Beach Party Book Talk

Fdrinkspatio_1 It’s Friday, and I’m not Mary Jo!  Sorry ‘bout dat.  Mary Jo is out snorkeling, or at least lounging beachside, in the sunny Caribbean, while I’m stuck in chilly St. Louis taking her place. But never fear, Pat Rice is here, and we’re gonna play!

All right, let’s slap on some suntan lotion, snuggle down in our beach chairs, and signal the waiter to bring us our favorite daiquiris. I don’t care if you’re reading this with your breakfast, we’re having daiquris this morning. Call it your breakfast fruit. Now adjust your umbrella, admire the peaceful waves, and let’s talk books.

I know I just blogged on historical politics, but there’s nothing worse than publishing politics, so I’ll warn you now, that rather than start any wars today, I’m on my best behavior. I’m only talking good books.  The rest of y’all can do as you please.

My memory isn’t strong enough to come up with best all-time favorites unless you want to repeat discussions of JANE EYRE and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.  And I’ve promised to be good so I won’t wallop GONE WITH THE WIND.  So what I choose to do on this blissful sunny day with daiquiri in hand is to discuss recent reads, since they’re conveniently stacked on the table beside me, and I won’t get charged with favoritism by choosing one book over another. Smileybigsmile_2 Of course, this also means you’re stuck with my current reading material which isn’t necessarily historical or romance, but that’s life.

Let’s start with Deb Smith’s CROSSROADS CAFÉ.(www.deborahsmith.com) I adore Deb’s Southern women’s fiction style. I’ve lived in various areas of the south most of my life, and I’m well Crossroadscafe150_1 accustomed to tales starting out “Y’all know that old-timey barn down by the Rooster Café?” and proceeding from there in lovingly detailed description.  You sip your iced tea, wave away the mosquitoes, and sink into another time and place. Deb can do this even when she’s talking about a spoiled movie star whose way of life is literally brought to a screeching halt and a Yankee who is waiting for a good excuse to off himself. And she can do it with a down-home sense of humor and pragmatism that shines like jewels throughout the book.  Despite the subject matter, this really is a feel-good romance with a wonderful, uplifting ending.  Savor, and don’t get too sunburned while you’re devouring the pages.

The other book sitting on my table waiting to be filed in my library is Sharon Shinn’s DARK MOON Shinn_1 DEFENDER,(her site hasn’t been recently updated but here it is: www.sharonshinn.net)  the latest in her Twelve Houses series. It isn’t necessary to read them in order, but it’s more fun simply because her characters are so marvelous that you’ll want to get to know them in full detail.  This one is hardcover, the older ones are probably out in softcover, and the library ought to have them. Remind me some time to have a discussion on how writers get paid, and why British libraries pay authors, but today is for lounging about being lazy and not having complex discussions. Just let it be said that when you find a favorite author, buy their books so publishers will keep publishing them.

The hero of DARK MOON DEFENDER is Justin, an all-around military jock who enjoys being tougher than everybody.  He doesn’t need anyone. Women are soft and useless—except for his few female companions, and they’ve grown on him lately.  And talk about politics!  Shinn develops entire worlds, including complex hierarchies with intrigue and corruption, that often reflect current events in strange and wonderful ways. And the heroine is innocently dropped right in the middle of it—into Shinn’s equivalent of a nunnery.  This world has psychic magic, but the nunnery scorns it and Justin’s mates use it, so the conflict starts right there. Watching this tough man succumb to a seemingly soft woman who sets him on his head when she turns out—in her own steadfast manner—to be even tougher than his mates is simply a joy to behold.

And you’ll notice I talk about characters and not plot. Sorry, but that’s how I approach my own books.  I adore reading about people. The plot is there just to see how the characters deal with it and learn from it. So even if both of these books have lots of plot and action, they’re steeped thoroughly in character.  And good writing. Writing that sings. Which is why they’re still sitting here, so I can flip back to certains scenes and admire their construction.Fdrinksunspecs_1

So, all this talking has made me thirsty, and I need to refill my glass.  Tell me what you’re reading, good, bad, or indifferent. And tell me WHY you like or dislike it. That’s the really fun part. I want to know what our readers are looking for in a book.

Oh, and if you want to comment on what I’m currently writing, I just posted a couple of blogs at www.patriciarice.blogspot.com where readers get to tell me if I’m right, wrong, or just bad. Later, I’ll post a poll on my website but I don’t want to work any harder today!

96 thoughts on “Beach Party Book Talk”

  1. It’s below zero in Maine today, but thanks to you, Pat, I’m hearing reggae and catching some mental rays. Thanks for the book recs. My first priority though, is to finish my Wench-Winnings! I loved Loretta’s Viscount Vagabond. Whether you like traditional regencies or not, her dialog is unbelievably sharp and her characters clever and endearing. Sorry. The adjectives just don’t do her justice. I want characters that are more than the sum of their well-established, conventional parts. I am dashing through Devil’s Delilah, although I don’t want it to end. But it must, because your Small Town Girl is up next. So this small town girl is guaranteed to have a great weekend. 🙂

    Reply
  2. It’s below zero in Maine today, but thanks to you, Pat, I’m hearing reggae and catching some mental rays. Thanks for the book recs. My first priority though, is to finish my Wench-Winnings! I loved Loretta’s Viscount Vagabond. Whether you like traditional regencies or not, her dialog is unbelievably sharp and her characters clever and endearing. Sorry. The adjectives just don’t do her justice. I want characters that are more than the sum of their well-established, conventional parts. I am dashing through Devil’s Delilah, although I don’t want it to end. But it must, because your Small Town Girl is up next. So this small town girl is guaranteed to have a great weekend. 🙂

    Reply
  3. It’s below zero in Maine today, but thanks to you, Pat, I’m hearing reggae and catching some mental rays. Thanks for the book recs. My first priority though, is to finish my Wench-Winnings! I loved Loretta’s Viscount Vagabond. Whether you like traditional regencies or not, her dialog is unbelievably sharp and her characters clever and endearing. Sorry. The adjectives just don’t do her justice. I want characters that are more than the sum of their well-established, conventional parts. I am dashing through Devil’s Delilah, although I don’t want it to end. But it must, because your Small Town Girl is up next. So this small town girl is guaranteed to have a great weekend. 🙂

    Reply
  4. It’s below zero in Maine today, but thanks to you, Pat, I’m hearing reggae and catching some mental rays. Thanks for the book recs. My first priority though, is to finish my Wench-Winnings! I loved Loretta’s Viscount Vagabond. Whether you like traditional regencies or not, her dialog is unbelievably sharp and her characters clever and endearing. Sorry. The adjectives just don’t do her justice. I want characters that are more than the sum of their well-established, conventional parts. I am dashing through Devil’s Delilah, although I don’t want it to end. But it must, because your Small Town Girl is up next. So this small town girl is guaranteed to have a great weekend. 🙂

    Reply
  5. I bought “Crossroads Cafe” because of comments on this blog and really, really enjoyed it. Just like you, it’s characters that keep me interested in a book. I particularly want to see people dealing with troubles in everyday life, overcoming, getting their HEA. Now I’ll have to go find Sharon Shinn. Never heard of her, but you haven’t lead me astray so far. About 20 years ago there was a series by M. K. Wren that created an alternative future. I haven’t seen anything from her lately. For any kind of fantasy there has to be a world that is internally consistent and has a sense of history. I am a sucker for books that have a map showing the imaginary world, family trees and vocabulary lists. I just read Laura Resnick’s early fantasy trilogy and her newer “Disappearing Nightly” (another WW recommendation) and enjoyed them very much. I also read “Eragon” because of the movie that recently came out and thought it was a good first effort, especially for such a young author (the world was rich in detail but the characters were somehat cardboard). Other than that, I’m reading dog training books- not too glamorous, but necessary in a house with 4 dogs.

