women’s fiction meme

By the very talented Alison Kent. (that compliment doesn’t mean I won’t seek revenge)

Contemporary, Historical, or Paranormal?
Mainly contemporary, followed by paranormals. Historicals are not my thing but I absolutely buy and read them when it’s an author who’s a friend of mine!

Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?
Book whore here – so if a book is issued in several formats, and I love the book, you’ll find all three on my shelf. To zoo’s chagrin.

Heyer or Austen?

Amazon or Brick and Mortar?
Amazon Prime is my favorite thing!!! But nothing beats browsing in an actual bookstore…

Barnes & Noble or Borders?
I used to manage a Borders, so I’m partial 🙂

Woodiwiss or Lindsay?
Um, having read neither, I couldn’t tell you.

First romance novel you ever remember reading?
I know I used to read some of my mom’s and my aunt’s – the only thing I remember is they read a lot of Beatrice Small, so that’s what I know I read. And I was young too – maybe 11 or 12. I didn’t start up with romance again until about 5 years ago – I don’t know why I stayed away so long.

Alphabetize by author Alphabetize by title or random?
For my graduate school stuff, I categorize by century. Otherwise, it’s a free for all.

Keep, Throw Away or Sell?
Keep. Everything.

Read with dust jacket or remove it?
Remove. I hate creases and wrinkles.

Sookie Stackhouse or Anita Blake?
I’ve only read one Anita and no Sookie.

Bridget Jones or Becky Bloomwood?

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
Stop reading?

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
Once upon a time…most definitely.

Crusie or SEP?

Buy or Borrow?
Buy. Buy. Buy. I always feel the need to own the book.

Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?
Recs and browsing….

Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?
I can do either as long as there’s a happy ending for some of the characters – I need that resolution on some level.

Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?
All day long.

Series or standalone?

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
I did my Masters thesis on Pamela by Samuel Richardson. I’ve heard Diana mention Clarissa, but I liked Pamela better – and not because it was shorter 🙂

Steph T.

auto-buy authors

Visited my house last night. Painting appears to be under control, for the moment. The color we picked for the living room is very much a color, for lack of a better word (read: whole house is pretty much cool beige tones – living room is now a mustard color.) The jury’s still out, but I think, once we get the furniture back (did I mention that’s happening on DECEMBER 9TH?) I think it will all work out.

It’s very scary that the husband and I managed to get through this project and actually pick entire rooms of things out. Like we’re grown-ups or something. When did that happen?

Anyway – segue from paint to books – I went on a nice, Amazon book buying binge last night. But it wasn’t my fault entirely – I had to pick out my new coffee maker and while I was getting a shipment anyway, it seemed like a shame not to include some books in it. Alison’s talking about her auto-buy authors, and I’m trying my first Alex Kava (although the book she recommended to try first is a re-release, and doesn’t come out till January. So I’ll wait patiently.) I pre-ordered a few books so I wouldn’t forget, but most of them don’t come out until after February. And I started to list my own auto-buy authors and realized that it’s pretty much books by the authors on my blog list and books recommended to me by authors on my blog list, which I think is kind of cool *g* plus Suz Brockmann, Sherilyn Kenyon, Tess Gerritson, Tami Hoag. Recently, I’ve been reading Nora Robert’s In The Garden series (did I mention these are the first Nora’s I’ve ever read?)

Anway, I’ve been making time for reading again, so I need a huge, towering tbr pile to grab from. It’s been my new guilty pleasure to grab a book at midnight and stay up late reading. Because, lately, the four year old had been waking up around midnight, so we kind of hang out through 3 am together – a lovely bonding experience.

Steph T.

home sweet home

Thanks everyone for the prayers & well-wishes – the three year old got a great report from her doctor and came through the procedure beautifully. We’re home, safe and sound and slightly exhausted, but happy. I’ll get to bloghopping later on so I can catch up with everyone, and then I need to write. Because, you know, page 140 and all.

But first, a few brief observations from our trip.

To the woman sitting in front of the three year old on the trip from New York to Cincinnati: I understand that, to most people, bringing a child on a plane is the equivalent of bringing the devil’s spawn onto a plane. And I understand that, I really, really do, because I am one of those people who will say, please don’t seat me near any kids, even if I’m with my own kid. Which is why I could never teach on the elementary level (and bless all of you who do – but give me hormonal middle and high school kids every time.) Anyway – please note that the three year old kicked the back of your seat for maybe thirty seconds before the husband and I noticed it. And we immediately held the three year old’s legs so she could no longer kick. But I don’t think there was a need for you to yell out, Oh, this is going to be fun, and to answer your husband with, well, now it’s down to intermittent kicking, when both of you clearly turned around and saw us holding said child’s legs and you clearly heard us say to one another that, as soon as the plane took off, we’d unstrap the seat and turn it so she could no longer kick the seat. I’m terribly sorry that I didn’t think to unstrap her seat during take-off for your comfort.

