Friday, October 31, 2008

Book Club: The Rest Falls Away

Happy Halloween!!!!!

The fabulous day of fun, fright, costumes, candy, and parties has arrived. It is also the day of the book club deadline. I hope you were all able to get your hands on a copy of The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason.

So what did you think?

Did you feel that the book was more like a romance novel or an Urban Fantasy? Will you be reading on to book 2?

What did you think of her Scooby Gang (her maid and maid's cousin)?

I know I have to ask... Max or Sebatian? Or are you the one sitting there loving deLacy?

Highlights? Lowlights?

Share with us, please. But whatever you do, NO SPOILERS FOR FUTURE BOOKS IN THE SERIES. If you do I will be forced to go Gardella on your ass and stake you. I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I am SOOOOO not ready for NaNoWriMo to begin. Hell, I can't seem to focus on my current WIP. I need to buckle down and get some serious planning done tonight and tomorrow. I want to make November worth the insanity.

That being said, I will probably disappear a bit while immersed in the NaNo challenge. I hope you will all forgive the likely neglect here at What Women Read. For a while life is going to be all about what this woman is writing. I will try to keep you updated.

No worries, though. The book club post goes up tomorrow and I have a review of Lord of Scoundrels scheduled the first week of November. Man, I loved that book!

See y'all when I surface!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Meljean love

I heart Meljean. I do! I know many of you do, too. There is just something so lush about her writing. The characters she creates and the world in which they live are vibrant and real. Reading her work leaves me inspired to write, yet completely intimidated. Seriously, the girl is frickin' unreal!

I admit that I am late to the party where Meljean is concerned. Then again, when am I ever on the ball with book releases and trends in the industry? Never. That being said, I have only read Falling For Anthony, Demon Angel, and Paradise. I just finished Paradise (from the Wild Thing anthology) last night. The need to finish it may have contributed to me being late to a meeting (more about that meeting later.) I just could not put it down. Usually a novella leaves be feeling unfulfilled. I want more from the characters or the plot. Not so with this story. Lucas and Selah were wonderful. I completely believed the passion that developed between them, no matter how fast it happened. The vampire community in Ashland was hilarious. I have had vast experience with theater people. The fact that they were vampire theater people made me smile.

I am finding it difficult to be coherent with my thoughts on the book. I loved it. Lucas was this great, intense hero. He had the angst and tortured guilt that I just love in a romance. He was all that, and a vamp, yet managed to not be an Alpha hero. AND I STILL LOVED HIM! Me, the "I only break for Alphas" gal. The fact that he is not an Alpha is actually quite important when it comes to the nature of the vamp community that he leads. Selah is this combination of tough warrior and vulnerable woman. She is conflicted. She is being pulled in two different directions and it is killing her. She is 100% committed to the role of a Guardian, but something doesn't seem to fit.

I think the thing that I enjoy most about Meljean's books is that she doesn't take the easy way out with the HEA. It would be so easy to make all of the characters into Guardians at the end or to have all of the Guardians fall. With Hugh and Lilith (Demon Angel), they still have ties to their past. Lilith does not want to get married. In the end love wins out, but it is not a typical HEA. Lucas and Selah get their HEA (or perhaps more of a HFN), but it is not all tied up with a pretty, shiny bow. The book is a paranormal, but the HEA rings more true to me than those in many Contemporary Romances. There is an honesty to it that I appreciate as a reader. (Of course, I still love the rosy endings with the wedding and baby. I just like some realistic love endings, too. Gives a practical yet romantic single girl some hope.)
This novella is a must-read for me. If you have not yet jumped on the Mejean bandwagon... what are you waiting for?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Book club reminder!

Hey everyone. I just wanted to drop a quick reminder that the deadline for the WWR Book Club is next Friday. I will post a discussion thread for anyone who is/had read the book by that day. I am about 2/3 of the way through the book and can't wait to see what you all thought.