    Reply
  6. I bought “Crossroads Cafe” because of comments on this blog and really, really enjoyed it. Just like you, it’s characters that keep me interested in a book. I particularly want to see people dealing with troubles in everyday life, overcoming, getting their HEA. Now I’ll have to go find Sharon Shinn. Never heard of her, but you haven’t lead me astray so far. About 20 years ago there was a series by M. K. Wren that created an alternative future. I haven’t seen anything from her lately. For any kind of fantasy there has to be a world that is internally consistent and has a sense of history. I am a sucker for books that have a map showing the imaginary world, family trees and vocabulary lists. I just read Laura Resnick’s early fantasy trilogy and her newer “Disappearing Nightly” (another WW recommendation) and enjoyed them very much. I also read “Eragon” because of the movie that recently came out and thought it was a good first effort, especially for such a young author (the world was rich in detail but the characters were somehat cardboard). Other than that, I’m reading dog training books- not too glamorous, but necessary in a house with 4 dogs.

    Reply
  7. I bought “Crossroads Cafe” because of comments on this blog and really, really enjoyed it. Just like you, it’s characters that keep me interested in a book. I particularly want to see people dealing with troubles in everyday life, overcoming, getting their HEA. Now I’ll have to go find Sharon Shinn. Never heard of her, but you haven’t lead me astray so far. About 20 years ago there was a series by M. K. Wren that created an alternative future. I haven’t seen anything from her lately. For any kind of fantasy there has to be a world that is internally consistent and has a sense of history. I am a sucker for books that have a map showing the imaginary world, family trees and vocabulary lists. I just read Laura Resnick’s early fantasy trilogy and her newer “Disappearing Nightly” (another WW recommendation) and enjoyed them very much. I also read “Eragon” because of the movie that recently came out and thought it was a good first effort, especially for such a young author (the world was rich in detail but the characters were somehat cardboard). Other than that, I’m reading dog training books- not too glamorous, but necessary in a house with 4 dogs.

    Reply
  8. I bought “Crossroads Cafe” because of comments on this blog and really, really enjoyed it. Just like you, it’s characters that keep me interested in a book. I particularly want to see people dealing with troubles in everyday life, overcoming, getting their HEA. Now I’ll have to go find Sharon Shinn. Never heard of her, but you haven’t lead me astray so far. About 20 years ago there was a series by M. K. Wren that created an alternative future. I haven’t seen anything from her lately. For any kind of fantasy there has to be a world that is internally consistent and has a sense of history. I am a sucker for books that have a map showing the imaginary world, family trees and vocabulary lists. I just read Laura Resnick’s early fantasy trilogy and her newer “Disappearing Nightly” (another WW recommendation) and enjoyed them very much. I also read “Eragon” because of the movie that recently came out and thought it was a good first effort, especially for such a young author (the world was rich in detail but the characters were somehat cardboard). Other than that, I’m reading dog training books- not too glamorous, but necessary in a house with 4 dogs.

    Reply
  9. I love Deb’s books too!
    As for what I’m reading, I’m just finishing off Annette Blair’s The Scot, the Witch and the Wardrobe (a fun read) and am trying to decide what to start next – Sarah Dunant’s The Birth of Venus or Karleen Koen’s Dark Angels. Decisions, decisions…

    Reply
  10. I love Deb’s books too!
    As for what I’m reading, I’m just finishing off Annette Blair’s The Scot, the Witch and the Wardrobe (a fun read) and am trying to decide what to start next – Sarah Dunant’s The Birth of Venus or Karleen Koen’s Dark Angels. Decisions, decisions…

    Reply
  11. I love Deb’s books too!
    As for what I’m reading, I’m just finishing off Annette Blair’s The Scot, the Witch and the Wardrobe (a fun read) and am trying to decide what to start next – Sarah Dunant’s The Birth of Venus or Karleen Koen’s Dark Angels. Decisions, decisions…

    Reply
  12. I love Deb’s books too!
    As for what I’m reading, I’m just finishing off Annette Blair’s The Scot, the Witch and the Wardrobe (a fun read) and am trying to decide what to start next – Sarah Dunant’s The Birth of Venus or Karleen Koen’s Dark Angels. Decisions, decisions…

    Reply
  13. The best non-Wench books I’ve read recently are Shana Abe’s “The Smoke Thief” and “The Dream Thief” — gorgeously imagined and written books. I couldn’t put them down, and I didn’t want them to end. . .

    Reply
  14. The best non-Wench books I’ve read recently are Shana Abe’s “The Smoke Thief” and “The Dream Thief” — gorgeously imagined and written books. I couldn’t put them down, and I didn’t want them to end. . .

    Reply
  15. The best non-Wench books I’ve read recently are Shana Abe’s “The Smoke Thief” and “The Dream Thief” — gorgeously imagined and written books. I couldn’t put them down, and I didn’t want them to end. . .

    Reply
  16. The best non-Wench books I’ve read recently are Shana Abe’s “The Smoke Thief” and “The Dream Thief” — gorgeously imagined and written books. I couldn’t put them down, and I didn’t want them to end. . .

    Reply
  17. Last night I finished reading Katie Fforde’s Practically Perfect. This morning I found out it was on the longlist for the Best Romantic Novel–the award given by the RNA, Britain’s equivalent (sort of) of the RWA.
    I first met Katie at the RNA award ceremony a couple of years ago. She’s a delight and so is her novel, and the honour is richly deserved!

    Reply
  18. Last night I finished reading Katie Fforde’s Practically Perfect. This morning I found out it was on the longlist for the Best Romantic Novel–the award given by the RNA, Britain’s equivalent (sort of) of the RWA.
    I first met Katie at the RNA award ceremony a couple of years ago. She’s a delight and so is her novel, and the honour is richly deserved!

    Reply
  19. Last night I finished reading Katie Fforde’s Practically Perfect. This morning I found out it was on the longlist for the Best Romantic Novel–the award given by the RNA, Britain’s equivalent (sort of) of the RWA.
    I first met Katie at the RNA award ceremony a couple of years ago. She’s a delight and so is her novel, and the honour is richly deserved!

    Reply
  20. Last night I finished reading Katie Fforde’s Practically Perfect. This morning I found out it was on the longlist for the Best Romantic Novel–the award given by the RNA, Britain’s equivalent (sort of) of the RWA.
    I first met Katie at the RNA award ceremony a couple of years ago. She’s a delight and so is her novel, and the honour is richly deserved!

    Reply
  21. I didn’t know the Shinn was out!! (Insert sad tale of woe about all bookstores but the giant and useless Barnes and Nobles – even the Waldenbooks by the mall revoking it’s lease – having been shut down unless I drive 45 minutes or use Amazon)
    I want both of these and Shall Have Them. I’m currently reading a recent release – a breathakingly racist history of Buhl Idaho. I tend to read little sci fi anymore – it’s too hard to find something on par with Shinn. I used to read as much of it as I did history or romance. Now I play more video games. (wii. love it.) I’m character driven unless the plot is just unworkable. I’ll forgive a fair amount if the people speak to me.
    Oh! I just read two decent(ish) SF books – not Shinn, but maybe her second step cousin – the author was Snyder and they were Poison Study (the stronger) and Magic Study (much weaker). There’s a third I’ll probably read, but Poison Study is the only one I’d recommend.

