Susanna’s TBR

Susanna_Kearsley_Writing_Room
Susanna here, and once again, I didn’t have anything to contribute to this month’s What We’re Reading post. That’s because I’m deep in the middle of writing a book, and I don’t read much fiction at all when I’m writing—partly because I’m so buried in nonfiction research reading I don’t have a lot of free time left, and partly because I learned long ago that, if a writer has a strongly individual storytelling voice, it will start to creep into and influence mine if I read while I’m working.

Case in point: way, way back in the day, when we were on our honeymoon (which was actually also a research trip for my novel Season of Storms only he didn’t entirely know about that), my husband brought along a copy of Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath to read on the train. I wasn’t actively writing the novel then, but I did have my ever-present notebook with me, in which I jot down things that I observe and lines of dialogue and bits of scenes. I started thumbing through the Steinbeck, too.


Now, Steinbeck had a unique way of phrasing things. He had a certain cadence. He’d write sentences like: “In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.” And in a few days I found I was writing in my notebook that, “The olive trees are old and waving gently, waving gently in the breeze.”

So I put down the Steinbeck.

Because once that starts to happen it’s insidious, and if I don’t take care I’ll have to throw out everything I’ve written from that point and do it over. As Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple puts it in At Bertram’s Hotel, “It is like when you get ground elder really badly in a border. There is nothing else you can do about it—except dig the whole thing up.”

For me, anyway. Every writer is different.

But although I don’t read much fiction at all while I’m writing, I do gather books to read for those weeks when I’m between projects. So I thought I could share three of those with you now.

The Kraken King: A Novel of the Iron Seas by Meljean Brook

Kraken KingMeljean’s Iron Seas steampunk world is a place I love to lose myself in, so when I saw this lone trade paperback copy of The Kraken King at my local bookstore I became instantly covetous and grabbed it even though I knew I wouldn’t get a chance to actually sit down and read it for a while yet. It’s not a brand new story, it’s from 2014, and I remember when she first published it in serial form, like the grand adventures of old, but it’s on my shelf now and waiting for me, and because it’s by Meljean I know it will be worth waiting for. Here’s the plot summary:

A former smuggler and thief, Ariq—better known as the Kraken King—doesn’t know what to make of the clever, mysterious woman he rescues from an airship besieged by marauders. Unsure if she’s a spy or a pawn in someone else’s game, Ariq isn’t about to let her out of his sight until he finds out…

After escaping her fourth kidnapping attempt in a year, Zenobia Fox has learned to vigilantly guard her identity. While her brother Archimedes is notorious for his exploits, Zenobia has had no adventures to call her own—besides the stories she writes.

But when she jumps at the chance to escape to the wilds of Australia and acquire research for her next story, Zenobia quickly discovers that the voyage will be far more adventurous than any fiction she could put to paper…

A Princess in Theory, by Alyssa Cole

Princess in TheoryThis is part of the Reluctant Royals contemporary romance series—Alyssa Cole is one of those writers who writes really well across a variety of subgenres, and even though she hooked me first with her historicals like An Extraordinary Union (which was an extraordinary book), I’m equally happy to follow her storytelling into the present day with novels like this “tale of a city Cinderella and her Prince Charming in disguise”. Here’s the summary:

Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.

Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.

The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?

And finally, third down on my TBR pile is an older book: The Little Drummer Girl, by John Le Carré.

Little Drummer GirlCharlie, a jobbing young English actress, is accustomed to playing different roles. But when the mysterious, battle-scarred Joseph recruits her into the Israeli secret services, she enters the dangerous “theatre of the real”. As she acts out her part in an intricate, high-stakes plot to trap and kill a Palestinian terrorist, it threatens to consume her.

Set in the tragic arena of the Middle East conflict, this compelling story of love and torn loyalties plays out against the backdrop of an unwinnable war.

John Le Carré isn’t known for his happy ever afters, and although I’ve seen the old film of this, starring Diane Keaton, I was not prepared to trust the book. Except I have a reading quirk—I always read the last line of a book first, so I know this one ends well enough.

(And yes, I bought a brand new copy, even though I had one on my shelf already, just because the new one featured Alexander Skarsgård on the cover, from the recent BBC adaptation, which I got to see one episode of last year while in Scotland). (I am shallow and a sucker for a handsome face).

Do you set books aside for a rainy day special treat? What’s on your to-be-read pile right now?

100 thoughts on “Susanna’s TBR”

  1. I must admit that if it’s a book by an author I totally love, I’ll start reading as soon as I sit down for lunch, so no stockpiling here! But you have a nice set of TBRs here. I’ve read the Cole, which was delightful. Alyssa Cole is indeed very versatile.

    Reply
  2. I must admit that if it’s a book by an author I totally love, I’ll start reading as soon as I sit down for lunch, so no stockpiling here! But you have a nice set of TBRs here. I’ve read the Cole, which was delightful. Alyssa Cole is indeed very versatile.

    Reply
  3. I must admit that if it’s a book by an author I totally love, I’ll start reading as soon as I sit down for lunch, so no stockpiling here! But you have a nice set of TBRs here. I’ve read the Cole, which was delightful. Alyssa Cole is indeed very versatile.

    Reply
  4. I must admit that if it’s a book by an author I totally love, I’ll start reading as soon as I sit down for lunch, so no stockpiling here! But you have a nice set of TBRs here. I’ve read the Cole, which was delightful. Alyssa Cole is indeed very versatile.

    Reply
  5. I must admit that if it’s a book by an author I totally love, I’ll start reading as soon as I sit down for lunch, so no stockpiling here! But you have a nice set of TBRs here. I’ve read the Cole, which was delightful. Alyssa Cole is indeed very versatile.

