Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Reading good stuff

Well that would explain it then . . .

I should have realised that there was a reason for my lack of words - or perhaps I should say, the lack of brain power to provide any extra words once I'd done the critiques for the New Writers' Scheme and the web site updates etc.

So when yesterday I woke with a pounding head, sore throat and tight chest I wasn't totally surprised. Just fed up .

But then I realised the good side of things - because there was one. Last time I felt like this I was on a dreadline and couldn't afford to cosset myself because I had to find the words, no matter what. This time, while waiting for the Editor's verdict on the Black Angel, I am not on a dreadline and so can cosset myself a bit - and in my book, cosseting means reading.

Unfortunately I still haven't found my copy of The Boss's Wife for a Week (and will you all please stop telling me how much you enjoyed it - you're only making matters worse!) Lovely Anne McAllister is shipping out an emergency replacement to me as I write this so I'm hoping to enjoy it very soon!). But I do have plenty to keep me occupied while I'm waiting for it to arrive.

At the beginning of the month, in my role as a Pink Heart Society columnist, I wrote a post on why I love working with and helping new writers. Two things I mentioned there are things I want to repeat here -

A. I said - And every author I’ve helped to publication sends me a signed copy of their brand-new book and very often the one after that and the one after that . . . I have a TBR pile the size of Mount Everest – all written by very special friends – what’s not to like?


B. I talked about Elderly Author and Author's Husband who both wanted to know why I was 'training the opposition' in helping and advising those they call 'wannabes' in the writing world. People who didn;t deserve to have books published. An opinion I totally disagreed with.

Well, over the last 24 hours I've had proof - if I needed it - that both A & B were just what I should have said. Because while feeling thoroughly miserable and unable to concentrate on any of my own writing, I turned to my teetering TBR pile, selected a couple of books - and settled down to enjoy myself.

And I did - I had a wonderful time. I read two fabulous books by two special friends that made me forget about my aching head, my sore throat. Books that absorbed me and took me into worlds I totally believed in, peopled by characters I could care about and wanted to be together in a Happy Ever After Ending.

The first one I read a bit late - a book that I got my hands on when it first came out, but haven't had time to read till now. Hired by The Cowboy is Donna Alward's first published book for Harlequin Romance and it's a winner. She starts with that tricky premise the Marriage of Convenience story - but there is so much more to it than that. Both Alexis and Connor, her heroine and hero, have strong, believeable reasons for going into a marriage that isn't, initially based on love. But through the story the reader can watch that love grow as slowly and surely as the characters themselves feel it. I believed in that growing love and I was rooting for Connor and Alexis, wanting them to be together and at the same time believing in their reasons for holding back, their hesitation in commiting themselves. As a first book, it's a great start to Donna's writing career. Donna had her next book - Marriage at Circle M out in September and I'm so looking forward to reading that one too.

The second book that absorbed me was Natasha Oakley's The Tycoon's Princess Bride - one of the books in the Presents Royal House of Niroli series. When I talked to Natasha about this book in June, I know she was apprehensive because it was appearing in a Presents mini-series and she is a Romance writer. But she needn't have worried. This is a book that will stand up for itself wherever it appears. It has a wonderfully sympathetic heroine and a very special wounded hero. It's a book that it would be so easy to turn into sentiment - but Natasha avoids that trap brilliantly and instead creates a powerfully emotional story that grabs the reader and holds tight from the beginning to the end. And it's a book that makes me so proud of the fact that back in 2001 when Natasha first submitted her work to the RNA's New Writers' Scheme, I picked her out as someone who was likely to succeed.

I know that Natasha has had some really tough times in her personal life recently but she's a strong lady, who's continuing to write through all that life throws at her. And when she writes lovely books like The Tycoon's Princess Bride, I know that I'm goping to be right there, first in the queue for the next one she brings out.

And talking about writing through the tough times - if you get a minute, then go over to the Pink Heart Society's blog today and read the inspiring, uplifting post by Day Leclaire - then make sure you click on the Breast Cancer site icon in the sidebar (or you can use the one in my sidebar instead.) Regular readers of this blog will know that I'm already a great fan of Day's books - and this post will show just why I admire her as a woman too. And I will have Day's The Billionaire's Baby Negotiation on my TBR pile just as soon as the postie gets it to me.

There are some really great books out right now - I just wish I had more time to read them!


Anne McAllister said...

On the contrary, go right ahead and say nice things about The Boss's Wife For A Week if you've read it and liked it. I don't mind at all -- and it will just whet Kate's appetite. And yes, the replacement is on its way.

Take care of yourself -- and thank you for all the reading suggestions for when I finally get the book done!

Envying you the time off, if not the sore throat,

Michelle Styles said...

Take care of yourself. Cosset away.

I shall be very queit about Spence and Sadie except to say that it is best read when not on a deadline so that it can be thoroughly enjoyed.

And I am so pleased you enjoyed Donna's Hired by the Cowboy. She did a wonderful job with it.

Anonymous said...

I hope you feel better soon Kate. The Boss's Wife For A Week is wonderful as is Donna's Hired By The Cowboy. Natasha's is in my TBR pile which might well advance to the top of said pile after your glowing comments.


Donna Alward said...

Oh Kate...imagine my surprise to come to your blog and see that cover up there! Thank you so much, sweets!

I suppose now I need to let the cat out of the bag so to speak...darn the postal strike, because there's an envelope with a signed copy of Marriage at Circle M somewhere among the mass of parcels in the UK at the moment.

Hope you are feeling better very soon...though I DO envy you the reading...

Love Donna


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