Happy reading!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Haunted Reading Recs from Those Who Write

We bibliophiles devour books by our favorite authors. But what are those authors reading? I took a deep breath and asked that exact question to some local and not so local authors. But being me I couldn't simply ask what books they like. Oh no, I had to keep with my theme of the month: Paranormal/Haunted Books. So here you are, the paranormal books that rocked our authors' socks.

Larissa Ione, author of Pleasure Unbound, recommends:

Full Moon Rising, by Keri Arthur – I picked this as a Haunted Reading Recommendation because it's gritty, scary, and each page is bursting with vampires, shapeshifters, and werebeasts. With all those creatures running around causing trouble, the book is absolute Halloween fun!

Kiss of Midnight, by Lara Adrian – I love the gothic feel of this book, the shadowy, dark details, the incredibly textured description. Then there are the vampires….yum! How can a Halloween read get much better than this?

If Angels Burn, by Lynn Viehl – I simply adore the atmosphere in this book. A scarred, scary hero, a strong heroine suddenly dumped into a dark, frightening world. The book is intense and mysterious, and again…vampires!

Jenna Petersen/Jess Michaels (Lessons From a Courtesan) says:

As a historical writer and fan, I rarely dip my toes into paranormal, but the books in that genre I’ve loved the most seem to all be written by Kathryn Smith. Her Victorian vampire series is spectacular (start with BE MINE TONIGHT) and her new Dream series is also outstanding (BEFORE I WAKE is out now, but I’ve already read the second… haha!).

Jade Lee (The Dragon Earl) shared:

It’s not romance, but I have been reading Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. It’s adventure urban fantasy. Dresden is a wizard in Chicago, and he’s funny, touching, and grip your pages exciting. I started ages ago with the short lived television show which I really enjoyed. Then I tried the first book, now a Dabel Bros comic (with an awesome prequel). Anyway, the first book was Storm Front, and it was good. The second book was Fool Moon, and it was better. After that…they just blew me away. He just gets better and better. I’m now on White Night, which is ninth in the series, and it’s still incredible. Awesome, awesome books and an amazing talent!

Also under the not-romance category the Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine is really good. I’ve really enjoyed that. Same thing: adventure urban fantasy, but she’s got a bit more romance in there than Butcher. Actually, a lot more, but the series grows and it’s fabulous.

Under the romance side: I’ve also been reading Gena Showalter’s Lords of The Underworld series. Darkest Night, Darkest Kiss, and Darkest Pleasure are the first three books. If you enjoy alpha males and the “I see you, I want you, you are my destiny” thing, then these are the books for you. I do enjoy that type of set-up at times, so I really got into this series.

And finally, don’t forget my series! Dragonborn is a fantasy romance where a dragon hunter is tracking the last dragon egg to kill it and its owner. Then he falls in love with the woman who’s got it. He’s supposed to kill her, he has to kill her, he needs to kill her. Oops! Sort of puts a crimp in the love story! *grin* The next book Dragonbound comes out in April!

Jaci Burton (Riding Temptation) encourages us to read:

Jackie Kessler's Hells Belles - A wonderfully fun paranormal urban fantasy about a demon succubus on the run in human form trying to escape eternal damnation. I loved this book because it was funny, sexy, had a strong, kickass heroine who loves fashion (what's not to love about that?), plus a unique twist on Hell at the end that I found mind boggling. First in Jackie's Hell on Earth series.

Melani Blazer's Hot Rod Heaven - It's like Stephen King's Christine, only sexy and romantic instead of scary. A woman thinks her dead boyfriend is back, and that a car is stalking her. A seriously great read, with chills and beautiful, hot and sexy romance. (Available at Ellora's Cave in ebook and in print).

Meljean Brook's Demon Night. I know it's book 5 of Meljean's Guardian series (Really, if you haven't read this series yet you're missing out on something magical), but it's my favorite. Why? One word - Ethan.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Halloween meme

Naida over at The Bookworm is doing a month of Haunted posts ::waves!:: She just posted this meme and I thought it fit right on with my month of paranormal and Halloween lovin'. So here I go. You will now see just how big of a wimp I am.