    Reply
  6. My TBR is ever growing. When I was hospitalized a few years ago, my husband asked me what I wanted to read, I told him jest to grad a couple from my TBR pile and that would be find. At his quizzical expression, that’s the pile next to my bedside table. He brought back a bag. “I don’t know what you’r in the mood for, and you have more books in that pile than you have on your shelves!” I didn’t understand what his problem was with that. the TBR does get purged occasionally.
    Between Thanksgiving and Twelfth Night I read the pile of Christmas Novels and Novellas I collected throughout the year. This tradition started after reading Last Chance Christmas Ball written by several clever wenches.

    Reply
  7. My TBR is ever growing. When I was hospitalized a few years ago, my husband asked me what I wanted to read, I told him jest to grad a couple from my TBR pile and that would be find. At his quizzical expression, that’s the pile next to my bedside table. He brought back a bag. “I don’t know what you’r in the mood for, and you have more books in that pile than you have on your shelves!” I didn’t understand what his problem was with that. the TBR does get purged occasionally.
    Between Thanksgiving and Twelfth Night I read the pile of Christmas Novels and Novellas I collected throughout the year. This tradition started after reading Last Chance Christmas Ball written by several clever wenches.

    Reply
  8. My TBR is ever growing. When I was hospitalized a few years ago, my husband asked me what I wanted to read, I told him jest to grad a couple from my TBR pile and that would be find. At his quizzical expression, that’s the pile next to my bedside table. He brought back a bag. “I don’t know what you’r in the mood for, and you have more books in that pile than you have on your shelves!” I didn’t understand what his problem was with that. the TBR does get purged occasionally.
    Between Thanksgiving and Twelfth Night I read the pile of Christmas Novels and Novellas I collected throughout the year. This tradition started after reading Last Chance Christmas Ball written by several clever wenches.

    Reply
  9. My TBR is ever growing. When I was hospitalized a few years ago, my husband asked me what I wanted to read, I told him jest to grad a couple from my TBR pile and that would be find. At his quizzical expression, that’s the pile next to my bedside table. He brought back a bag. “I don’t know what you’r in the mood for, and you have more books in that pile than you have on your shelves!” I didn’t understand what his problem was with that. the TBR does get purged occasionally.
    Between Thanksgiving and Twelfth Night I read the pile of Christmas Novels and Novellas I collected throughout the year. This tradition started after reading Last Chance Christmas Ball written by several clever wenches.

    Reply
  10. My TBR is ever growing. When I was hospitalized a few years ago, my husband asked me what I wanted to read, I told him jest to grad a couple from my TBR pile and that would be find. At his quizzical expression, that’s the pile next to my bedside table. He brought back a bag. “I don’t know what you’r in the mood for, and you have more books in that pile than you have on your shelves!” I didn’t understand what his problem was with that. the TBR does get purged occasionally.
    Between Thanksgiving and Twelfth Night I read the pile of Christmas Novels and Novellas I collected throughout the year. This tradition started after reading Last Chance Christmas Ball written by several clever wenches.

    Reply
  11. I really liked The Kraken King. That one and the novella she wrote, Here There Be Monsters were my favorite of the series. I’ve been in a huge slump so have just been reading parts of old favorites until something on the TBR pile strikes my fancy.

    Reply
  12. I really liked The Kraken King. That one and the novella she wrote, Here There Be Monsters were my favorite of the series. I’ve been in a huge slump so have just been reading parts of old favorites until something on the TBR pile strikes my fancy.

    Reply
  13. I really liked The Kraken King. That one and the novella she wrote, Here There Be Monsters were my favorite of the series. I’ve been in a huge slump so have just been reading parts of old favorites until something on the TBR pile strikes my fancy.

    Reply
  14. I really liked The Kraken King. That one and the novella she wrote, Here There Be Monsters were my favorite of the series. I’ve been in a huge slump so have just been reading parts of old favorites until something on the TBR pile strikes my fancy.

    Reply
  15. I really liked The Kraken King. That one and the novella she wrote, Here There Be Monsters were my favorite of the series. I’ve been in a huge slump so have just been reading parts of old favorites until something on the TBR pile strikes my fancy.

    Reply
  16. I read new books as fast as I can get to them. Since I am now retired, that’s fairly quickly!
    I have a comment about your Steinbeck experience. This month I reread the Felse mysteries by Ellis Peters. I didn’t get out a Brother Cadfael book for an actual comparison, but I am sure that the author writes in a different voice for thr Felse books. As she was writing both series during the same years, isn’t this somewhat unusual?

    Reply
  17. I read new books as fast as I can get to them. Since I am now retired, that’s fairly quickly!
    I have a comment about your Steinbeck experience. This month I reread the Felse mysteries by Ellis Peters. I didn’t get out a Brother Cadfael book for an actual comparison, but I am sure that the author writes in a different voice for thr Felse books. As she was writing both series during the same years, isn’t this somewhat unusual?

    Reply
  18. I read new books as fast as I can get to them. Since I am now retired, that’s fairly quickly!
    I have a comment about your Steinbeck experience. This month I reread the Felse mysteries by Ellis Peters. I didn’t get out a Brother Cadfael book for an actual comparison, but I am sure that the author writes in a different voice for thr Felse books. As she was writing both series during the same years, isn’t this somewhat unusual?

    Reply
  19. I read new books as fast as I can get to them. Since I am now retired, that’s fairly quickly!
    I have a comment about your Steinbeck experience. This month I reread the Felse mysteries by Ellis Peters. I didn’t get out a Brother Cadfael book for an actual comparison, but I am sure that the author writes in a different voice for thr Felse books. As she was writing both series during the same years, isn’t this somewhat unusual?