    Reply
  22. I didn’t know the Shinn was out!! (Insert sad tale of woe about all bookstores but the giant and useless Barnes and Nobles – even the Waldenbooks by the mall revoking it’s lease – having been shut down unless I drive 45 minutes or use Amazon)
    I want both of these and Shall Have Them. I’m currently reading a recent release – a breathakingly racist history of Buhl Idaho. I tend to read little sci fi anymore – it’s too hard to find something on par with Shinn. I used to read as much of it as I did history or romance. Now I play more video games. (wii. love it.) I’m character driven unless the plot is just unworkable. I’ll forgive a fair amount if the people speak to me.
    Oh! I just read two decent(ish) SF books – not Shinn, but maybe her second step cousin – the author was Snyder and they were Poison Study (the stronger) and Magic Study (much weaker). There’s a third I’ll probably read, but Poison Study is the only one I’d recommend.

    Reply
  23. I didn’t know the Shinn was out!! (Insert sad tale of woe about all bookstores but the giant and useless Barnes and Nobles – even the Waldenbooks by the mall revoking it’s lease – having been shut down unless I drive 45 minutes or use Amazon)
    I want both of these and Shall Have Them. I’m currently reading a recent release – a breathakingly racist history of Buhl Idaho. I tend to read little sci fi anymore – it’s too hard to find something on par with Shinn. I used to read as much of it as I did history or romance. Now I play more video games. (wii. love it.) I’m character driven unless the plot is just unworkable. I’ll forgive a fair amount if the people speak to me.
    Oh! I just read two decent(ish) SF books – not Shinn, but maybe her second step cousin – the author was Snyder and they were Poison Study (the stronger) and Magic Study (much weaker). There’s a third I’ll probably read, but Poison Study is the only one I’d recommend.

    Reply
  24. I didn’t know the Shinn was out!! (Insert sad tale of woe about all bookstores but the giant and useless Barnes and Nobles – even the Waldenbooks by the mall revoking it’s lease – having been shut down unless I drive 45 minutes or use Amazon)
    I want both of these and Shall Have Them. I’m currently reading a recent release – a breathakingly racist history of Buhl Idaho. I tend to read little sci fi anymore – it’s too hard to find something on par with Shinn. I used to read as much of it as I did history or romance. Now I play more video games. (wii. love it.) I’m character driven unless the plot is just unworkable. I’ll forgive a fair amount if the people speak to me.
    Oh! I just read two decent(ish) SF books – not Shinn, but maybe her second step cousin – the author was Snyder and they were Poison Study (the stronger) and Magic Study (much weaker). There’s a third I’ll probably read, but Poison Study is the only one I’d recommend.

    Reply
  25. I actually just finished Mary Jo’s Stolen Magic last night; it was wonderful! This morning I started City of Bones by Michael Connelly, who is one of my favorite mystery writers. In the car, I’m listening to The Eighth Day by John Case; fairly good, I’m glad I’m listening, not reading.

    Reply
  26. I actually just finished Mary Jo’s Stolen Magic last night; it was wonderful! This morning I started City of Bones by Michael Connelly, who is one of my favorite mystery writers. In the car, I’m listening to The Eighth Day by John Case; fairly good, I’m glad I’m listening, not reading.

    Reply
  27. I actually just finished Mary Jo’s Stolen Magic last night; it was wonderful! This morning I started City of Bones by Michael Connelly, who is one of my favorite mystery writers. In the car, I’m listening to The Eighth Day by John Case; fairly good, I’m glad I’m listening, not reading.

    Reply
  28. I actually just finished Mary Jo’s Stolen Magic last night; it was wonderful! This morning I started City of Bones by Michael Connelly, who is one of my favorite mystery writers. In the car, I’m listening to The Eighth Day by John Case; fairly good, I’m glad I’m listening, not reading.

    Reply
  29. Hi Pat!
    The wind is blowing cold in Southern PA, so I’m quite delighted to join you on the beach. Couldn’t think of another bunch I’d rather bum around with.
    If I were at home, I’d be surrounded by toppling towers of research books. Yesterday I finished AN ELEGANT MADNESS (Venetia Murray). A very informative read. And last night around 2 am I turned the last page on Jo’s FORBIDDEN MAGIC. What a wickedly sensual carpet ride through the wild and wonderful world of Sax. Yum. Now there’s a heroine I’d trade places with.
    But, back to the beach. A good second best with those shimmering sun-bronzed surfers coming in off the waves.
    (Put those novels down, ladies! We don’t want to appear too bookish, now do we? Uh oh, I think we lost a wenchling or two, Wench Pat. Sorry.)
    Back to the imaginary world of books. I brought two with me. Always bring two. I bore so easily. The first is REGENCY BUCK by Her Grace, Georgette Heyer. The other is Wench Loretta’s MISS WONDERFUL. Neither has been cracked. So, I can’t decide. The elegant Lady Heyer, the witty Ms. Chase or watching RevMelinda skillfully cut that hunky King David look-a-like out of the muscled muddle of lounging surfers.
    Go Melinda!
    –the littlest wenchling who is discovering she likes books where the hero’s POV dominates the story.

    Reply
  30. Hi Pat!
    The wind is blowing cold in Southern PA, so I’m quite delighted to join you on the beach. Couldn’t think of another bunch I’d rather bum around with.
    If I were at home, I’d be surrounded by toppling towers of research books. Yesterday I finished AN ELEGANT MADNESS (Venetia Murray). A very informative read. And last night around 2 am I turned the last page on Jo’s FORBIDDEN MAGIC. What a wickedly sensual carpet ride through the wild and wonderful world of Sax. Yum. Now there’s a heroine I’d trade places with.
    But, back to the beach. A good second best with those shimmering sun-bronzed surfers coming in off the waves.
    (Put those novels down, ladies! We don’t want to appear too bookish, now do we? Uh oh, I think we lost a wenchling or two, Wench Pat. Sorry.)
    Back to the imaginary world of books. I brought two with me. Always bring two. I bore so easily. The first is REGENCY BUCK by Her Grace, Georgette Heyer. The other is Wench Loretta’s MISS WONDERFUL. Neither has been cracked. So, I can’t decide. The elegant Lady Heyer, the witty Ms. Chase or watching RevMelinda skillfully cut that hunky King David look-a-like out of the muscled muddle of lounging surfers.
    Go Melinda!
    –the littlest wenchling who is discovering she likes books where the hero’s POV dominates the story.

    Reply
  31. Hi Pat!
    The wind is blowing cold in Southern PA, so I’m quite delighted to join you on the beach. Couldn’t think of another bunch I’d rather bum around with.
    If I were at home, I’d be surrounded by toppling towers of research books. Yesterday I finished AN ELEGANT MADNESS (Venetia Murray). A very informative read. And last night around 2 am I turned the last page on Jo’s FORBIDDEN MAGIC. What a wickedly sensual carpet ride through the wild and wonderful world of Sax. Yum. Now there’s a heroine I’d trade places with.
    But, back to the beach. A good second best with those shimmering sun-bronzed surfers coming in off the waves.
    (Put those novels down, ladies! We don’t want to appear too bookish, now do we? Uh oh, I think we lost a wenchling or two, Wench Pat. Sorry.)
    Back to the imaginary world of books. I brought two with me. Always bring two. I bore so easily. The first is REGENCY BUCK by Her Grace, Georgette Heyer. The other is Wench Loretta’s MISS WONDERFUL. Neither has been cracked. So, I can’t decide. The elegant Lady Heyer, the witty Ms. Chase or watching RevMelinda skillfully cut that hunky King David look-a-like out of the muscled muddle of lounging surfers.
    Go Melinda!
    –the littlest wenchling who is discovering she likes books where the hero’s POV dominates the story.