Halloween Meme:

1. Do you watch scary films? Which are your favorites? I have to admit, I am a big wimp. I usually avoid scary movies like the plague. I blame my brother. I would come home from school and be ambushed by Freddy or Jason on the television. Eeek! I do enjoy suspenseful movies. Silence of the Lambs. Scared the crap out of me, and I loved it. The Exorcist is still one of the scariest movies I have ever seen. It is not about monsters of a serial killer. It connects to faith and religion. Depending on your beliefs, the possibility can be all too real.

2. What is your favorite scary book? I have not read that many scary books. I tried reading a Dean Koontz book once and had to put it down. I never finished it. Yup, wimpiest wimp alive. Otherwise I would have to say Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury is my all time favorite scary book. We had to read it in 8th grade English class. It has stuck with me all these years later. It is creepy, psychological, and had Carnies!

3. What scary book to film adaptation is your favorite? I loved the book and movie of Something Wicked This Way Comes. More creepy than scary, but damn good.

4. What type of scary films do you think are better...the older ones like Psycho or the newer ones like Saw? Definitely the older ones. Alfred Hitchcock was brilliant in his ability to scare the audience without explicit gore. The fear was all about the psychological aspects of the film. It is much more difficult to do this successfully. You don't rely on blood and body parts.

5. What is your fav Halloween treat? chocolate and caramel apples

6. What is your favorite Halloween costume? Do you still dress up for Halloween? Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I dress up every year. My friends always have a party, and I get to dress up for work since I teach in an elementary school. The mother of one of my students is a costume designer for local theater companies. She made my costume last year and is making one for me this year. I will be a fairy. :) My favorite costume was the one she made for me last year. I was Inara from Firefly/Serenity. She made the exact same costume that the character wore in the episode "Jaynestown". I absolutely adored it! See why:

Want to do this meme? Consider yourself tagged!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Vamps on Screen

My love of the paranormal, especially vampires, is not limited to the written word. Oh no, I love vampires in all mediums. Books, television, films. I enjoy them all. So today I give to you some of my favorite vamps of the big and small screen. Enjoy the pretties!

Buffy and Angel (of course!)

Mick and Beth (Moonlight... man, I miss that show)

Selene, because she is the most ass kickin'est female vamp out there

Do you have a favorite "live action vampire"?

Review: Vamps and the City

Book:  Vamps and the City
Author:  Kerrelyn Sparks
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Darcy Newhart was a reporter for a local New York news station.  She had dreams of covering the big stories, but like all newbies was assigned to the human interest stories.  She was a talented reporter who was able to bring wit and charm to the most boring or demeaning situations.  New York loved her.  And one Halloween night she went missing. 
Surviving the attack that night brought her into the world of vampires, and into the harem of vampire leader, Roman Dragenesti.  With Roman's impending wedding, the members of his harem are at loose ends.  What will become of them.  Darcy sees this as her chance to once again gain some of the freedom she lost four years ago.  To that end she seeks employment at the only vampire run television station, DVN.  The throwback of a station manager agrees to hire her if she can come up with a unique programming idea for their stale evening lineup.  Thus the first vampire reality show is born, The Sexiest Man Alive.

Sick of the sexism she faces in the vampire community, she decides to really throw a wrench into the works.  Contestants on her show will be competing for the title of sexiest man alive, a large cash prize, and the role of master to the harem.  How best to shake things up in the vampire community?  Cast five contestants that are mortal! 

When Sean Whelan, the leader of the CIA faction the Stake Out team, discovers this news he immediately orders his two male agents to audition for the show.  At the audition Darcy meet Austin Erickson, the embodiment of her male fantasy.  The attraction and chemistry is instant.  She knows he is human, but he does not realize she is a vampire, the evil scourge that he is fighting against.  Madcap folly ensues.