    Reply
  20. I read new books as fast as I can get to them. Since I am now retired, that’s fairly quickly!
    I have a comment about your Steinbeck experience. This month I reread the Felse mysteries by Ellis Peters. I didn’t get out a Brother Cadfael book for an actual comparison, but I am sure that the author writes in a different voice for thr Felse books. As she was writing both series during the same years, isn’t this somewhat unusual?

    Reply
  21. I don’t usually read while I’m working on a book either – it’s too distracting. And once I start reading I can never stop so I’ll stay up till the early hours of the morning and then I’m useless the next day 😀

    Reply
  22. I don’t usually read while I’m working on a book either – it’s too distracting. And once I start reading I can never stop so I’ll stay up till the early hours of the morning and then I’m useless the next day 😀

    Reply
  23. I don’t usually read while I’m working on a book either – it’s too distracting. And once I start reading I can never stop so I’ll stay up till the early hours of the morning and then I’m useless the next day 😀

    Reply
  24. I don’t usually read while I’m working on a book either – it’s too distracting. And once I start reading I can never stop so I’ll stay up till the early hours of the morning and then I’m useless the next day 😀

    Reply
  25. I don’t usually read while I’m working on a book either – it’s too distracting. And once I start reading I can never stop so I’ll stay up till the early hours of the morning and then I’m useless the next day 😀

    Reply
  26. I never stop reading — I think I’d go crazy if I did. Reading has always been my relaxation. Most people watch a few hours of TV at night — I read.
    I don’t really think it affects my writer’s voice. Then again, I rarely read historical romance while I’m writing — it’s mainly fantasy and paranormal and crime and contemporaries. I’m a huge fan of Meljean Brook, and you’ve reminded me to hunt out her latest. Thanks.

    Reply
  27. I never stop reading — I think I’d go crazy if I did. Reading has always been my relaxation. Most people watch a few hours of TV at night — I read.
    I don’t really think it affects my writer’s voice. Then again, I rarely read historical romance while I’m writing — it’s mainly fantasy and paranormal and crime and contemporaries. I’m a huge fan of Meljean Brook, and you’ve reminded me to hunt out her latest. Thanks.

    Reply
  28. I never stop reading — I think I’d go crazy if I did. Reading has always been my relaxation. Most people watch a few hours of TV at night — I read.
    I don’t really think it affects my writer’s voice. Then again, I rarely read historical romance while I’m writing — it’s mainly fantasy and paranormal and crime and contemporaries. I’m a huge fan of Meljean Brook, and you’ve reminded me to hunt out her latest. Thanks.

    Reply
  29. I never stop reading — I think I’d go crazy if I did. Reading has always been my relaxation. Most people watch a few hours of TV at night — I read.
    I don’t really think it affects my writer’s voice. Then again, I rarely read historical romance while I’m writing — it’s mainly fantasy and paranormal and crime and contemporaries. I’m a huge fan of Meljean Brook, and you’ve reminded me to hunt out her latest. Thanks.

    Reply
  30. I never stop reading — I think I’d go crazy if I did. Reading has always been my relaxation. Most people watch a few hours of TV at night — I read.
    I don’t really think it affects my writer’s voice. Then again, I rarely read historical romance while I’m writing — it’s mainly fantasy and paranormal and crime and contemporaries. I’m a huge fan of Meljean Brook, and you’ve reminded me to hunt out her latest. Thanks.

    Reply
  31. Sue, I haven’t read Ellis Peters’s Felse mysteries yet, though I did buy the first after you mentioned them recently. But thinking about your question re her different voices, might that be that the Cadfael books take place pretty much through Bro. Cadfael’s eyes, and so his is the voice you hear? I know it’s not written in first person, but the point of view is mostly his, I think, and I would imagine that would influence her voice. I don’t know — it’s an interesting question. I’ll have to dig out those books and have a little ponder.
    Of course the historical setting would also make a difference. I know when I submitted my contemporary romantic comedy to Harlequin many years ago, the acquiring editor nearly didn’t bother to read it (it took her more than 11 months) because she assumed I’d have a “historical voice”. She actually said so when she rang me to make an offer for the book, said “But your voice is so fresh and funny and modern. How do you get away with that with historicals?” My response was that they were different books, different settings and people.

    Reply
  32. Sue, I haven’t read Ellis Peters’s Felse mysteries yet, though I did buy the first after you mentioned them recently. But thinking about your question re her different voices, might that be that the Cadfael books take place pretty much through Bro. Cadfael’s eyes, and so his is the voice you hear? I know it’s not written in first person, but the point of view is mostly his, I think, and I would imagine that would influence her voice. I don’t know — it’s an interesting question. I’ll have to dig out those books and have a little ponder.
    Of course the historical setting would also make a difference. I know when I submitted my contemporary romantic comedy to Harlequin many years ago, the acquiring editor nearly didn’t bother to read it (it took her more than 11 months) because she assumed I’d have a “historical voice”. She actually said so when she rang me to make an offer for the book, said “But your voice is so fresh and funny and modern. How do you get away with that with historicals?” My response was that they were different books, different settings and people.

    Reply
  33. Sue, I haven’t read Ellis Peters’s Felse mysteries yet, though I did buy the first after you mentioned them recently. But thinking about your question re her different voices, might that be that the Cadfael books take place pretty much through Bro. Cadfael’s eyes, and so his is the voice you hear? I know it’s not written in first person, but the point of view is mostly his, I think, and I would imagine that would influence her voice. I don’t know — it’s an interesting question. I’ll have to dig out those books and have a little ponder.
    Of course the historical setting would also make a difference. I know when I submitted my contemporary romantic comedy to Harlequin many years ago, the acquiring editor nearly didn’t bother to read it (it took her more than 11 months) because she assumed I’d have a “historical voice”. She actually said so when she rang me to make an offer for the book, said “But your voice is so fresh and funny and modern. How do you get away with that with historicals?” My response was that they were different books, different settings and people.