    Reply
  32. Hi Pat!
    The wind is blowing cold in Southern PA, so I’m quite delighted to join you on the beach. Couldn’t think of another bunch I’d rather bum around with.
    If I were at home, I’d be surrounded by toppling towers of research books. Yesterday I finished AN ELEGANT MADNESS (Venetia Murray). A very informative read. And last night around 2 am I turned the last page on Jo’s FORBIDDEN MAGIC. What a wickedly sensual carpet ride through the wild and wonderful world of Sax. Yum. Now there’s a heroine I’d trade places with.
    But, back to the beach. A good second best with those shimmering sun-bronzed surfers coming in off the waves.
    (Put those novels down, ladies! We don’t want to appear too bookish, now do we? Uh oh, I think we lost a wenchling or two, Wench Pat. Sorry.)
    Back to the imaginary world of books. I brought two with me. Always bring two. I bore so easily. The first is REGENCY BUCK by Her Grace, Georgette Heyer. The other is Wench Loretta’s MISS WONDERFUL. Neither has been cracked. So, I can’t decide. The elegant Lady Heyer, the witty Ms. Chase or watching RevMelinda skillfully cut that hunky King David look-a-like out of the muscled muddle of lounging surfers.
    Go Melinda!
    –the littlest wenchling who is discovering she likes books where the hero’s POV dominates the story.

    Reply
  33. I have Deb Smith’s CROSSROADS CAFÉ in the TBR mountain.
    I just finished Erinsong by Diana Groe and loved it. I focus on characters as well and this book had great main characters.
    I am about to start Becoming Latina in 10 Easy Steps by Lara Rios.

    Reply
  34. I have Deb Smith’s CROSSROADS CAFÉ in the TBR mountain.
    I just finished Erinsong by Diana Groe and loved it. I focus on characters as well and this book had great main characters.
    I am about to start Becoming Latina in 10 Easy Steps by Lara Rios.

    Reply
  35. I have Deb Smith’s CROSSROADS CAFÉ in the TBR mountain.
    I just finished Erinsong by Diana Groe and loved it. I focus on characters as well and this book had great main characters.
    I am about to start Becoming Latina in 10 Easy Steps by Lara Rios.

    Reply
  36. I have Deb Smith’s CROSSROADS CAFÉ in the TBR mountain.
    I just finished Erinsong by Diana Groe and loved it. I focus on characters as well and this book had great main characters.
    I am about to start Becoming Latina in 10 Easy Steps by Lara Rios.

    Reply
  37. I adore Deborah Smith’s books. Don’t have CROSSROADS CAFE yet, but I just finished one I had missed – CHARMING GRACE. Just one of best novels I’ve read in ages. Y’all really need to check out her website to look at her wonderful folk art. It’s not enough for her to be a brilliant writer – she is one gifted painter as well.
    Am rereading FOREVER AMBER, of all things, and a couple of Elizabeth Thornton’s older novels – another fav author.

    Reply
  38. I adore Deborah Smith’s books. Don’t have CROSSROADS CAFE yet, but I just finished one I had missed – CHARMING GRACE. Just one of best novels I’ve read in ages. Y’all really need to check out her website to look at her wonderful folk art. It’s not enough for her to be a brilliant writer – she is one gifted painter as well.
    Am rereading FOREVER AMBER, of all things, and a couple of Elizabeth Thornton’s older novels – another fav author.

    Reply
  39. I adore Deborah Smith’s books. Don’t have CROSSROADS CAFE yet, but I just finished one I had missed – CHARMING GRACE. Just one of best novels I’ve read in ages. Y’all really need to check out her website to look at her wonderful folk art. It’s not enough for her to be a brilliant writer – she is one gifted painter as well.
    Am rereading FOREVER AMBER, of all things, and a couple of Elizabeth Thornton’s older novels – another fav author.

    Reply
  40. I adore Deborah Smith’s books. Don’t have CROSSROADS CAFE yet, but I just finished one I had missed – CHARMING GRACE. Just one of best novels I’ve read in ages. Y’all really need to check out her website to look at her wonderful folk art. It’s not enough for her to be a brilliant writer – she is one gifted painter as well.
    Am rereading FOREVER AMBER, of all things, and a couple of Elizabeth Thornton’s older novels – another fav author.

    Reply
  41. I’m on a bit of a nonfiction kick lately. I just finished MAYFLOWER, by Nathaniel Philbrick, and I’m in the middle of BORN FIGHTING, by James Webb (the same guy who was just elected senator from Virginia and gave the Democratic response to the State of the Union address earlier this week).
    MAYFLOWER covers the first 50 years or so of Pilgrim and Puritan settlement in New England, from the Mayflower through King Philip’s war. It’s an interesting story of cultures interacting and trying to make peace and war with incomplete information, but I feel like Philbrick covers too much time in too few pages–I didn’t leave the book feeling like I truly knew any of the historical figures profiled.
    I’m really enjoying BORN FIGHTING so far. Its subtitle is “How the Scots-Irish Shaped America.” I think Webb romanticizes history in spots, but it’s literally the first book I’ve ever read that portrays the Scots-Irish in a broadly positive and sympathetic light–and since I’m more Scots-Irish than anything else, I have to admit I enjoy that. And it’s *my* story, you know? I keep recognizing my family and even my own personality traits in the stories Webb tells.
    As for fiction, the last two novels I finished were Jennifer Crusie’s CRAZY FOR YOU and Bernard Cornwell’s GALLOWS THIEF, and I enjoyed both. The former isn’t my favorite Crusie ever, but is a fun book. As for the latter, it was a page-turner that had me regretting it was a standalone–I’d like to see more of the characters.

    Reply
  42. I’m on a bit of a nonfiction kick lately. I just finished MAYFLOWER, by Nathaniel Philbrick, and I’m in the middle of BORN FIGHTING, by James Webb (the same guy who was just elected senator from Virginia and gave the Democratic response to the State of the Union address earlier this week).
    MAYFLOWER covers the first 50 years or so of Pilgrim and Puritan settlement in New England, from the Mayflower through King Philip’s war. It’s an interesting story of cultures interacting and trying to make peace and war with incomplete information, but I feel like Philbrick covers too much time in too few pages–I didn’t leave the book feeling like I truly knew any of the historical figures profiled.
    I’m really enjoying BORN FIGHTING so far. Its subtitle is “How the Scots-Irish Shaped America.” I think Webb romanticizes history in spots, but it’s literally the first book I’ve ever read that portrays the Scots-Irish in a broadly positive and sympathetic light–and since I’m more Scots-Irish than anything else, I have to admit I enjoy that. And it’s *my* story, you know? I keep recognizing my family and even my own personality traits in the stories Webb tells.
    As for fiction, the last two novels I finished were Jennifer Crusie’s CRAZY FOR YOU and Bernard Cornwell’s GALLOWS THIEF, and I enjoyed both. The former isn’t my favorite Crusie ever, but is a fun book. As for the latter, it was a page-turner that had me regretting it was a standalone–I’d like to see more of the characters.

    Reply
  43. I’m on a bit of a nonfiction kick lately. I just finished MAYFLOWER, by Nathaniel Philbrick, and I’m in the middle of BORN FIGHTING, by James Webb (the same guy who was just elected senator from Virginia and gave the Democratic response to the State of the Union address earlier this week).
    MAYFLOWER covers the first 50 years or so of Pilgrim and Puritan settlement in New England, from the Mayflower through King Philip’s war. It’s an interesting story of cultures interacting and trying to make peace and war with incomplete information, but I feel like Philbrick covers too much time in too few pages–I didn’t leave the book feeling like I truly knew any of the historical figures profiled.
    I’m really enjoying BORN FIGHTING so far. Its subtitle is “How the Scots-Irish Shaped America.” I think Webb romanticizes history in spots, but it’s literally the first book I’ve ever read that portrays the Scots-Irish in a broadly positive and sympathetic light–and since I’m more Scots-Irish than anything else, I have to admit I enjoy that. And it’s *my* story, you know? I keep recognizing my family and even my own personality traits in the stories Webb tells.
    As for fiction, the last two novels I finished were Jennifer Crusie’s CRAZY FOR YOU and Bernard Cornwell’s GALLOWS THIEF, and I enjoyed both. The former isn’t my favorite Crusie ever, but is a fun book. As for the latter, it was a page-turner that had me regretting it was a standalone–I’d like to see more of the characters.

