It's slightly scary how much 'extra' time I have when I'm not able to work or blog - or even email. (If you've been expecting an email from me then please accept this as my excuse!) I've done some gardening, cleared out a coiple of cupboards, planned a new kitchen . . . ready for work to begin next year.
And I've read. Reading doesn't give me migraines - the print doesn't flash in my eyes, and I can focus on the page for much longer than a screen.
But because I'm not supposed to work too much then reading romance hasn't been so enjoyable as usual - if I read romance, I immediately want to write it. I see how someone has dealt with a plot point in their story and it makes me want to work on a similar problem in mine. Or a character fascinates me and I want to go away and work on my hero or heroine and make them as interesting and give them added depth - but I'm not supposed to!
So I've been changing my reading habits around and grabbing books from my TBR pile that are not romance and so don't tempt me in this way - and I've really been enjoying it.
It's sort of refreshing to read stories that aren't romances and I've been gobbling up books at a surprising rate. I think it's because I'm deliberately reading something differernt and so it's refreshing and new.
So what's movedfrom my TBR pile to the HBR (has been read) shelf?
A couple of great thrillers. Last year my son and I discovered Linwood Barclay at the same time and now we both read the new book as soon as we can. My son gave me Never Look Away and last week I started this knowing what would happen. It grabbed me, as Barclay's books always do, and I stayed up late at night to finish it.
Back in February I taught my usual Fsihguard Writing Weekend - where I teach the advanced course in Romance Writing - and one of my 'students' was a published novelist called Susan Moody - she wanted to learn how to put more romance into her stories - though personally I'm not sure she needed to. She has a new book out this year Losing Nicola, a story about the way that finding out the truth about the past can affect the present - and solve the mystery of a long ago murder. I lost myself in this one.
Or how about Second-Hand Heart? If you've seen the film Pay it Forward then you'll know the work of Catherine Ryan Hyde. I've been fascinated by stories of the way that heart transplant patients seem to take on some of the characteristics of their donors and this fascinating book deals with that - and then what happened wheh the heroine who has received the heart meets up with the widower of the donor. . . .
I have more non romance books on my TBR - the story of The Princes in the Tower - and whether one escaped - a biography of Billy Joel . . . The story of the murder(?) of Amy Robsart in 1560 . . . all very different from the romance I usually read and write. And I'm having a great time - I feel refreshed, stimulated - keen to get back to what I'm reading. I think taking a break has renewed my interest in books and sparked off new ideas . .
What about you? If you're not reading romance - what do you read? Have you tried anything new, discovered any great new authors recently? I don't really need anything now on my TBR pile - but I'm always open to suggestions.
The Proud Wife has been nominated for Best Presents Extra Reviewer's Choice Award 2011 in Romantic Times. You may remember that The Konstantos Marriage Demand won this award in 2010. This was one really great email I read in the time I was allowed to look at the screen!
So I'm offering a copy of The Proud Wife as a giveaway to someone who comments today - or a copy of The Konstantos Marriage Demand if you've already got TPW. I love sharing celebrations with everyone.
This post is the latest stop in my Big Blog Tour that is still going on. (you can find the details here) So I hope you’ll join me as I visit lots of different blogs all over the world. There are posts, writing advice – and lots of giveaways.
Kate Walker’s The Return of the Stranger is out in Presents Extra in America or Sexy Romance in Australia. You can find out more details over on Kate's Web site – with all the most up to date news on her blog.
Brunette Librarian and
Di please email me with your postal addresses and I'll get the prizes in the mail to you!
Hope to see everyone else along the way on my blog tour - there will be more giveaways then