I found this book to be a fun, light read.  I would catagorize it along with paranormals written by Lynsay Sands and Katie McAllister.  Fluffy and fun, but not a whole lot to sink your teeth into.  While I was reading it I was engaged in the story.  When I put the book down I could completely forget about it and go days without picking it up again.    I'm not saying it was bad or boring or anything negative.  I think that my tastes are evolving.  Books like this one used to be my go-to for an entertaining read.  I want more intensity and eroticism in a paranormal these days. 

Things that I liked:  The plot with the reality television show.  It was silly and fun.  I enjoyed how the women of the harem grew as individuals during that time.  I particularly liked the fact that Darcy hated being a vamp. It made me happy to read about a character who wanted more out of life than what they were allowing her to have.  She was a victim, but she was working to change the status quo.  Her friendship with Gregori was sweet.  He was so protective of her.

Things I did not care for:  From the first mention of it, I knew exactly what was going to happen at the end.  There was very little mystery.  The end felt a little to pat and perfect.  It was a little too fairy tale, wave a magic wand and all is better.  That being said, it definitely gave me the HEA I demand in a romance.

Overall:  It was a cute book.  I think it would be a good paranormal romance to give to someone who is new to the (sub)genre, or even new to romance.  The heat was about moderate, the action was relatively tame.  A boy-meets-girl-but-thinks-he-can't-have-girl story.  Not fabulous, not horrible.  A decent middle ground book.  I think the best word to describe it is inoffensive.  It won't send you into raptures, but you aren't going to throw it against the wall. 

Monday, October 13, 2008

Book Club: The Halloween Edition

I asked and you answered. The book club this month shall be...

The Rest Falls Away
by Colleen Gleason

The deadline will be October 31st (of course!) at which point I will publish a discussion post where we can comment and argue over which gentleman we think should be the hero. (Warning: I hear that there is not a HEA, perhaps more of a HFN or a Happily Some Day since it is the first book in a series.) I hope you will all read with me. I look forward to seeing what you think of the book.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I can haz bookclub?

I know, I know, I have completely dropped the ball on the What Women Read Book Club.  That's because this woman has not been reading all that much with school and writing sucking up my time.  So what better way to dive back into my TBR pile than to choose a title for the WWR book club?  Since it is October and I have been posting around a paranormal theme, this month's selection will be a Haunted Read.  I am posting this a bit late, so I am going to let you all help choose the book (if you have already read it or have it in your TBR this is great!)  The reading deadline would be October 31st (could I really pick a day other than Halloween?)  Here are the titles I would like to choose from:

50 Ways to Hex Your Lover by Linda Wisdom

The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason

A Taste of Crimson by Marjorie M. Liu  (yes, I know this is the 2nd book in a series. Each book is written by a different author, so I will pretend I don't know this and maybe my series OCD will not pitch a fit.)

What do you say, my friends?  Which book shall we all read?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pick your predator

In continuation of my Halloween theme I have a question for you today.

As you may have figured out by my recent posts, I have a thing for vampires. If you write a book with a main character (especially the hero) as a vampire, I am yours. Truly. I have read some really not great books simply because there were vamps in it. Werewolves? I like 'em, but I can pass on their story. Demons and angels? I have only recently started to read those. I blame Meljean for this. Until I read Demon Angel I had no desire to read a sexy scene the included a woman with horns or a man with a tail. Lilith has ruined me.

But I will still pick a vamps over these other paranormal creatures any day of the week. Vampire Urban Fantasy? Yup! Vampire historical romance? You bet! Vampire contemporary? Absolutely! I just love vamps. Why is that, you ask? I think it is the versatility of the vamp mythos. Each author has created their own world. Sometimes vamps are the walking undead. Other authors have their vamps originate from Atlantis or even an alien race. It might be a virus that has infected the vamp or they are simply another race living amongst humans. Some can walk in the sun with ill effects, while others will incinerate upon UV contact. Vamps in certain mythos drink blood from bags (blood banks). There are almost always laws dictating the acceptable behavior of vamps living along side humans. There are politics, societal norms, and the illicit love they feel for the woman or man who is not one of their own kind. These vamps are strong, passionate, possessive, determined, haunted, damaged, gorgeous (of course), tortured, primal, demanding... Alpha in every sense of the word. And damn if I don't love it.