    Reply
  44. I’m on a bit of a nonfiction kick lately. I just finished MAYFLOWER, by Nathaniel Philbrick, and I’m in the middle of BORN FIGHTING, by James Webb (the same guy who was just elected senator from Virginia and gave the Democratic response to the State of the Union address earlier this week).
    MAYFLOWER covers the first 50 years or so of Pilgrim and Puritan settlement in New England, from the Mayflower through King Philip’s war. It’s an interesting story of cultures interacting and trying to make peace and war with incomplete information, but I feel like Philbrick covers too much time in too few pages–I didn’t leave the book feeling like I truly knew any of the historical figures profiled.
    I’m really enjoying BORN FIGHTING so far. Its subtitle is “How the Scots-Irish Shaped America.” I think Webb romanticizes history in spots, but it’s literally the first book I’ve ever read that portrays the Scots-Irish in a broadly positive and sympathetic light–and since I’m more Scots-Irish than anything else, I have to admit I enjoy that. And it’s *my* story, you know? I keep recognizing my family and even my own personality traits in the stories Webb tells.
    As for fiction, the last two novels I finished were Jennifer Crusie’s CRAZY FOR YOU and Bernard Cornwell’s GALLOWS THIEF, and I enjoyed both. The former isn’t my favorite Crusie ever, but is a fun book. As for the latter, it was a page-turner that had me regretting it was a standalone–I’d like to see more of the characters.

    Reply
  45. Oh, this is famous! We all enjoy a lot of the same books. I just finished POISONED STUDY a while ago but it’s been properly filed away. I didn’t think I’d enjoy the subject matter but the characters were so COMPELLING!
    And yeah, Nina, I’m watching those bronzed surfers out there, and if any wenchlings want to wander away while we admire the view, that means there’s more for us!
    I’m keeping notes of titles I haven’t read yet so when I return from my real beach party, I can order them. I’m hoping to have depleted my TBR pile a little by then!
    It’s just so good to be in the company of such wonderful readers, thank you!

    Reply
  46. Oh, this is famous! We all enjoy a lot of the same books. I just finished POISONED STUDY a while ago but it’s been properly filed away. I didn’t think I’d enjoy the subject matter but the characters were so COMPELLING!
    And yeah, Nina, I’m watching those bronzed surfers out there, and if any wenchlings want to wander away while we admire the view, that means there’s more for us!
    I’m keeping notes of titles I haven’t read yet so when I return from my real beach party, I can order them. I’m hoping to have depleted my TBR pile a little by then!
    It’s just so good to be in the company of such wonderful readers, thank you!

    Reply
  47. Oh, this is famous! We all enjoy a lot of the same books. I just finished POISONED STUDY a while ago but it’s been properly filed away. I didn’t think I’d enjoy the subject matter but the characters were so COMPELLING!
    And yeah, Nina, I’m watching those bronzed surfers out there, and if any wenchlings want to wander away while we admire the view, that means there’s more for us!
    I’m keeping notes of titles I haven’t read yet so when I return from my real beach party, I can order them. I’m hoping to have depleted my TBR pile a little by then!
    It’s just so good to be in the company of such wonderful readers, thank you!

    Reply
  48. Oh, this is famous! We all enjoy a lot of the same books. I just finished POISONED STUDY a while ago but it’s been properly filed away. I didn’t think I’d enjoy the subject matter but the characters were so COMPELLING!
    And yeah, Nina, I’m watching those bronzed surfers out there, and if any wenchlings want to wander away while we admire the view, that means there’s more for us!
    I’m keeping notes of titles I haven’t read yet so when I return from my real beach party, I can order them. I’m hoping to have depleted my TBR pile a little by then!
    It’s just so good to be in the company of such wonderful readers, thank you!

    Reply
  49. I’m going through the at present Pink Carnation trilogy. 🙂 I reread the first and now I started the second. I forgot how much I loved the first one, and just can’t wait to get to the next (and I was so surprised that I got the hardcover of the newest one, and really happy about it too! (don’t have to wait for the paperback!) 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  50. I’m going through the at present Pink Carnation trilogy. 🙂 I reread the first and now I started the second. I forgot how much I loved the first one, and just can’t wait to get to the next (and I was so surprised that I got the hardcover of the newest one, and really happy about it too! (don’t have to wait for the paperback!) 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  51. I’m going through the at present Pink Carnation trilogy. 🙂 I reread the first and now I started the second. I forgot how much I loved the first one, and just can’t wait to get to the next (and I was so surprised that I got the hardcover of the newest one, and really happy about it too! (don’t have to wait for the paperback!) 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  52. I’m going through the at present Pink Carnation trilogy. 🙂 I reread the first and now I started the second. I forgot how much I loved the first one, and just can’t wait to get to the next (and I was so surprised that I got the hardcover of the newest one, and really happy about it too! (don’t have to wait for the paperback!) 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  53. Just re-read the Magic series by(ahem) our gracious hostess. For the weekend I will be reading a couple of old Regencies by Anne Gracie. Found them at a used bookstore. Wenches, I do try to buy the new books by my favorite authors- I know you gotta make a livin’ like the rest of us. But when things are out of print- I hunt them down at used bookstores or on the net. I did just order one of Ms. Gracie’s books from Amazon so she didn’t get cheated on that one!

    Reply
  54. Just re-read the Magic series by(ahem) our gracious hostess. For the weekend I will be reading a couple of old Regencies by Anne Gracie. Found them at a used bookstore. Wenches, I do try to buy the new books by my favorite authors- I know you gotta make a livin’ like the rest of us. But when things are out of print- I hunt them down at used bookstores or on the net. I did just order one of Ms. Gracie’s books from Amazon so she didn’t get cheated on that one!

    Reply
  55. Just re-read the Magic series by(ahem) our gracious hostess. For the weekend I will be reading a couple of old Regencies by Anne Gracie. Found them at a used bookstore. Wenches, I do try to buy the new books by my favorite authors- I know you gotta make a livin’ like the rest of us. But when things are out of print- I hunt them down at used bookstores or on the net. I did just order one of Ms. Gracie’s books from Amazon so she didn’t get cheated on that one!

    Reply
  56. Just re-read the Magic series by(ahem) our gracious hostess. For the weekend I will be reading a couple of old Regencies by Anne Gracie. Found them at a used bookstore. Wenches, I do try to buy the new books by my favorite authors- I know you gotta make a livin’ like the rest of us. But when things are out of print- I hunt them down at used bookstores or on the net. I did just order one of Ms. Gracie’s books from Amazon so she didn’t get cheated on that one!

    Reply
  57. I loved the premise of the Pink Carnation, and Anne Gracie is one of my favorite historical authors, so I’m glad you found her.
    I fully understood the expense of feeding our voracious habits, and have no quarrel whatsoever with finding the cheapest way of doing it, which is why I suggested the library earlier.
    Sometime when I have time to get on my soapbox, I’ll explain the industry complications that mean good authors may never get published again unless readers make a concerted effort to buy their favorites new. Find a new “keeper” in the used bookstore, excellent! Buy her next book new or buy one as a gift for a friend next time you have a chance, and you’ve done your part to Save An Author. “G” It really isn’t just the money, but a numbers game played with big stakes that authors really have no control over.

