Reading Week…

I read more (published) books this week than I have in the past 2 months. No really, I don’t think I read more than 5 (published) books in all of November or December, which is kind of sad since I continue to get books from Paperback Swap and other sources (although I haven’t been buying) so my TBR bookshelves are filling rapidly. Now, if we want to talk about the number of manuscripts I read in an unpublished state, those easily number around 30. But I can’t list those here, so they don’t count!

But in the past 10 days I’ve read quite a bit. I took three days off over Christmas, plus I’ve been shutting down the computer earlier at night and reading. I read:

Undercover Mistress by Amethyst Ames
Holiday Bound by Jaci Burton
Lover Eternal by JR Ward
Love Her to Death by Linda Palmer
Carved in Stone by Vickie Taylor

The Secret by Julie Garwood
Honour’s Splendor by Julie Garwood

Did I mention Lover Eternal by JR Ward?

I thought Undercover Mistress was okay, not great. It’s an older Ellora’s Cave book I had on my Ipaq and read in the tub one night. Holiday Bound…J, why isn’t this book longer? Lover Eternal–I mentioned I read this, right? What can I say? Totally awesome! I don’t think fans will be disappointed when this book releases in March. Love Her to Death by Linda Palmer is the second in an amateur mystery series. The heroine is the head writer/co-producer of a daytime drama. I enjoyed it enough that I’ll purchase the third when it releases this spring. It captured my attention enough that I wasn’t proofing it and making editorial comments in my head–and that is saying alot!

Especially since Carved in Stone does not hold that distinction for me. I saw this book on many bloggers’ “Best of 2005” lists and decided to give it a try since it’s been languishing on my TBR shelves. I admit the story premise was unique and I thought the book started out very strongly with the prologue, but there was this one plot hole that nearly drove me insane and ruined my enjoyment of the book. It’s actually something small but it nagged at me. I would guess most people don’t even notice it but given my total brain immersion in editing, the insconsistency practically leapt of the pages and grabbed me by the throat. LOL. Okay, so I didn’t love this book. But it didn’t suck. It was just alright for me.

I also re-read two of my favorite Julie Garwood books. I haven’t read them in well over a year and I needed something that would give my brain a break. *insert me rolling on floor laughing* umm…dammit. I still love Julie Garwood, but I noticed new things about her writing that pulled me out of the book and had all red ink barrels firing. Dammit. It makes me afraid to go back and read any more favorites. I read somewhere, an author I think, saying it is sometimes best to leave old favorites unread for fear they don’t stand the test of time and growth in writing skills. Clearly, I should have taken that advice to heart (despite the fact that I’m not a writer).

Next up…one of the several hundred books on my TBR shelves. Specific enough for you?

My contribution to the word count discussion…

Currently raging through the blogosphere of romance readers and authors, is actually a theft of a few comments from Diana Peterfreund’s blog on the subject. She wrote a fantastic rant (which was actually a clear explanation of the matter) and made the lightbulb go on for many of us about the whole thing. I’m not going to re-cap the entire discussion, because if you don’t know what I’m talking about by now, you’re probably not the intended audience 😉 But may I just say, Julie Leto is my new hero!!

The set-up;

In her blog, Diana says: My first novel is 75,000 words according to the Word Count feature of Microsoft Word. This is how Bantam Dell figures it. However, my manuscript, in Courier 12, is 88,500 words.

The comments:

Anonymous: My first novel is 75,000 words according to the Word Count feature of Microsoft Word. This is how Bantam Dell figures it. However, my manuscript, in Courier 12, is 88,500 words.

Wow. I’ve never heard of anyone coming in this way. You must write a lot of dense prose and little dialogue. Usually it’s the opposite.

Shannon and Alison rush to Diana’s defense with factual proof of her statement…

Shannon: On my blog I broke down three different manuscripts, and the page count is always higher than computer word count…unless you write dense prose and little dialogue.

Alison Kent: Hmm. I just broke down three of my own manuscripts this way on my blog – and I write a LOT of dialogue – and everyone of them came up with a higher page count and a lower computer word count.

A page with a lot of dialogue might only be 180 actual words, but I would be counting it as 250. So, my actual word count would be lower, my page count higher.

But Julie Leto delivers the killing blow…

Julie Leto: Personally, I think anyone who posts Anonymously, especially with a passive-aggressive insult, is denser than any prose.

Ahahaha…^5 Julie. I’m going to check out Dirty Little Secrets from Downtown Press because anyone with that kind of wit, deserves a book sale and a little promo!

My kind of humor, my kind of book!

When Marisela Morales sets out to stop her ex-boyfriend Francisco Vega from skipping out on bail, she has a secret agenda: revenge. She hasn’t seen Frankie in ten years, and back then, he broke her heart, choosing his gang over his girl. So when she tracks him down in their old haunt, a hot dance club in Tampa, she sets about seducing him into her trap.

Frankie has a secret agenda, too, and Marisela soon faces a tough choice: continue drifting through her twentysomething life — hitting the same town with the same girlfriends every weekend while struggling to find a job and pay the rent — or dive headfirst into danger with her ex. Frankie operates in a treacherous underworld full of arms dealers, assassins, and sinister agendas — a world overrun with people keeping dirty little secrets — and only Marisela has the cojones to fight her way to the truth.

Sexy, sultry, and action-packed, Dirty Little Secrets is a thrilling adventure in manhunting of the most dangerous kind.

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