How about you? Are you a fellow vamp lover or does another otherworldly being get your knickers in a twist? What is it about them that sucks you in every time?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Feelin' the Love

The super sweet and fabulous Wendy from Kicks and Giggles was sharin' the love earlier this week and bestowed upon me this award.  Thanks, Wendy!  It really means a lot to me, especially since I have only been part of this wonderful book blogging world since March.  I still feel like such a newbie sometimes.  This award makes me smile and makes me feel like I need to get on top of things over here.  No, not like that, you dirty birds!  I meant, you know, get organized and maybe post with some consistancy.  Of course, this means reading and actually writing a review.  I really need to finish that latest vamp novel I started.

Anyhow, it is now my turn to pass out the awards.  I think most every blog I visit has already received this award.  With that in mind, I am simply going to recongize those blogs I consider a "must visit" on days when I am strapped for time.  Here are the blogs I can't miss:

Stacy- My local book pimp
Sarai- She who has volunteered to suffer through my writing attempts
Smart Bitches- They were my intro into the world of romance book blogs/sites. If not for them I would still be clueless.
DIK Ladies- Yes, I know I am part of it, but there are so many of you involved and I just feel honored to be part of such a great group and blog.
Meljean Brook- Cracks my shit up. 'nuf said.
Ripmybodice- I never laugh more than while reading their reviews. Frickin' hilarious.
JenB- WTF Wednesdays.  She dares to ask the questions, we dare to share too much.

So you want to participate? Here are the rules:

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3) Nominate at least 5 other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Taking the plunge

Yes, that's right my friends, I am taking the plunge into NaNoWriMo.  For the past few years I had seen my friends (both of the RL and Internet variety) blogging about participating in this mysterious NaNoWriMo thing.  I was not sure what it was.  Eventually I figured out it had to do with writing, but that was about it.  Now, since entering the wonderful world of book blogging, I have finally figured it out.  So here I am officially signed up for my first year of participation.  At first I was excited that I would have a challenge that could help me finish my book.  Then I read the fine print (you really should do that before signing up for things.)  I can't use my current writing project for NaNo!  I have to start fresh with something new.  Oh noes!!!  My lighthearted paranormal romp needs more work.  It is not nearly done.  I am focused.  I am determined. And they want me to start something new?  Crazy talk! 

::deep breath::

OK, I can do this.  I can make this work.  So now I have a plan for the month of October: write the heck out of my current project (let's see how many words I can get up to) and plan out writing project #2 for NaNoWriMo.  That is a ton of writing.  I just hope I don't burn out before November 1st.  I wrote a little over 4500 words over the past two days.  Tonight I have decreed that there will be no writing.  I will take a break and work on developing my hero for the NaNo project.  Tomorrow?  Writing.  Thursday?  Develop heroine.  Friday?  Fun time with the girls!  Saturday?  See Friday :)  And then back to the writing.  A little bit of fun. A little bit of planning. Some decent writing time.  Hopefully it will all balance out to me being ready to go full tilt on November 1st.

The really exciting part is that I think I have convinced a couple of the teachers at my school to have their students participate in the NaNoWriMo Young Writer's Program.  It looks like tons of fun.  The kids get to set a personal word count goals.  There is a writing workbooks that even I want to use to plan my book.  Seriously, this thing has writing activities to develop their characters, setting, internal and external conflict, plot, and just about anything else you can think of.  The only drawback is that they only have a PDF file of the workbook.  You can't purchase hard copies for the students.  Each book is 85 pages long.  That is a whole lot of copies to make.  It will take some creative planning, but I think it is doable between using the overhead projector, power point, and selective copying.  I am considering telling the students that I am participating and challenging them to try and beat my word count.  It would certainly give me the drive I need to write.  How embarrassing would it be to be out-written by a 6th grader?