    Reply
  58. I loved the premise of the Pink Carnation, and Anne Gracie is one of my favorite historical authors, so I’m glad you found her.
    I fully understood the expense of feeding our voracious habits, and have no quarrel whatsoever with finding the cheapest way of doing it, which is why I suggested the library earlier.
    Sometime when I have time to get on my soapbox, I’ll explain the industry complications that mean good authors may never get published again unless readers make a concerted effort to buy their favorites new. Find a new “keeper” in the used bookstore, excellent! Buy her next book new or buy one as a gift for a friend next time you have a chance, and you’ve done your part to Save An Author. “G” It really isn’t just the money, but a numbers game played with big stakes that authors really have no control over.

    Reply
  59. I loved the premise of the Pink Carnation, and Anne Gracie is one of my favorite historical authors, so I’m glad you found her.
    I fully understood the expense of feeding our voracious habits, and have no quarrel whatsoever with finding the cheapest way of doing it, which is why I suggested the library earlier.
    Sometime when I have time to get on my soapbox, I’ll explain the industry complications that mean good authors may never get published again unless readers make a concerted effort to buy their favorites new. Find a new “keeper” in the used bookstore, excellent! Buy her next book new or buy one as a gift for a friend next time you have a chance, and you’ve done your part to Save An Author. “G” It really isn’t just the money, but a numbers game played with big stakes that authors really have no control over.

    Reply
  60. I loved the premise of the Pink Carnation, and Anne Gracie is one of my favorite historical authors, so I’m glad you found her.
    I fully understood the expense of feeding our voracious habits, and have no quarrel whatsoever with finding the cheapest way of doing it, which is why I suggested the library earlier.
    Sometime when I have time to get on my soapbox, I’ll explain the industry complications that mean good authors may never get published again unless readers make a concerted effort to buy their favorites new. Find a new “keeper” in the used bookstore, excellent! Buy her next book new or buy one as a gift for a friend next time you have a chance, and you’ve done your part to Save An Author. “G” It really isn’t just the money, but a numbers game played with big stakes that authors really have no control over.

    Reply
  61. Patricia, speaking of the numbers game, given that I will buy your books new anyway, is it better for you for me to make the effort to buy them within a month after they come out? I keep a list of books I want to buy so I don’t get even more unmanageable with my TBRs (I have a whole bookcase of them). But if it helps you to have a lot of sales initially rather than the same sales trickled over, say, 6 mo or a year, I would make the effort. (Not that buying a new book is ever an onerous task.)

    Reply
  62. Patricia, speaking of the numbers game, given that I will buy your books new anyway, is it better for you for me to make the effort to buy them within a month after they come out? I keep a list of books I want to buy so I don’t get even more unmanageable with my TBRs (I have a whole bookcase of them). But if it helps you to have a lot of sales initially rather than the same sales trickled over, say, 6 mo or a year, I would make the effort. (Not that buying a new book is ever an onerous task.)

    Reply
  63. Patricia, speaking of the numbers game, given that I will buy your books new anyway, is it better for you for me to make the effort to buy them within a month after they come out? I keep a list of books I want to buy so I don’t get even more unmanageable with my TBRs (I have a whole bookcase of them). But if it helps you to have a lot of sales initially rather than the same sales trickled over, say, 6 mo or a year, I would make the effort. (Not that buying a new book is ever an onerous task.)

    Reply
  64. Patricia, speaking of the numbers game, given that I will buy your books new anyway, is it better for you for me to make the effort to buy them within a month after they come out? I keep a list of books I want to buy so I don’t get even more unmanageable with my TBRs (I have a whole bookcase of them). But if it helps you to have a lot of sales initially rather than the same sales trickled over, say, 6 mo or a year, I would make the effort. (Not that buying a new book is ever an onerous task.)

    Reply
  65. Susanna, I owe you a book for my earlier blog. I’m heading out of town but if you’ll send Sherrie your address, I’ll be happy to send you one when I get back.
    As to the numbers game, part of it is initial sales, admittedly. And that really is a game and a silly one. Publishers watch the lists like hawks after a book is released, and they do giddy little lap dances when a book shoots up them. So if all our readers ran out and bought our new books in the first week or two of release, we’d be Queens for a Day instead of wenches. “G” To them, this means an author has a huge fan base eager to lay their hands on the next book.
    But the money is the same whether or not the book is bought today or next year. The main problem there is that because of industry-wide economic problems, publishers are cutting back on inventory. If only a hundred books are bought new six months down the line, the publisher quits printing them, lets the inventory run out,and that book dies. Maybe someday we’ll go into e-book format or POD format, like films go to DVD. But they haven’t perfected those formats yet.
    And here I said I wouldn’t preach at our beach party! I’m just too easy. Or one daiquiri over the line.”G”

    Reply
  66. Susanna, I owe you a book for my earlier blog. I’m heading out of town but if you’ll send Sherrie your address, I’ll be happy to send you one when I get back.
    As to the numbers game, part of it is initial sales, admittedly. And that really is a game and a silly one. Publishers watch the lists like hawks after a book is released, and they do giddy little lap dances when a book shoots up them. So if all our readers ran out and bought our new books in the first week or two of release, we’d be Queens for a Day instead of wenches. “G” To them, this means an author has a huge fan base eager to lay their hands on the next book.
    But the money is the same whether or not the book is bought today or next year. The main problem there is that because of industry-wide economic problems, publishers are cutting back on inventory. If only a hundred books are bought new six months down the line, the publisher quits printing them, lets the inventory run out,and that book dies. Maybe someday we’ll go into e-book format or POD format, like films go to DVD. But they haven’t perfected those formats yet.
    And here I said I wouldn’t preach at our beach party! I’m just too easy. Or one daiquiri over the line.”G”

    Reply
  67. Susanna, I owe you a book for my earlier blog. I’m heading out of town but if you’ll send Sherrie your address, I’ll be happy to send you one when I get back.
    As to the numbers game, part of it is initial sales, admittedly. And that really is a game and a silly one. Publishers watch the lists like hawks after a book is released, and they do giddy little lap dances when a book shoots up them. So if all our readers ran out and bought our new books in the first week or two of release, we’d be Queens for a Day instead of wenches. “G” To them, this means an author has a huge fan base eager to lay their hands on the next book.
    But the money is the same whether or not the book is bought today or next year. The main problem there is that because of industry-wide economic problems, publishers are cutting back on inventory. If only a hundred books are bought new six months down the line, the publisher quits printing them, lets the inventory run out,and that book dies. Maybe someday we’ll go into e-book format or POD format, like films go to DVD. But they haven’t perfected those formats yet.
    And here I said I wouldn’t preach at our beach party! I’m just too easy. Or one daiquiri over the line.”G”

    Reply
  68. Susanna, I owe you a book for my earlier blog. I’m heading out of town but if you’ll send Sherrie your address, I’ll be happy to send you one when I get back.
    As to the numbers game, part of it is initial sales, admittedly. And that really is a game and a silly one. Publishers watch the lists like hawks after a book is released, and they do giddy little lap dances when a book shoots up them. So if all our readers ran out and bought our new books in the first week or two of release, we’d be Queens for a Day instead of wenches. “G” To them, this means an author has a huge fan base eager to lay their hands on the next book.
    But the money is the same whether or not the book is bought today or next year. The main problem there is that because of industry-wide economic problems, publishers are cutting back on inventory. If only a hundred books are bought new six months down the line, the publisher quits printing them, lets the inventory run out,and that book dies. Maybe someday we’ll go into e-book format or POD format, like films go to DVD. But they haven’t perfected those formats yet.
    And here I said I wouldn’t preach at our beach party! I’m just too easy. Or one daiquiri over the line.”G”

    Reply
  69. If you can’t afford a lot of new books, one thing you can do is request that your library purchase a particular title. In my experience, my local library system (Seattle) buys 80% or so of the titles I suggest, and they usually get at least four copies, placed in various local branches. Particularly with newer and/or more obscure authors, I feel like I’m helping them out as much or more with a library purchase suggestion as by actually buying their book–that’s 4-6 copies of their book sold, plus a chance to attract readers who otherwise wouldn’t even know about them and might buy their next books new.