But, when you got up to go to the bathroom, and I saw that you were pregnant, I just shook my head. So did the husband, because we were thinking, good luck to you, sister. Because, you know, the karma thing and all.

To the surfer dude who sat next to the husband on the trip home: I wish I could’ve sat next to you, since you were using both my favorite yellow-sized writing pad and my favorite pen and you pretty much wrote non-stop from the second you got on the plane until we landed. It looked like a screen play, and we so could’ve talked writing, dude. Or surfing, which would’ve come in like, totally handy for me.

And Jaq will be happy to know that I finally read Play Dead. I’d started it, but it creeped me out and I couldn’t bring myself to pick it up again. But Jaq was right – I loved it. I’ve loved all three of the Anne Fraiser books I’ve read, but I’m finding that the key is not to read any author’s books right in a row no matter how much I love the author.

Steph T.

books and blogs

Thanks to Maili for some easy blogging.


1. Take first five novels from your bookshelf.
2. Book 1 — first sentence
3. Book 2 — last sentence on page 50
4. Book 3 — second sentence on page 100
5. Book 4 — next to the last sentence on page 150
6. Book 5 — final sentence of the book
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph.
8. Feel free to “cheat” to make it a better paragraph.
9. Name your sources
10.Post to your blog.

Okay – must cheat immediately due to laziness and bookshelf being much too high to reach top shelf. This will also show you that there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to the way I throw books up, but the five books were right in a row on the first shelf I could reach without aide of stepladder. So here it is, no cheating to make it better since that would require more coffee:

“A bodyguard! I don’t need any damned bodyguard!” Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed the air is delicate. But she also felt wanted, and she liked it. And I will not fail. “Got to do one thing right for the old fellow, you know?”

1. Heaven, Texas – Susan Elizabeth Phillips
2. Macbeth
3. The Secret Life of Bryan – Lori Foster
4. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhoos – Rebecca Wells
5. Rogue Warrior – Richard Marcinko

And now – the blog version, since you can never have too much procrastination:

1. Select five blog links from your links sidebar
2. Blog 1 – first sentence of the latest blog entry
3. Blog 2 – second to last sentence of the earliest blog entry on the front page
4. Blog 3 – last sentence of the first blog entry of the entire blog
5. Blog 4 – third sentence of the third blog entry on the front page
Then, click on the last link of the Blog Links sidebar at Blog 4. If there isn’t one, do this with Blog 3
5. Blog 5 – last sentence of the latest blog entry
6. Put all together to create a paragraph out of all that
7. Post it to your blog along with links to all blogs that you used here.

Here goes:

Emma and I are like-minded today (which no doubt scares the hell out of her.) Henceforth, it will be referred to as the R word (for those with sensitive constitutions.) Hint: I’m big on convenience, not so big on pride. I’m definitely having one, combined with a headache. I have NO IDEA why people immediately equate nice guys with wimps, because all the nice guys I’ve known are plenty assertive–they’re just not dickheads about having their way all the time, every time.

Sidebar Blogs:
1. Larissa Ione
2. Sharon Long
3. Amy K. from Writeminded
4. Joely Sue Burkhart
5. Candy from Smart Bitches

Need. More. Coffee.

Steph T.

book reviews

I don’t like them. Clarification: I don’t like reviewing books myself. I can’t always explain rationally why I like one book and not another. It’s those cases that make me certainly understand and even sympathize with an editor or agent who sends a rejection that says simply, this is not for me.

Book reviews to me seem like book reports and I never liked doing book reports, didn’t much like dissecting literature, because it took some of the magic away for me. If I loved a book, delving deeply into its themes took away some of the beauty and power of the work — I wanted to just love it, to let it resonate inside of me, to let it become a part of me. If I didn’t like it, I didn’t want to dwell on what the author did wrong, because, quite simply, it might not have been anything. It just, for whatever reason, didn’t touch me. That doesn’t mean it didn’t touch anyone else, or that it was poorly written or executed. Might have been, but that’s not my concern. In my own writing, it obviously is, but that’s whole other matter.