Another Box of Books

When I got home from work last night, I found a lovely box of books on my doorstep. Now, you might think, with all the (mostly free) books I brought home from the RWA conference, that I wouldn’t need to be book shopping again any time soon. (Well, no, if you stop by here often, you wouldn’t think that at all.)

most books 2Ha! I always need books. I’m a book junkie. And the August release of books in two series that I never miss sent me mousing over to Amazon a couple of weeks ago to order them: Paw And Order, the latest Chet and Bernie mystery from Spencer Quinn, and Death, Taxes, and Silver Spurs, the latest adventure of Tara Holloway, Diane Kelly’s intrepid (and armed) IRS Special Agent. Chet, Bernie, and Tara are among my very favorite book people (well, Chet’s a dog, but he’s still a favorite character) and I never miss their stories.

As long as I was there (and making sure to order enough for free shipping—I have yet to succumb to the lures of Amazon Prime, for fear I would never be able to tear myself away from all those videos), I ordered Kate Parker’s The Counterfeit Lady (the second installment in the Victorian Bookshop Mysteries) and Lauren Christopher’s The Red Bikini, a contemporary romance set on a California beach.

I’d heard through the RWA grapevine that the writers who went to Lisa Cron’s workshop were raving about it, and about her book, Wired for Story, so I ordered that, too. Haven’t cracked it yet, but a friend who has been reading it assures me that she’s gotten a lot of ideas from it. The subtitle, The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence, is a bit intimidating (Brain Science? Really?), but I’m always up for a few nuggets of inspiration.

I wanted one more book from a series I’ve loved since its beginning, Marcia Muller’s The Night Searchers, the latest Sharon McCone mystery, but when I pulled it up on Amazon, it was listed at full price and with a possible two-week delay. Aha—published by Grand Central and caught in the ongoing feud between Amazon and Hachette.

So I moused on over to the Mystery Guild. I’ve belonged to the Mystery Guild and the Science Fiction Book Club since the pre-Internet days of the early 1970s, when I lived in a small town in Louisiana, thirty miles from the nearest book store (and short of money at that). Over at the Mystery Guild, I not only found The Night Searchers, but they were running a sale, so I preordered another series favorite, Margaret Maron’s latest Deborah Knott mystery, Designated Daughters, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ new release, Heroes Are my Weakness.

Then last weekend I went to a West Houston RWA meeting and bought three new books by chapter sisters: Sophie Jordan’s A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin (first in a new historical romance series), Shana Galen’s Love and Let Spy (third in the Lord and Lady Spy trilogy), and Heather MacAllister’s Taken By Storm (Harlequin Blaze romance).

Clearly, I’m still devoted to the paper book, but I’ve added several novels to my Kindle since the conference, too, some by friends, some through BookBub (even more temptation than the Kindle Daily Deal!). As soon as I find another day or two in the week to devote to reading, I’ll put up some more reviews.

Meanwhile, what are you reading?


The invisible To Be Read pile on my Kindle

grows almost as fast as the rows of  paper books on my shelves.  It’s so darn easy to hit that one-click button, so many of the books are inexpensive (or even free) and while there is technically a limit on what the Kindle can store, I doubt I will ever reach it.  Carrying a library in my purse is a very cool idea, but I’m already wondering how I will ever catch up with what I’ve already downloaded.  But then I also have several shelves of paper books that I really want to read.  She who dies with the most books wins.

In the last month or so I have downloaded the usual variety of books, starting with Entangled, a paranormal anthology benefitting the Breast Cancer Foundation, featuring ten authors, several of whom I have not read.  Here’s a good chance to sample their work.

Next came The Earl’s Bargain, another regency romance by my friend Cheryl Bolen, whose books, both new and previously published, are proving very popular as ebooks (for good reason), and The Lady’s Scandalous Night, a Tang Dynasty novella by Jeannie Lin, who has so far released two novellas to accompany her 8th century China-set romances.  A few days later Lin’s second novel, The Dragon and the Pearl, which I had preordered, arrived.

My latest foray (as yet unread) into understanding social media is Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer, by Kristen Lamb.  I will follow up on this stuff, but not until I’ve met my self-imposed deadline for finishing the work-in-progress.  I have twelve books in my Craft of Writing collection; I’ve read five of them, not including the Vanity Fair article on How a Book Is Born (expanded from the print version).  Also writing related is Oxygen, a science fiction novel by Randy Ingermanson (known to writers for his Snowflake Method) and John Olson, with added material on their writing process.

Other recent downloads include Gregory Maquire’s Wicked, a novel I’ve been meaning to read (but, as a life-long Oz fan, I’m a little cautious about it), and Wickedly Charming by Kristine Grayson (a freebie to promote the next book in her fairy tale series).

Just now I fired up the wireless connection on my Kindle to download my latest purchases, both local (Houston) authors.  Heather MacAllister has published at least forty romance novels since her Picture Perfect won the Golden Heart for Young Adult manuscripts in 1989.  Joni Rodgers has reissued her first novel, Crazy For Trying, as an ebook.  One more plug for a Houston author:  Deeanne Gist’s Maid to Match is available right now for free, to promote her next book, Love on the Line.  If you haven’t read Dee’s work, this is a good chance to try it.

I’ve had my Kindle since April.  Right now I have at least thirty novels on it (there are a couple of multi-book files in there), twelve books and articles on the craft of writing, and ten short stories and novellas.  All in that little package, at my instant command.  Now if I only had more time to read them.