    Reply
  70. If you can’t afford a lot of new books, one thing you can do is request that your library purchase a particular title. In my experience, my local library system (Seattle) buys 80% or so of the titles I suggest, and they usually get at least four copies, placed in various local branches. Particularly with newer and/or more obscure authors, I feel like I’m helping them out as much or more with a library purchase suggestion as by actually buying their book–that’s 4-6 copies of their book sold, plus a chance to attract readers who otherwise wouldn’t even know about them and might buy their next books new.

    Reply
  71. If you can’t afford a lot of new books, one thing you can do is request that your library purchase a particular title. In my experience, my local library system (Seattle) buys 80% or so of the titles I suggest, and they usually get at least four copies, placed in various local branches. Particularly with newer and/or more obscure authors, I feel like I’m helping them out as much or more with a library purchase suggestion as by actually buying their book–that’s 4-6 copies of their book sold, plus a chance to attract readers who otherwise wouldn’t even know about them and might buy their next books new.

    Reply
  72. If you can’t afford a lot of new books, one thing you can do is request that your library purchase a particular title. In my experience, my local library system (Seattle) buys 80% or so of the titles I suggest, and they usually get at least four copies, placed in various local branches. Particularly with newer and/or more obscure authors, I feel like I’m helping them out as much or more with a library purchase suggestion as by actually buying their book–that’s 4-6 copies of their book sold, plus a chance to attract readers who otherwise wouldn’t even know about them and might buy their next books new.

    Reply
  73. Hi Pat and Y’All,
    I’m back from my meeting so I can join you on the virtual beach for a moment.
    Nina, I am shocked–SHOCKED!–that you thought it was ME swanning around among the muscled bronzed hunks emerging dreamily dripping from the plunging waves.
    Can’t you see me sitting over here under the striped umbrella? I’m the one in the dark sunglasses, slathered in sunscreen, swathed head to toe in loose drapery which simultaneously protects me from instant lobster-hood and hides my less than girlish figure.
    I have my current “read” in my left hand (Loretta Chase’s “Isabella” which is already curling my toes, in a delightfully witty Regency sort of way) and a strong slushy drink by my side. In my right hand I have the binoculars with which I am discreetly observing the bronzed hunks from a Safe Distance (I am shy).
    (BTW, King David is probably too noble for me, really. How about Hosea, who knew how to love a woman no matter how Bad She Had Been? Or Paul, who started off Very Very Bad and later Reformed (not quite a Reformed Rake scenario, but close)? Nina, you’ve got me thinking now!)
    Melinda

    Reply
  74. Hi Pat and Y’All,
    I’m back from my meeting so I can join you on the virtual beach for a moment.
    Nina, I am shocked–SHOCKED!–that you thought it was ME swanning around among the muscled bronzed hunks emerging dreamily dripping from the plunging waves.
    Can’t you see me sitting over here under the striped umbrella? I’m the one in the dark sunglasses, slathered in sunscreen, swathed head to toe in loose drapery which simultaneously protects me from instant lobster-hood and hides my less than girlish figure.
    I have my current “read” in my left hand (Loretta Chase’s “Isabella” which is already curling my toes, in a delightfully witty Regency sort of way) and a strong slushy drink by my side. In my right hand I have the binoculars with which I am discreetly observing the bronzed hunks from a Safe Distance (I am shy).
    (BTW, King David is probably too noble for me, really. How about Hosea, who knew how to love a woman no matter how Bad She Had Been? Or Paul, who started off Very Very Bad and later Reformed (not quite a Reformed Rake scenario, but close)? Nina, you’ve got me thinking now!)
    Melinda

    Reply
  75. Hi Pat and Y’All,
    I’m back from my meeting so I can join you on the virtual beach for a moment.
    Nina, I am shocked–SHOCKED!–that you thought it was ME swanning around among the muscled bronzed hunks emerging dreamily dripping from the plunging waves.
    Can’t you see me sitting over here under the striped umbrella? I’m the one in the dark sunglasses, slathered in sunscreen, swathed head to toe in loose drapery which simultaneously protects me from instant lobster-hood and hides my less than girlish figure.
    I have my current “read” in my left hand (Loretta Chase’s “Isabella” which is already curling my toes, in a delightfully witty Regency sort of way) and a strong slushy drink by my side. In my right hand I have the binoculars with which I am discreetly observing the bronzed hunks from a Safe Distance (I am shy).
    (BTW, King David is probably too noble for me, really. How about Hosea, who knew how to love a woman no matter how Bad She Had Been? Or Paul, who started off Very Very Bad and later Reformed (not quite a Reformed Rake scenario, but close)? Nina, you’ve got me thinking now!)
    Melinda

    Reply
  76. Hi Pat and Y’All,
    I’m back from my meeting so I can join you on the virtual beach for a moment.
    Nina, I am shocked–SHOCKED!–that you thought it was ME swanning around among the muscled bronzed hunks emerging dreamily dripping from the plunging waves.
    Can’t you see me sitting over here under the striped umbrella? I’m the one in the dark sunglasses, slathered in sunscreen, swathed head to toe in loose drapery which simultaneously protects me from instant lobster-hood and hides my less than girlish figure.
    I have my current “read” in my left hand (Loretta Chase’s “Isabella” which is already curling my toes, in a delightfully witty Regency sort of way) and a strong slushy drink by my side. In my right hand I have the binoculars with which I am discreetly observing the bronzed hunks from a Safe Distance (I am shy).
    (BTW, King David is probably too noble for me, really. How about Hosea, who knew how to love a woman no matter how Bad She Had Been? Or Paul, who started off Very Very Bad and later Reformed (not quite a Reformed Rake scenario, but close)? Nina, you’ve got me thinking now!)
    Melinda

    Reply
  77. We just did a 100-all-time-favorite-romance list on one of the bulletin boards I frequent, and I had five Deborah Smith titles on my list. I have been a regular reader since her category days. The Crossroads Cafe is getting a lot of praise; Library Journal named it one of the five best romances of 2006. Maybe this one will bring Smith the number of readers her work deserves.
    I agree, Pat, that DS’s characters are so perfectly Southern that the reader can hear the variations in their accents. She also excels at creating emotional intensity that radiates power without ever going too far. I think emailing those chapters to her list before the release of TCC was also excellent strategy. I couldn’t wait to get the book.
    Other recent reads that I have loved include Elizabeth Hoyt’s the Raven Prince(atypical H/H and sizzling love scenes); Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale (a literary mystery with Gothic elements told superbly well); Kitty Burns Florey’s Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences (funny and interesting–with some famous sentences diagrammed); Patricia Sprinkle’s first book in a new mystery series,Death on the Family Tree (a 46-year-old protagonist who is real and capable and pragmatic–another treasure from another under-rated Southern writer).