Monday, October 6, 2008

A writing question

OK, my friends, I need your help.  I have been playing with a story for a couple of months now and I am finally getting some words down on paper (over 10,500 now!)  I'm in the groove a bit and realize I need some feedback.  Sarai was fabulous and looked over things when I first started (thanks, hon!), but I think I am ready to enlist a critique partner.  This question goes out to all of you currently writing, how did you go about finding your CP?  How exactly does this all work?  Any advice for a writing newbie?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Paranormal influx: good or bad?

Vampires. Oh, how I love them. I think my fascination began back in high school when I first read The Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith. The angst. The love. The hot vamp guys. There is just something so compelling and sexy about a vampire hero. Yes, I know that there are books out there where the vampire character is not gorgeous and heroic. Frankly, I like to ignore those books (unless it is a para rom or UF with other fabulous men in it.) Give me a book with a tortured "other" in the spotlight and I am your devoted reader.

Since pickings used to be so slim in terms of para rom (see my previous post), I used to devour any dark romance that came my way. With the exponential explosion in para rom and UF offerings I have found myself in a bit of a pickle. I actually have to make choices about the books I read. Crazy, I know. I no longer have to settle for what the publishing houses release. There is a multitude of offerings every week. This is a seemingly wonderful problem to have. Too many choices can't be a bad thing, can it? Actually, it can.
Because reader demand for para rom is at it's highest in years, the publishing houses are releasing floods of books for our consumption. When they only offered a handful of selections, the publishers would be more selective about the stories they released. Today, I fear that there is more of a focus on quantity than quality. It used to be a much rarer occurrence for me to buy a vamp or werewolf novel and end up disappointed. Nearly all of the books were well written with interesting, well thought out plots. I am sad to say that is not the truth today. Don't get me wrong, I know not all of the para rom novels released ten years ago were of the highest quality, but the percentage of high quality para rom books has seemed to decrease as this recent trend has built.

Or it can be explained in a different way. Perhaps the benchmark has been set higher. In days past I was ecstatic to snag new titles by the likes of Lynsay Sands and Susan Sizemore. These authors are still writing, still giving us the same style and plot that they have for years. This is neither good or bad, just a statement of fact. I just finished reading The Rogue Hunter by Lynsay Sands. It was pretty much what I expected from her: light, easy read, a sprinkle of vamp angst (although really more like worry than angst), some misunderstandings, and lurv. As is typical of her vampire series the H&h meet in an unexpected way. He can not read her thoughts and... life mate! How to tell her? I am beginning to view her books more like a contemporary romance where the hero or heroine just happens to be a vampire. The focus is more about the interactions between the main characters and how they will overcome the fact that he/she is different. Heck, take away vampire and insert a different religion or ethnicity and you have a contemp. Again, this is neither good nor bad. It really depends on what you are looking for in your paranormal romances. Lately, I have been wanting more.