    Reply
  34. Sue, I haven’t read Ellis Peters’s Felse mysteries yet, though I did buy the first after you mentioned them recently. But thinking about your question re her different voices, might that be that the Cadfael books take place pretty much through Bro. Cadfael’s eyes, and so his is the voice you hear? I know it’s not written in first person, but the point of view is mostly his, I think, and I would imagine that would influence her voice. I don’t know — it’s an interesting question. I’ll have to dig out those books and have a little ponder.
    Of course the historical setting would also make a difference. I know when I submitted my contemporary romantic comedy to Harlequin many years ago, the acquiring editor nearly didn’t bother to read it (it took her more than 11 months) because she assumed I’d have a “historical voice”. She actually said so when she rang me to make an offer for the book, said “But your voice is so fresh and funny and modern. How do you get away with that with historicals?” My response was that they were different books, different settings and people.

    Reply
  35. Sue, I haven’t read Ellis Peters’s Felse mysteries yet, though I did buy the first after you mentioned them recently. But thinking about your question re her different voices, might that be that the Cadfael books take place pretty much through Bro. Cadfael’s eyes, and so his is the voice you hear? I know it’s not written in first person, but the point of view is mostly his, I think, and I would imagine that would influence her voice. I don’t know — it’s an interesting question. I’ll have to dig out those books and have a little ponder.
    Of course the historical setting would also make a difference. I know when I submitted my contemporary romantic comedy to Harlequin many years ago, the acquiring editor nearly didn’t bother to read it (it took her more than 11 months) because she assumed I’d have a “historical voice”. She actually said so when she rang me to make an offer for the book, said “But your voice is so fresh and funny and modern. How do you get away with that with historicals?” My response was that they were different books, different settings and people.

    Reply
  36. They are clever, those Last Chance Christmas Ball wenches 🙂
    And I agree with you about the joys of tucking into Christmas novels and novellas. In fact, you’ll want to check back mid-December for our Ask-A-Wench post…

    Reply
  37. They are clever, those Last Chance Christmas Ball wenches 🙂
    And I agree with you about the joys of tucking into Christmas novels and novellas. In fact, you’ll want to check back mid-December for our Ask-A-Wench post…

    Reply
  38. They are clever, those Last Chance Christmas Ball wenches 🙂
    And I agree with you about the joys of tucking into Christmas novels and novellas. In fact, you’ll want to check back mid-December for our Ask-A-Wench post…

    Reply
  39. They are clever, those Last Chance Christmas Ball wenches 🙂
    And I agree with you about the joys of tucking into Christmas novels and novellas. In fact, you’ll want to check back mid-December for our Ask-A-Wench post…

    Reply
  40. They are clever, those Last Chance Christmas Ball wenches 🙂
    And I agree with you about the joys of tucking into Christmas novels and novellas. In fact, you’ll want to check back mid-December for our Ask-A-Wench post…

    Reply
  41. Misti, you’re making it Very Difficult for me to wait to read The Kraken King! (I have to wait until May!)
    I think Heart of Steel has been my favourite up to now, so if this one is better than THAT one, I’m in for a treat.

    Reply
  42. Misti, you’re making it Very Difficult for me to wait to read The Kraken King! (I have to wait until May!)
    I think Heart of Steel has been my favourite up to now, so if this one is better than THAT one, I’m in for a treat.

    Reply
  43. Misti, you’re making it Very Difficult for me to wait to read The Kraken King! (I have to wait until May!)
    I think Heart of Steel has been my favourite up to now, so if this one is better than THAT one, I’m in for a treat.

    Reply
  44. Misti, you’re making it Very Difficult for me to wait to read The Kraken King! (I have to wait until May!)
    I think Heart of Steel has been my favourite up to now, so if this one is better than THAT one, I’m in for a treat.

    Reply
  45. Misti, you’re making it Very Difficult for me to wait to read The Kraken King! (I have to wait until May!)
    I think Heart of Steel has been my favourite up to now, so if this one is better than THAT one, I’m in for a treat.

    Reply
  46. Sue, I agree with Anne, in that the George Felse mysteries were set in contemporary times (at the time they were written), from the 1950s through the 1970s, so the “voice” of the character would be a modern one in tune with that time period, whereas the Cadfael books (which Ellis Peters actually wrote after the Felse mysteries) were set in the 12th century, so the voice she used for those stories would likely have been deliberately adapted to suit the time through which those characters were moving.
    I do a similar thing (although probably not with as much skill as Ellis Peters) when I write my dual time novels–if there’s a first-person, modern day thread, the voice is slightly different from the third person voice of the historical thread, to let readers know whether they’re in the past or the present.
    But that would be my guess as to why you’re noticing a difference in the voice between the Felse books and the Cadfael ones.

    Reply
  47. Sue, I agree with Anne, in that the George Felse mysteries were set in contemporary times (at the time they were written), from the 1950s through the 1970s, so the “voice” of the character would be a modern one in tune with that time period, whereas the Cadfael books (which Ellis Peters actually wrote after the Felse mysteries) were set in the 12th century, so the voice she used for those stories would likely have been deliberately adapted to suit the time through which those characters were moving.
    I do a similar thing (although probably not with as much skill as Ellis Peters) when I write my dual time novels–if there’s a first-person, modern day thread, the voice is slightly different from the third person voice of the historical thread, to let readers know whether they’re in the past or the present.
    But that would be my guess as to why you’re noticing a difference in the voice between the Felse books and the Cadfael ones.

