Anne here. Wench Andrea/Cara is still battling the effects of Hurricane Irene, and was without power or internet access until yesterday, so we powered-up wenches have put together a joint blog on what we've been reading lately. I always enjoy these sessions because I come away with a fistful of good reading recommendations.
Nicola said: At the moment I'm reading four books at once! I don't do this very often because usually I like to concentrate on one thing at once but right now I have a taste for different genres so I'm mixing it up. First up is Westwood by Stella Gibbons, which has just been re-issued as a Vintage Classic. Stella Gibbons has been described as the Jane Austen of the 20th century and I can see why for her sharp wit and brilliant observation. Her book Cold Comfort Farm is one of my favourites and Westwood is set to be just as funny and engaging.
Next there's John Steinbeck's The Log from the Sea of Cortez, a non-fiction account of Steinbeck's marine biology trip with Ed Ricketts. That sounds a bit dry but I went on a whale-watching holiday in the Sea of Cortez a couple of years ago and I've had a yen to read this book ever since because it was such an amazing trip and a truly extraordinary place.
I'm also re-reading Dr Zinetti's Snowkissed Bride by Sarah Morgan. I realise it's the wrong season for Christmas books but I am a huge Sarah Morgan fan and am reading my way through all her books at the moment. With a gorgeous Italian alpha male doctor hero, this has to be one of my all time Sarah Morgan favourites.
And from auto-buys to new-to-me authors. I've recently discovered Caroline Linden's historicals and wonder what took me so long. I love her voice and having just finished reading What A Gentleman Wants I can scarcely wait to glom all the others!
Pat says: I just finished Georgette Heyer’s VENETIA. I wasn’t aware of Heyer until I started writing Regencies so I don’t approach her from the worshipful perspective of an impressionable teen. I adore her humor, and she knows people so well that the characters leap off the page. That said, her page long sentences and dwelling on the boring guy’s boring characteristics do prose on endlessly!
And I’m currently reading Anne Frasier’s (Theresa Weir’s) PALE IMMORTAL which I picked up for free as an e-book. I adore Weir’s romances, but I was wary of her suspense since I have nightmares. But her writing is so compelling that I haven’t been able to put this down, even when they’re torturing the kid. The true story isn’t the murderer because we know who he is by mid-book. The story really is about what is real and what is not. Quite fascinating! I love finding new books for free then following up by reading the rest of the series. An excellent marketing tool.
Mary Jo says: Having handed in a book, I've been catching up on some favorite mystery authors whose latest books I missed. First, the most recent Daisy Dalrymple by Honorary Word Wench Carola Dunn. The books are set in the 1920s and there are running threads about WWI and a society forever changes. ANTHEM FOR DOOMED YOUTH tracks a crime rooted in WWI. Daisy and her husband, DCI Alec Fletcher, are separate for most of the book since he's in charge of a high profile triple murder case, but even while visiting her stepdaughter in Saffron Walden for a school games day, Daisy's talent for finding murder victims hasn't deserted her. <G> Her situation and Alec's come together for an interesting and satisfying twist at the end.
I also read the recent Dick Francis mystery, GAMBLE, which is actually the first written entirely by his son Felix, who has transitioned from research assistant to co-writer to authorized heir very well. Felix is not an identical writer to his father, but the books are certainly similar, and once again, the narrator/hero is a former jockey who has had to find a new life after racing. The hero, Nicholas Foxton, has become a financial manager, and the story begins when his friend and colleague is murdered right next to him at the Grand National race. I look forward to Felix having a long and mutually rewarding writing career. <G>
Lastly, I'm reading the just released Jayne Ann Krentz book, Canyons of Nights, written under Jayne Castle, her futuristic name. I really like all of her Arcane books, where the protagonists have varied and interesting psychic abilities. She came up with the very clever concept of writing trilogies across all three of her writing names: Amanda Quick (Victorian), Jayne Ann Krentz (contemporary), and Jayne Castle, futuristics set on a world with growing psychic abilities and a lot of elements similar to the Pacific Northwest, where JAK lives. <G> Canyons is last of her Looking Glass trilogy, and features an antiquities dealer and a burned out cop who must deal with some strange new energies manifesting on their island. As always with JAK, the writing is sleek, fun, and compelling.
Joanna here. I'm reading Edith Layton's His Dark and Dangerous Ways. Not quite through it, but I'm enjoying it so much.
I seem to be on a reading binge of fictional spies, lately. What is it about secret agents that intrigues and delights us? Maybe it's because they're 'bad boys' on the side of right and justice. Not tamed. No. Never that. But the dark elements of their character are well under control.
Anne here again. I've recently read Loretta Chase's Silk Is For Seduction and I enjoyed it hugely. It's a fun, sexy duel of wit and will between the hero and heroine, and is the start of what promises to be a delightful new series. I can't wait for the next.
I also recently read Jennifer Crusie's Maybe This Time, which was a warm, funny and engaging read that kept me smiling all the way through. It's a return to the kind of Crusie novel I like best, and I immediately pressed it on a friend.
Lately I've been taking myself off to my local library to write, and on the way out the other day I picked up Sophie Kinsella's REMEMBER ME? I never got into her Shopaholic series, but I did enjoy her UNDOMESTIC GODDESS, and I enjoyed this book just as much and read it in one gulp late into the night.
I also read series books and the two standouts for me in recent weeks have been Kelly Hunter's THE MAN SHE LOVES TO HATE and Jessica Hart's AN ORDINARY GIRL IN A TIARA. Both are fun reads, if you like short contemporaries, and will leave you with a smile and a happy sigh.
Now it's your turn. What have you been reading lately? Share, and you'll be in the draw for a book.