Thursday, August 30, 2012

Defying Labeling: The Reader Edition

What Kind of Book Reader Are You? A Diagnostics Guide - Entertainment - The Atlantic Wire

The above link is to an amusing article about different kinds of book readers (and non-readers). It got me thinking first about how my reading habits have changed over the years, and then about how much I dislike being labeled. Pick a categorization tool, quiz, or breakdown, and I will defy placement.

So what kind of reader am I? When I first graduated from college, I was a committed reader. I'd read one book at a time, and always finish it, no matter how bad a fit it was for me. That continued long after I became a writer, when I read more widely to determine what kind of writer I was and where those books could go. I paid for the books, I'd finish them, or the money would be wasted.

Then we had kids. I had a full-time job, a baby with me 24/7, and a fledgling writing career that was all about stolen moments. Time became more important than money, and it was a huge relief when I gave myself permission NOT to finish books. This was helped along by attending my first writers conferences where they gave out tons of free books. There was no loss there when I didn't finish one. I just passed it along to someone who'd appreciate it more.

Until recently, however, I was still a serial monogamist. I *might* have two books going at a time. One upstairs, one downstairs. One print, one Kindle. But I'd usually focus on one of those for long chunks of time before going back to the other.

Then I loaded the Kindle and Nook apps on my iPod, and things have been wild and crazy ever since! I grab a print book from the shelf in the bedroom to read while I eat dinner. I have one going on the Kindle for portability, reading while I dry my hair in the bathroom, cook in the kitchen, wait for traffic. The iPod is great for unexpected moments of down time—picking up one of the kids somewhere, waiting while they try on clothes at the mall, on hold because my computer is slow to boot up, with the TV show on pause while my husband hangs up his laundry. If I get a book from the library, I might have FOUR going at once! Which one I grab depends on my mood, how grabbed I am by any of them, and my co-reading activity.

Back to that article: I'm never a hate reader anymore. I'm a chronological reader at times, definitely a book buster (but not to the extent described), a combination instant gratification/delayed onset reader (I buy books ALL the time and then wait months or even years to read them!), a bookophile because nothing beats the feel and smell of a book, a DEFINITE cross-under because I read tons of YA as well as some fantasy and SF (even though the vast majority is romance), a multi-tasker (as described above), and yeah, it's quite common to find me making up the rest of the story with my eyes closed because I'm trying to finish the chapter at 1:00 a.m.

So what kind of reader are you?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and His Calves

(I really should be writing. And I will be again, in just a moment. But that's how I neglected this blog in the first place, so I'm striving, once again, for better balance. So here we go!)

Last weekend, I snuck out for a couple of hours by myself—when my eyes couldn't handle the computer anymore—to see Premium Rush. You know, that bike movie with Joseph Gordon-Levitt? I've loved him since Third Rock from the Sun, and I'm always excited when he's in a new movie. Completely because of his acting, of course.

The movie, overall, was really good! It was a pure adrenaline rush. Several times, I found myself tapping my feet on the ground like I was pedaling along with the cyclists. It was nice to see a smaller movie that was about individual people with individual problems. Don't get me wrong, I love epic adventures with the fate of the world at stake, but Premium Rush delivered the same action with a much more personal focus, and almost no property destruction. Yeah, New York City came out of this virtually unscathed!

So often I get bored during chase scenes, and my mind wanders. That didn't happen this time. I don't know if it was because they kept the focus on the people in the chase instead of on all the cool stuff they could do, or because JGL is just that good at commanding attention. Probably both. There were plenty of stunts, and they were great, but JGL has enough charisma to render them unnecessary.

I spend a lot of time in the summer thinking about how fit soccer players are, but this movie reminded me that cyclists are, too. Besides being a great actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives great calf. Go see for yourself!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Trends in Romance Reading

sweet and sassy short romance, Bliss at Entangled
Several years ago, the romance industry lunged in a "new" direction. Books had been getting steadily steamier, not only keeping the door open on love scenes, but bringing the reader deeper and deeper into the experience. Then came erotic romance. This was pioneered in large part by small publishers, led by the highly successful Ellora's Cave, among many others.

And erotic romance boomed. For a long time, sales were low for any e-published book that wasn't labeled "erotic." Envelopes got pushed further and further. Publishers demanded steam, and some authors and readers lamented the loss of the closed door, the sweet romances where sex wasn't the central focus of the story.

The boom faded, and over the last few years, the trend has been not so much trendiness as an opening up of every kind of romance (or other story) you could possibly want. And now, in a nice juxtaposition, we're getting a double surge of BOTH extremes! New readers are discovering erotic romance, and new avenues for sweet romance are emerging.

One of the best, IMO, (not that I'm biased) is the new Bliss line at Entangled Publishing. Bliss launches tomorrow (Saturday, 8/25) with three books by Kelley Vitollo, Roxanne Snopek, and Rachel Astor. Editorial Director Stacy Cantor Abrams says, "The books read like romantic comedy movies set to the page: Love, Actually for the romance reader. Though the focus lies on the characters’ emotional journey, at Bliss we like to say our heroes and heroines still jump in the sack…it just then fades to black." Read more at the Entangled Romance Blog, and check back there for information on their awesome contest and launch events.