Maybe I can lay blame at the feet of such authors as J.R. Ward, Larissa Ione, Lara Adrian, and Meljean Brooks, but I expect more out of a para rom novel these days. I demand angst. I expect suspense. I want a Big Bad that makes you cringe. There must be some damn good chemistry and that HEA better make my heart speed up. (The Rogue Hunter seemed to have more of a HFN, which I don't accept in a romance novel, thank you very much.) I finished reading Pleasure Unbound (Larissa Ione) earlier this week. I put it down and immediately went to my computer to find out when the next book was going to be released. THAT is what I am talking about. Eidolon was all I could ask for in a hero: smart, sexy, wrestling with his own inner demon (pun slightly intended.) He had his own set of morals, yet was tempted to break them, or realign them, in order to be with Tayla. He was drawn to her, despite being enemies. He wanted to help and protect her despite knowing that she fought against and killed his people. Tayla was a great heroine. She was tough (could match Eidolon in a fight), smart, troubled, and dealing with her own torments. Not only did she have to work through a crisis of conscience, but had to face the realities of her past and her future. These were not small issues. I love that Ms. Ione had two opposing sides (demons and Guardians), both of whom could be considered the good guys in some way. Each was misinformed about the other, causing confusion and enmity that was not necessary. I think this made the novel even better. It would have been easy to make one side right and one side wrong. These shades of gray are what kept the reader intrigued. The Big Bad was committing crimes that justified the reactions of all the characters. No one seemed to be overreacting or blowing the events out of proportion. The terror and worry were well matched with the actions of the Evil. You could understand why everyone was so angry and frightened (sorry Ms. Ward, but your baby powder smelling guys just don't invoke that fear in me. Love your men, though!)

I think the publishing houses need to take note. We readers love the wider availability of paranormal romances, but our benchmark for quality has not lowered. Neither should their standards. I would rather a smaller selection of high quality reads, then a plethora of lackluster demons and fae. Give me one or two decadent Vosges chocolate truffles. You can keep the 5lbs. box of school fundraiser chocolate crisp bars.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Vampires and werewolves and fae, oh my!

I love October.  The temps begin to dip.  The trees along the street change their wardrobes from green to fiery orange and yellow.  I get to pull my sweaters out of storage.  My favorite boots are in season again.  We have made it through that first month of school and the students are settling into their routine.  Halloween is fast approaching, which means costume plans are in motion (or will be very soon!) 
Every year at this time I start to get the urge to participate in certain activities.  New crochet projects are planned.  Pumpkin and apple picking is considered (I will do it this year. For serious!)  My menu planning turns from cold salads and BBQ to hot soups, stews and roasts. 

It used to be that during the month of October I would be hit with a sudden desire for paranormal romance.  This was the time of year that publishers would release a sudden tsunami of books featuring vampires, werewolves, and other creatures that go bump in the night.  While their selection in May might be sparse, October was the time to indulge your inner Gothic side.  This year, and even last year, I have noticed a change.  I have not been stocking up on tales of vamp lovin'.  I was perplexed at first.  Why would this be?  It is almost a tradition for me.  October = paranormal plot line.  Then it hit me.  There was not a noticeable increase in PR offerings prior to Halloween.  Not that publishers had decided to stop releasing these titles.  Quite the contrary.  The February or May drought of werewolf or vamp tales was no more.  Paranormal romances have become such the rage in the industry that there now seems to be new releases every week.  Demand for these stories has gone through the roof.  Publishing companies no longer feel the need to hold their release dates until Halloween approaches.  Readers are looking for that vampiric thrill year round.  I admit, I am one of these readers. 

I know this is a trend.  Every industry has them.  I know that some day we will go back to the pre-Halloween paranormal influx.  For now, though, paranormal junkies like me can indulge themselves any time they please. No longer are we forced to be seasonal readers.  Yet, someday it will return again. 

October = paranormal romance  
December = holiday anthologies
July = beach and cottage books

Do the seasons ever impact your reading selections?  Are there particular genres or author or even books that you are drawn to at specific times of the year? 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Banned Book Meme

Nicola tagged me for this meme.  Yay! I love this sort of thing.

How many have YOU read?

Celebrating Banned Book Week 2008, here is the ALA's list of the 100 most frequently challenged books from 1990 through 2000.

How to Play:

1: Copy this list.
2: Highlight the ones you have read (or at least remember reading) in RED.
3: Tag five people to play.

The List:

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
61. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade by Robert Cormier
66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Native Son by Richard Wright
72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Total: 19

That's more than I had expected. Nice.  I need to read more of these.  As for the rest of you, I know many of you have done this meme. If you have not, consider yourself tagged!