    Reply
  48. Sue, I agree with Anne, in that the George Felse mysteries were set in contemporary times (at the time they were written), from the 1950s through the 1970s, so the “voice” of the character would be a modern one in tune with that time period, whereas the Cadfael books (which Ellis Peters actually wrote after the Felse mysteries) were set in the 12th century, so the voice she used for those stories would likely have been deliberately adapted to suit the time through which those characters were moving.
    I do a similar thing (although probably not with as much skill as Ellis Peters) when I write my dual time novels–if there’s a first-person, modern day thread, the voice is slightly different from the third person voice of the historical thread, to let readers know whether they’re in the past or the present.
    But that would be my guess as to why you’re noticing a difference in the voice between the Felse books and the Cadfael ones.

    Reply
  49. Sue, I agree with Anne, in that the George Felse mysteries were set in contemporary times (at the time they were written), from the 1950s through the 1970s, so the “voice” of the character would be a modern one in tune with that time period, whereas the Cadfael books (which Ellis Peters actually wrote after the Felse mysteries) were set in the 12th century, so the voice she used for those stories would likely have been deliberately adapted to suit the time through which those characters were moving.
    I do a similar thing (although probably not with as much skill as Ellis Peters) when I write my dual time novels–if there’s a first-person, modern day thread, the voice is slightly different from the third person voice of the historical thread, to let readers know whether they’re in the past or the present.
    But that would be my guess as to why you’re noticing a difference in the voice between the Felse books and the Cadfael ones.

    Reply
  50. Sue, I agree with Anne, in that the George Felse mysteries were set in contemporary times (at the time they were written), from the 1950s through the 1970s, so the “voice” of the character would be a modern one in tune with that time period, whereas the Cadfael books (which Ellis Peters actually wrote after the Felse mysteries) were set in the 12th century, so the voice she used for those stories would likely have been deliberately adapted to suit the time through which those characters were moving.
    I do a similar thing (although probably not with as much skill as Ellis Peters) when I write my dual time novels–if there’s a first-person, modern day thread, the voice is slightly different from the third person voice of the historical thread, to let readers know whether they’re in the past or the present.
    But that would be my guess as to why you’re noticing a difference in the voice between the Felse books and the Cadfael ones.

    Reply
  51. Well, yes, there is that, too! I vividly remember the night I picked up Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten before going to bed, having never read anything of hers before, and I kept saying, “Just ONE more chapter…” until I found myself still lying there awake with the sky growing light and the children waking up and me knowing I’d have to get up and drive them to school… (It was worth it, though–brilliant book).

    Reply
  52. Well, yes, there is that, too! I vividly remember the night I picked up Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten before going to bed, having never read anything of hers before, and I kept saying, “Just ONE more chapter…” until I found myself still lying there awake with the sky growing light and the children waking up and me knowing I’d have to get up and drive them to school… (It was worth it, though–brilliant book).

    Reply
  53. Well, yes, there is that, too! I vividly remember the night I picked up Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten before going to bed, having never read anything of hers before, and I kept saying, “Just ONE more chapter…” until I found myself still lying there awake with the sky growing light and the children waking up and me knowing I’d have to get up and drive them to school… (It was worth it, though–brilliant book).

    Reply
  54. Well, yes, there is that, too! I vividly remember the night I picked up Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten before going to bed, having never read anything of hers before, and I kept saying, “Just ONE more chapter…” until I found myself still lying there awake with the sky growing light and the children waking up and me knowing I’d have to get up and drive them to school… (It was worth it, though–brilliant book).

    Reply
  55. Well, yes, there is that, too! I vividly remember the night I picked up Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten before going to bed, having never read anything of hers before, and I kept saying, “Just ONE more chapter…” until I found myself still lying there awake with the sky growing light and the children waking up and me knowing I’d have to get up and drive them to school… (It was worth it, though–brilliant book).

    Reply
  56. See now, I used to disappear into books all the time when I was young, but these days, my relaxation comes from watching films. They only take a couple of hours, so I don’t feel too terribly guilty about taking time away from my writing (because, like Christina, I’m not very good at putting books DOWN once I’ve started them, and I tend to go all day with a book once I’ve opened the cover), and films flood my senses and hold my attention, whereas my mind sometimes still wanders away while I’m reading, distracted by thoughts of my own book and characters. So if I desperately need to relax, I go sit in the cinema. (My grandfather was a film projectionist, so I blame him entirely for this).

    Reply
  57. See now, I used to disappear into books all the time when I was young, but these days, my relaxation comes from watching films. They only take a couple of hours, so I don’t feel too terribly guilty about taking time away from my writing (because, like Christina, I’m not very good at putting books DOWN once I’ve started them, and I tend to go all day with a book once I’ve opened the cover), and films flood my senses and hold my attention, whereas my mind sometimes still wanders away while I’m reading, distracted by thoughts of my own book and characters. So if I desperately need to relax, I go sit in the cinema. (My grandfather was a film projectionist, so I blame him entirely for this).

    Reply
  58. See now, I used to disappear into books all the time when I was young, but these days, my relaxation comes from watching films. They only take a couple of hours, so I don’t feel too terribly guilty about taking time away from my writing (because, like Christina, I’m not very good at putting books DOWN once I’ve started them, and I tend to go all day with a book once I’ve opened the cover), and films flood my senses and hold my attention, whereas my mind sometimes still wanders away while I’m reading, distracted by thoughts of my own book and characters. So if I desperately need to relax, I go sit in the cinema. (My grandfather was a film projectionist, so I blame him entirely for this).