Most of the time I lean toward the longer, more complex romances, especially those that are paranormal, suspenseful, or adventurous. But I've been really enjoying a variety of the lighter, shorter, more romance-focused stories that are being published lately, and can't wait to see what Bliss has to offer.

What have you been reading lately? Have you picked up anything outside your usual habits and found yourself glad you did?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

This Fall's Sadness

This is the first fall in about 12 that we don't have a soccer season.

The local soccer club has been going downhill, and this year, they were unable to put together teams for either of my kids. Number One isn't a surprise. She was lucky to have a fantastic coach from 5th to 11th grade who held together a team when there were very few in her age group throughout the league. But last year there was only one senior on her team, and some of the players were 8th graders. The writing was on the wall.

But Number Two is more frustrated. At her age level, her sister's team won their division. Number Two got dropped without any effort from the club, though one of the parents tried to get enough players for a second team. From the time she was 8 years old, the focus was always on fielding superstars, and a bunch of good players who love to play got left in the cold.

Number Two will play for school in the spring, but Number One is done, and that makes us all sad.

There are some perks, though. No more practices for us to drive to and from four times a week (they almost never had practice at the same time!). No more getting up at 5:00 a.m. on a Saturday to drive an hour and a half for an 8:30 game. (Seriously, who writes these schedules? We'd have 1:00 games five minutes away.) No more yelling at the fellow parents not to give away football scores during Sunday soccer games, because we were watching on tape delay. I get to attend all my local writer's group meetings. We won't have to sit in blistering heat and insanely freezing cold. And we'll have lots more time for things like yardwork!

Wait, did I say perks? Let's try that again.

We'll have lots more time for things like writing. Yeah, that's better.

It's all part of growing up, I guess. What's something you've had to give up recently? What are the pros and cons?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Welcome Keri Ford on her Roughnecks Blog Tour!

Welcome back! If you're just joining us our contestants have just completed Round One of The Best Hero Dudes Ever and the winner is…Jacob! Congrats on showing off your rear in those tight pants. Time for Round Two. Take it away Trent!

Trent shuffled through his cards and chuckled. "Two? Really, Keri? Of all the idiot things I've heard these guys say, two lines is the best you have?"

That's all I need.

Trent shook his head. "In round two I have lines my brothers fed their girlfriends. By some miracle, they bought into this load of BS."

Just wait until your turn. You'll probably be worse than the two of them combined.

Trent glanced up to the overhead lights and scratched the side of his head with his middle finger. "First line is from Lane. He told Gretchen: 'You’re like a nudey magazine. If only I could roll you up and tuck you in my back pocket.'"

Trent lowered the cards and stared at his red faced youngest brother. "Really?"

Jacob elbowed him on the couch. "Nice line."

Trent shook his head. "And the next line is a real winner. What Jacob said to Flora: 'If I thought you were easy, I wouldn’t have bothered with the dinner part.' Really great job pointing out that you're a manwhore."

Jacob's eyes narrowed. "I'm not a man—"

All right boys! Two great lines fellas! Trent, tell our voters what the prize is today!

Trent returned to his cards. "Leave a comment and one winner will be selected at random to win a copy of a Harlequin Medical Romance, The Baby Who Saved Dr. Cynical by Connie Cox. Don't forget to leave your email address so we can get your prize out to you!" 

Book is paperback or digital (Kindle or Nook only). US only. Visit Connie at her website for all her latest release information! Thanks!


Rough Play, second in The Roughnecks Series, is now available! 

Jacob Iverson has plans. Distant plans, but they do exist. Find the right woman, eventually settle down and do the whole “white picket fence” routine. But until eventually comes, he’s having fun with right now. Then he meets Flora, who blows him back a step. Or two. Suddenly his distant plans are rushing up to meet him…only not quite the way he imagined. 

Abandoned at seventeen, Flora Simms has made her way through the world, found life and family in the form of two best friends. Everything is just the way she likes it. From life to love to relationships, she knows what she wants, how she wants it, and doesn’t care if anyone agrees or not. And what she doesn’t want is someone trying to tie her down with long-term plans. But Jacob Iverson brings images of the future to her mind, and heart. Jacob somehow knows what she needs and he’s hitting all the right spots. But can Flora give up her idea of independence to let him in?

$2.99 at Amazon Kindle | B&N Nook | Kobo | AllRomanceEbooks | TMP | Smashwords | Bookstrand

Coming soon in print

Add to your Goodreads Shelf

For the latest information on Keri and her books at

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Knocking the Rust Off

Hellooooo, everybody!

*waits for everybody to come back from where they gave up on ever seeing another post here*

This has been a cah-RAZY summer. I think I mentioned that, oh, back in May. So I'll be here catching up, but in the meantime, I'm excited about two things.

First, tomorrow I'm hosting Keri Ford in a stop on her Roughnecks Blog Tour! That link will take you to her main page, which lists all the stops on the tour. Of course, she's going to have a giveaway! So be sure to come back in the morning to check it out.


I was having kind of a down day. You know, those "I suck at everything" kind of days? And then UPS dumped something at my door. I was expecting packages, but small ones, and this one was big. When I opened it, I literally went "Squee-e--e---eee!" to get the kids to come running so they could see the beauty.

I can't WAIT to see this book on the shelves in just 21 days!