing a potential customer? For me, it made taking the kids to the library a much better (and cheaper) alternative when they were younger. It was kind of like choosing the 'No Candies' check-out aisle in the grocery store.

Well, this weekend I dared to give the book store family outing another chance. After all, my kids are a tiny bit older now. The results? Two out of three resisted the toys (on command) and picked out books. Not bad I guess. What did we leave with?

The Shifter by Janice Hardy. I've been dying to share this book with my kids ever since I learned about it at Pubrants, but getting to chat with Janice at the RWA Keynote luncheon in Orlando cinched the deal. She is such a sweet, gracious, and down-to-earth person.

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. One of my kids is a fan of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. He had to stifle a scream of joy when he came across this book.

We also walked out with several books on dragons...after paying of course.

And books that were added to my TBR pile this weekend include:

Not Quite A Husband by Sherry Thomas. I had the honor of meeting Sherry at the Literacy Autographing in Orlando while on volunteer duty in her aisle. She was incredibly friendly, warm, and full of energy. I can't wait to read her RITA win.

...and I can't resist buying the latest Harlequin Supers.

Once A Ranger by Carrie Weaver.
Fully Involved by Amy Knupp.
Tyler O'Neill's Redemption by Molly O'Keefe.

Note that these are only the latest 'Supers' added to my library. I have books from about 29 different 'Supers' authors. These ladies, along with the other authors over at the Harlequin Simply-Series Supers forum, are the best. If you haven't already, pop on over there and 'meet' them.

All in all, I survived my non-internet book shopping. I didn't realize how much I'd missed the smells, visuals, and atmosphere of a book store. I felt like a kid in a toy store.

My question for you is are you more likely to buy a book if you've met the author in person or you've gotten to know them online?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Time shock

My kids started school this week. Finally.

I love my kids, but there's something to be said about the therapeutic benefits of a quiet house. I'm seriously considering having custom t-shirts made that say 'Okay, but Mom...', 'What should I do now?', and 'That's not fair!'. Nope. Life's not fair. I spent my first day alone with a relentless migraine, but apparently my first grader's day was worse.

He got off the bus shaking his head in what appeared to be utter disbelief.
"That had to be longer than an hour," he said.
"The bus ride?" I asked, a little confused since his ride is no more than fifteen minutes.
"No! The school day."
"Oh, sweetie. You've been gone for almost seven hours."

The poor thing only had to survive a half day for kindergarten last year. I proceeded to ask about his day, and he kept saying that it was terrible. I asked if he'd gotten in trouble. Nope. He loved his teacher. Nothing bad had happened.

"So, other than the day being long, which is normal from first grade on -"
"Whoa, Mom. There's no way being at school that long is normal for anyone!"

Oh, man. He looked so dead serious that I had to laugh. If only he had a sense of how long twelve years to college will be...or how long it takes to publish a book.

My migraine is gone. My house is quiet. And I miss the little buggers.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day! This holiday always reminds me that fall, my favorite season, is just around the bend. I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful, long weekend.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Heroes be warned...

I was sitting in my office contemplating heroes and heroines, when a praying mantis landed on my window screen. Having an imagination that goes off on wild tangents (no pun intended), I started thinking about how the female praying mantis embodies most of the attributes of a sexy heroine. She has that long, slender body, limber legs, and big, round, come-hither eyes. Oh, and she eats kicks ass.
Wait a minute! She does what?
Actually, she typically starts with his head. I did say she embodied most characteristics...not all. Uh, alpha? Yes. Ideal heroine? Guess not. Cannabalism after sex doesn't equate with a happily ever after. Not exactly romantic. So to all you heroes out there, looks aren't everything. Don't say I didn't warn you.

By the way, the above praying mantis lingered on my window all day before taking off to find a mate. I haven't seen him since. Some guys never learn (and, in all fairness, the reverse holds true for women).