    Reply
  59. See now, I used to disappear into books all the time when I was young, but these days, my relaxation comes from watching films. They only take a couple of hours, so I don’t feel too terribly guilty about taking time away from my writing (because, like Christina, I’m not very good at putting books DOWN once I’ve started them, and I tend to go all day with a book once I’ve opened the cover), and films flood my senses and hold my attention, whereas my mind sometimes still wanders away while I’m reading, distracted by thoughts of my own book and characters. So if I desperately need to relax, I go sit in the cinema. (My grandfather was a film projectionist, so I blame him entirely for this).

    Reply
  60. See now, I used to disappear into books all the time when I was young, but these days, my relaxation comes from watching films. They only take a couple of hours, so I don’t feel too terribly guilty about taking time away from my writing (because, like Christina, I’m not very good at putting books DOWN once I’ve started them, and I tend to go all day with a book once I’ve opened the cover), and films flood my senses and hold my attention, whereas my mind sometimes still wanders away while I’m reading, distracted by thoughts of my own book and characters. So if I desperately need to relax, I go sit in the cinema. (My grandfather was a film projectionist, so I blame him entirely for this).

    Reply
  61. I do set aside books just in case we get a wicked snow storm and I am trapped in the house for a week. I am a big fan of Charles de Lint, a Canadian author who writes books termed “urban fantasy” – that is, they take place in the here and now but contain a lot of magic. He is difficult to find for some reason, so when I see one I grab it. Or I re-read Ellis Peters or Candace Robb, both very highly recommended Medievil murder mystery authors.

    Reply
  62. I do set aside books just in case we get a wicked snow storm and I am trapped in the house for a week. I am a big fan of Charles de Lint, a Canadian author who writes books termed “urban fantasy” – that is, they take place in the here and now but contain a lot of magic. He is difficult to find for some reason, so when I see one I grab it. Or I re-read Ellis Peters or Candace Robb, both very highly recommended Medievil murder mystery authors.

    Reply
  63. I do set aside books just in case we get a wicked snow storm and I am trapped in the house for a week. I am a big fan of Charles de Lint, a Canadian author who writes books termed “urban fantasy” – that is, they take place in the here and now but contain a lot of magic. He is difficult to find for some reason, so when I see one I grab it. Or I re-read Ellis Peters or Candace Robb, both very highly recommended Medievil murder mystery authors.

    Reply
  64. I do set aside books just in case we get a wicked snow storm and I am trapped in the house for a week. I am a big fan of Charles de Lint, a Canadian author who writes books termed “urban fantasy” – that is, they take place in the here and now but contain a lot of magic. He is difficult to find for some reason, so when I see one I grab it. Or I re-read Ellis Peters or Candace Robb, both very highly recommended Medievil murder mystery authors.

    Reply
  65. I do set aside books just in case we get a wicked snow storm and I am trapped in the house for a week. I am a big fan of Charles de Lint, a Canadian author who writes books termed “urban fantasy” – that is, they take place in the here and now but contain a lot of magic. He is difficult to find for some reason, so when I see one I grab it. Or I re-read Ellis Peters or Candace Robb, both very highly recommended Medievil murder mystery authors.

    Reply
  66. “if a writer has a strongly individual storytelling voice, it will start to creep into and influence mine if I read while I’m working.”
    I’m not sure that this is bad. I’m not a writer but the theorist in me would expect a writing voice to evolve through interaction with the writing environment. Good influences could make you even better, especially if you stick to reading great authors. Bad influences will jar when you proof read and can be consciously eliminated.
    I have a massive TBR pile and select next read according to my mood. Looking at my Audible wish list, at the top (latest addition) I have ‘A Woman of Substance’ by Barbara Taylor Bradford … added after hearing a radio interview with the lady. Next I have MJP’s ‘Angel Rogue’, Anne’s ‘Marry in Haste’ and Susana’s ‘The Rose Garden’ …. I do like a good time slip. Further down all of the wenches who do audio are represented … will get there eventually!

    Reply
  67. “if a writer has a strongly individual storytelling voice, it will start to creep into and influence mine if I read while I’m working.”
    I’m not sure that this is bad. I’m not a writer but the theorist in me would expect a writing voice to evolve through interaction with the writing environment. Good influences could make you even better, especially if you stick to reading great authors. Bad influences will jar when you proof read and can be consciously eliminated.
    I have a massive TBR pile and select next read according to my mood. Looking at my Audible wish list, at the top (latest addition) I have ‘A Woman of Substance’ by Barbara Taylor Bradford … added after hearing a radio interview with the lady. Next I have MJP’s ‘Angel Rogue’, Anne’s ‘Marry in Haste’ and Susana’s ‘The Rose Garden’ …. I do like a good time slip. Further down all of the wenches who do audio are represented … will get there eventually!

    Reply
  68. “if a writer has a strongly individual storytelling voice, it will start to creep into and influence mine if I read while I’m working.”
    I’m not sure that this is bad. I’m not a writer but the theorist in me would expect a writing voice to evolve through interaction with the writing environment. Good influences could make you even better, especially if you stick to reading great authors. Bad influences will jar when you proof read and can be consciously eliminated.
    I have a massive TBR pile and select next read according to my mood. Looking at my Audible wish list, at the top (latest addition) I have ‘A Woman of Substance’ by Barbara Taylor Bradford … added after hearing a radio interview with the lady. Next I have MJP’s ‘Angel Rogue’, Anne’s ‘Marry in Haste’ and Susana’s ‘The Rose Garden’ …. I do like a good time slip. Further down all of the wenches who do audio are represented … will get there eventually!