    Reply
  78. We just did a 100-all-time-favorite-romance list on one of the bulletin boards I frequent, and I had five Deborah Smith titles on my list. I have been a regular reader since her category days. The Crossroads Cafe is getting a lot of praise; Library Journal named it one of the five best romances of 2006. Maybe this one will bring Smith the number of readers her work deserves.
    I agree, Pat, that DS’s characters are so perfectly Southern that the reader can hear the variations in their accents. She also excels at creating emotional intensity that radiates power without ever going too far. I think emailing those chapters to her list before the release of TCC was also excellent strategy. I couldn’t wait to get the book.
    Other recent reads that I have loved include Elizabeth Hoyt’s the Raven Prince(atypical H/H and sizzling love scenes); Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale (a literary mystery with Gothic elements told superbly well); Kitty Burns Florey’s Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences (funny and interesting–with some famous sentences diagrammed); Patricia Sprinkle’s first book in a new mystery series,Death on the Family Tree (a 46-year-old protagonist who is real and capable and pragmatic–another treasure from another under-rated Southern writer).

    Reply
  79. We just did a 100-all-time-favorite-romance list on one of the bulletin boards I frequent, and I had five Deborah Smith titles on my list. I have been a regular reader since her category days. The Crossroads Cafe is getting a lot of praise; Library Journal named it one of the five best romances of 2006. Maybe this one will bring Smith the number of readers her work deserves.
    I agree, Pat, that DS’s characters are so perfectly Southern that the reader can hear the variations in their accents. She also excels at creating emotional intensity that radiates power without ever going too far. I think emailing those chapters to her list before the release of TCC was also excellent strategy. I couldn’t wait to get the book.
    Other recent reads that I have loved include Elizabeth Hoyt’s the Raven Prince(atypical H/H and sizzling love scenes); Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale (a literary mystery with Gothic elements told superbly well); Kitty Burns Florey’s Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences (funny and interesting–with some famous sentences diagrammed); Patricia Sprinkle’s first book in a new mystery series,Death on the Family Tree (a 46-year-old protagonist who is real and capable and pragmatic–another treasure from another under-rated Southern writer).

    Reply
  80. We just did a 100-all-time-favorite-romance list on one of the bulletin boards I frequent, and I had five Deborah Smith titles on my list. I have been a regular reader since her category days. The Crossroads Cafe is getting a lot of praise; Library Journal named it one of the five best romances of 2006. Maybe this one will bring Smith the number of readers her work deserves.
    I agree, Pat, that DS’s characters are so perfectly Southern that the reader can hear the variations in their accents. She also excels at creating emotional intensity that radiates power without ever going too far. I think emailing those chapters to her list before the release of TCC was also excellent strategy. I couldn’t wait to get the book.
    Other recent reads that I have loved include Elizabeth Hoyt’s the Raven Prince(atypical H/H and sizzling love scenes); Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale (a literary mystery with Gothic elements told superbly well); Kitty Burns Florey’s Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences (funny and interesting–with some famous sentences diagrammed); Patricia Sprinkle’s first book in a new mystery series,Death on the Family Tree (a 46-year-old protagonist who is real and capable and pragmatic–another treasure from another under-rated Southern writer).

    Reply
  81. Just finished Mary Jo’s Angel Rogue, and Kresley Cole’s No Rest For The Wicked. Today I’m starting (no kidding) Magic Man. I have not read the rest of the books.
    I also enjoy darker YA books, such as Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy. Those books are brilliant.

    Reply
  82. Just finished Mary Jo’s Angel Rogue, and Kresley Cole’s No Rest For The Wicked. Today I’m starting (no kidding) Magic Man. I have not read the rest of the books.
    I also enjoy darker YA books, such as Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy. Those books are brilliant.

    Reply
  83. Just finished Mary Jo’s Angel Rogue, and Kresley Cole’s No Rest For The Wicked. Today I’m starting (no kidding) Magic Man. I have not read the rest of the books.
    I also enjoy darker YA books, such as Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy. Those books are brilliant.

    Reply
  84. Just finished Mary Jo’s Angel Rogue, and Kresley Cole’s No Rest For The Wicked. Today I’m starting (no kidding) Magic Man. I have not read the rest of the books.
    I also enjoy darker YA books, such as Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy. Those books are brilliant.

    Reply
  85. I am back to work so it’s nonfiction, mainly, but when that means Byron, it’s tears and laughter and sometimes tears of laughter; it’s soap opera and sometimes farce. in short, I’m reading Volume 5 of Byron’s Letters & Journals and having a blast.

    Reply
  86. I am back to work so it’s nonfiction, mainly, but when that means Byron, it’s tears and laughter and sometimes tears of laughter; it’s soap opera and sometimes farce. in short, I’m reading Volume 5 of Byron’s Letters & Journals and having a blast.

    Reply
  87. I am back to work so it’s nonfiction, mainly, but when that means Byron, it’s tears and laughter and sometimes tears of laughter; it’s soap opera and sometimes farce. in short, I’m reading Volume 5 of Byron’s Letters & Journals and having a blast.

    Reply
  88. I am back to work so it’s nonfiction, mainly, but when that means Byron, it’s tears and laughter and sometimes tears of laughter; it’s soap opera and sometimes farce. in short, I’m reading Volume 5 of Byron’s Letters & Journals and having a blast.

    Reply
  89. I’ve recently read THE MISTED CLIFFS (Catherine Asaro) and loved it and am currently reading one of Lady Layton’s Regency-set historicals (her use of the language is praiseworthy). BORN FIGHTING was also a recent read, and I noticed others here have read it as well. I intend to dive into Patricia McKillip’s ALPHABET OF THORN before I get back to my own writing.

    Reply
  90. I’ve recently read THE MISTED CLIFFS (Catherine Asaro) and loved it and am currently reading one of Lady Layton’s Regency-set historicals (her use of the language is praiseworthy). BORN FIGHTING was also a recent read, and I noticed others here have read it as well. I intend to dive into Patricia McKillip’s ALPHABET OF THORN before I get back to my own writing.

    Reply
  91. I’ve recently read THE MISTED CLIFFS (Catherine Asaro) and loved it and am currently reading one of Lady Layton’s Regency-set historicals (her use of the language is praiseworthy). BORN FIGHTING was also a recent read, and I noticed others here have read it as well. I intend to dive into Patricia McKillip’s ALPHABET OF THORN before I get back to my own writing.

    Reply
  92. I’ve recently read THE MISTED CLIFFS (Catherine Asaro) and loved it and am currently reading one of Lady Layton’s Regency-set historicals (her use of the language is praiseworthy). BORN FIGHTING was also a recent read, and I noticed others here have read it as well. I intend to dive into Patricia McKillip’s ALPHABET OF THORN before I get back to my own writing.

    Reply
  93. RevMelinda, I was so sure it was you. You see, in this fantasy world, you strongly resemble Queen Esther, which of course turned young David’s head. Though, I can see why Hosea might be more to the liking. But Paul?! That takes more imagination than this little wenchling’s got. *g*

    Reply
  94. RevMelinda, I was so sure it was you. You see, in this fantasy world, you strongly resemble Queen Esther, which of course turned young David’s head. Though, I can see why Hosea might be more to the liking. But Paul?! That takes more imagination than this little wenchling’s got. *g*

    Reply
  95. RevMelinda, I was so sure it was you. You see, in this fantasy world, you strongly resemble Queen Esther, which of course turned young David’s head. Though, I can see why Hosea might be more to the liking. But Paul?! That takes more imagination than this little wenchling’s got. *g*

    Reply
  96. RevMelinda, I was so sure it was you. You see, in this fantasy world, you strongly resemble Queen Esther, which of course turned young David’s head. Though, I can see why Hosea might be more to the liking. But Paul?! That takes more imagination than this little wenchling’s got. *g*

    Reply

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