    Reply
  69. “if a writer has a strongly individual storytelling voice, it will start to creep into and influence mine if I read while I’m working.”
    I’m not sure that this is bad. I’m not a writer but the theorist in me would expect a writing voice to evolve through interaction with the writing environment. Good influences could make you even better, especially if you stick to reading great authors. Bad influences will jar when you proof read and can be consciously eliminated.
    I have a massive TBR pile and select next read according to my mood. Looking at my Audible wish list, at the top (latest addition) I have ‘A Woman of Substance’ by Barbara Taylor Bradford … added after hearing a radio interview with the lady. Next I have MJP’s ‘Angel Rogue’, Anne’s ‘Marry in Haste’ and Susana’s ‘The Rose Garden’ …. I do like a good time slip. Further down all of the wenches who do audio are represented … will get there eventually!

    Reply
  70. “if a writer has a strongly individual storytelling voice, it will start to creep into and influence mine if I read while I’m working.”
    I’m not sure that this is bad. I’m not a writer but the theorist in me would expect a writing voice to evolve through interaction with the writing environment. Good influences could make you even better, especially if you stick to reading great authors. Bad influences will jar when you proof read and can be consciously eliminated.
    I have a massive TBR pile and select next read according to my mood. Looking at my Audible wish list, at the top (latest addition) I have ‘A Woman of Substance’ by Barbara Taylor Bradford … added after hearing a radio interview with the lady. Next I have MJP’s ‘Angel Rogue’, Anne’s ‘Marry in Haste’ and Susana’s ‘The Rose Garden’ …. I do like a good time slip. Further down all of the wenches who do audio are represented … will get there eventually!

    Reply
  71. All the discipline evidenced above puts me to shame. I have probably more than 500 books on my TBR mountains (I shift peaks of them, occasionally, in an attempt to keep the floor from collapsing). The scariest ones, for me, are the library books I’ve foolishly borrowed believing I’ll have room to fit them in, somehow. I feel the due date drawing near and I know I haven’t even cracked the spine of whatever book I absolutely had to check out (almost always non-fiction, because I just surrender and buy whatever novel crosses my path that I think I’ll need to read). But as for adopting a voice, I have a way around that, too! I know many shake their heads at the very idea of this, but I almost always have at least 5 books going at any one time: one paper novel by my bed that I desperately WANT to read and that I usually manage a few lines of before falling asleep, a paper (often library) non-fiction book that I really want to read but not quite as much as the novel, a digital book on my phone for when I’m stuck on a line or wherever, a digital book on my Kindle that I keep in my purse for lengthy pauses in life, and an audiobook on my phone that I listen to while I walk the dog, do laundry, etc. I guess my life-long familiarity with extremely demanding family members and pets has allowed my brain to keep multiple stories straight, since I never have a problem immediately immersing myself in whichever book I find myself! Now I know I pulled the Wenches’ Last Chance Christmas Ball anthology out last year, and then read one story at least, so it has to be in a pile around here somewhere . . .

    Reply
  72. All the discipline evidenced above puts me to shame. I have probably more than 500 books on my TBR mountains (I shift peaks of them, occasionally, in an attempt to keep the floor from collapsing). The scariest ones, for me, are the library books I’ve foolishly borrowed believing I’ll have room to fit them in, somehow. I feel the due date drawing near and I know I haven’t even cracked the spine of whatever book I absolutely had to check out (almost always non-fiction, because I just surrender and buy whatever novel crosses my path that I think I’ll need to read). But as for adopting a voice, I have a way around that, too! I know many shake their heads at the very idea of this, but I almost always have at least 5 books going at any one time: one paper novel by my bed that I desperately WANT to read and that I usually manage a few lines of before falling asleep, a paper (often library) non-fiction book that I really want to read but not quite as much as the novel, a digital book on my phone for when I’m stuck on a line or wherever, a digital book on my Kindle that I keep in my purse for lengthy pauses in life, and an audiobook on my phone that I listen to while I walk the dog, do laundry, etc. I guess my life-long familiarity with extremely demanding family members and pets has allowed my brain to keep multiple stories straight, since I never have a problem immediately immersing myself in whichever book I find myself! Now I know I pulled the Wenches’ Last Chance Christmas Ball anthology out last year, and then read one story at least, so it has to be in a pile around here somewhere . . .

    Reply
  73. All the discipline evidenced above puts me to shame. I have probably more than 500 books on my TBR mountains (I shift peaks of them, occasionally, in an attempt to keep the floor from collapsing). The scariest ones, for me, are the library books I’ve foolishly borrowed believing I’ll have room to fit them in, somehow. I feel the due date drawing near and I know I haven’t even cracked the spine of whatever book I absolutely had to check out (almost always non-fiction, because I just surrender and buy whatever novel crosses my path that I think I’ll need to read). But as for adopting a voice, I have a way around that, too! I know many shake their heads at the very idea of this, but I almost always have at least 5 books going at any one time: one paper novel by my bed that I desperately WANT to read and that I usually manage a few lines of before falling asleep, a paper (often library) non-fiction book that I really want to read but not quite as much as the novel, a digital book on my phone for when I’m stuck on a line or wherever, a digital book on my Kindle that I keep in my purse for lengthy pauses in life, and an audiobook on my phone that I listen to while I walk the dog, do laundry, etc. I guess my life-long familiarity with extremely demanding family members and pets has allowed my brain to keep multiple stories straight, since I never have a problem immediately immersing myself in whichever book I find myself! Now I know I pulled the Wenches’ Last Chance Christmas Ball anthology out last year, and then read one story at least, so it has to be in a pile around here somewhere . . .

    Reply
  74. All the discipline evidenced above puts me to shame. I have probably more than 500 books on my TBR mountains (I shift peaks of them, occasionally, in an attempt to keep the floor from collapsing). The scariest ones, for me, are the library books I’ve foolishly borrowed believing I’ll have room to fit them in, somehow. I feel the due date drawing near and I know I haven’t even cracked the spine of whatever book I absolutely had to check out (almost always non-fiction, because I just surrender and buy whatever novel crosses my path that I think I’ll need to read). But as for adopting a voice, I have a way around that, too! I know many shake their heads at the very idea of this, but I almost always have at least 5 books going at any one time: one paper novel by my bed that I desperately WANT to read and that I usually manage a few lines of before falling asleep, a paper (often library) non-fiction book that I really want to read but not quite as much as the novel, a digital book on my phone for when I’m stuck on a line or wherever, a digital book on my Kindle that I keep in my purse for lengthy pauses in life, and an audiobook on my phone that I listen to while I walk the dog, do laundry, etc. I guess my life-long familiarity with extremely demanding family members and pets has allowed my brain to keep multiple stories straight, since I never have a problem immediately immersing myself in whichever book I find myself! Now I know I pulled the Wenches’ Last Chance Christmas Ball anthology out last year, and then read one story at least, so it has to be in a pile around here somewhere . . .

    Reply
  75. All the discipline evidenced above puts me to shame. I have probably more than 500 books on my TBR mountains (I shift peaks of them, occasionally, in an attempt to keep the floor from collapsing). The scariest ones, for me, are the library books I’ve foolishly borrowed believing I’ll have room to fit them in, somehow. I feel the due date drawing near and I know I haven’t even cracked the spine of whatever book I absolutely had to check out (almost always non-fiction, because I just surrender and buy whatever novel crosses my path that I think I’ll need to read). But as for adopting a voice, I have a way around that, too! I know many shake their heads at the very idea of this, but I almost always have at least 5 books going at any one time: one paper novel by my bed that I desperately WANT to read and that I usually manage a few lines of before falling asleep, a paper (often library) non-fiction book that I really want to read but not quite as much as the novel, a digital book on my phone for when I’m stuck on a line or wherever, a digital book on my Kindle that I keep in my purse for lengthy pauses in life, and an audiobook on my phone that I listen to while I walk the dog, do laundry, etc. I guess my life-long familiarity with extremely demanding family members and pets has allowed my brain to keep multiple stories straight, since I never have a problem immediately immersing myself in whichever book I find myself! Now I know I pulled the Wenches’ Last Chance Christmas Ball anthology out last year, and then read one story at least, so it has to be in a pile around here somewhere . . .

    Reply
  76. I have at least 200 or more physical books waiting to be read, and just as many in my Kindle library. The books are in bags and boxes in my closet, and I’m afraid to actually count them. Among them are Jo Bourne’s most recent book, and a couple of Mary Jo’s. Susanna’s books are on Kindle. But instead of working on the TBR pile, half the time I go down some rabbit hole, finding a new author, and the TBR just gets bigger!

    Reply
  77. I have at least 200 or more physical books waiting to be read, and just as many in my Kindle library. The books are in bags and boxes in my closet, and I’m afraid to actually count them. Among them are Jo Bourne’s most recent book, and a couple of Mary Jo’s. Susanna’s books are on Kindle. But instead of working on the TBR pile, half the time I go down some rabbit hole, finding a new author, and the TBR just gets bigger!

    Reply
  78. I have at least 200 or more physical books waiting to be read, and just as many in my Kindle library. The books are in bags and boxes in my closet, and I’m afraid to actually count them. Among them are Jo Bourne’s most recent book, and a couple of Mary Jo’s. Susanna’s books are on Kindle. But instead of working on the TBR pile, half the time I go down some rabbit hole, finding a new author, and the TBR just gets bigger!

    Reply
  79. I have at least 200 or more physical books waiting to be read, and just as many in my Kindle library. The books are in bags and boxes in my closet, and I’m afraid to actually count them. Among them are Jo Bourne’s most recent book, and a couple of Mary Jo’s. Susanna’s books are on Kindle. But instead of working on the TBR pile, half the time I go down some rabbit hole, finding a new author, and the TBR just gets bigger!

    Reply
  80. I have at least 200 or more physical books waiting to be read, and just as many in my Kindle library. The books are in bags and boxes in my closet, and I’m afraid to actually count them. Among them are Jo Bourne’s most recent book, and a couple of Mary Jo’s. Susanna’s books are on Kindle. But instead of working on the TBR pile, half the time I go down some rabbit hole, finding a new author, and the TBR just gets bigger!

    Reply
  81. Only three or 200 or 500 on your to be read piles? I hesitate to say that I have over … ahem … 5000 Kindle books and several hundred paper books awaiting my attention. So what do I often do? Reread a favorite. I am clearly well stocked for the zombie apocalypse.

    Reply
  82. Only three or 200 or 500 on your to be read piles? I hesitate to say that I have over … ahem … 5000 Kindle books and several hundred paper books awaiting my attention. So what do I often do? Reread a favorite. I am clearly well stocked for the zombie apocalypse.

    Reply
  83. Only three or 200 or 500 on your to be read piles? I hesitate to say that I have over … ahem … 5000 Kindle books and several hundred paper books awaiting my attention. So what do I often do? Reread a favorite. I am clearly well stocked for the zombie apocalypse.

    Reply
  84. Only three or 200 or 500 on your to be read piles? I hesitate to say that I have over … ahem … 5000 Kindle books and several hundred paper books awaiting my attention. So what do I often do? Reread a favorite. I am clearly well stocked for the zombie apocalypse.

    Reply
  85. Only three or 200 or 500 on your to be read piles? I hesitate to say that I have over … ahem … 5000 Kindle books and several hundred paper books awaiting my attention. So what do I often do? Reread a favorite. I am clearly well stocked for the zombie apocalypse.

    Reply

Leave a Comment