My 2010 Reading Year

My Reading Year

Goodbye 2010.  You've been good to me.  I've discovered some new to me authors, rediscovered some old to me authors and explored around the world, plus journeyed through the atmosphere, planet hopping.   I also discovered the joy of reading e-books.  Surprisingly, when I received my nook last year, thought only would be using it for reading when traveling.  Toward the 2nd half of the year I started using it about 50% of the time.  For the first half of the year I instituted a book buying ban and was pretty good in resisting the temptation to buy books.

How did my reading year go?

I ended up reading 179 books compared to last year in which I read 184.   Out of those 179 books, 67 were new authors and 52 were e-books.   I started off the year joining way too many challenges and dropping out of all of them except for the 

I slowed way down with book reviews this year and only reviewed about 35 books, doing book tours for TLC Book Tours and various publishers and authors. 

I hosted two challenges:  Read 52 books in 52 Weeks and Mind Voyages Science Fiction Reading Challenge and had a hard time keeping up with three blogs, so for 2011 have melded Mind Voyages in with 52 Books in 52 Weeks.  If you'd like to join in, head on over to 52 books and sign up.

My top ten favorite reads or discoveries for the year 

1. The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.  Thank you to Candace of  Beth Fish Reads for introducing me to Sookie. 
2)  Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman. Great christian romance which lead me to read the Daughters of Boston series.

3) The Lumby Lines by Gail Fraser which also resulted in me reading the whole series.

4) Rainwater by Sandra Brown

5) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Yes, I fell in love with Claire and Jaime)

6) The last stand mysteries: The Perfect Couple, The Perfect Liar and The Perfect Murder by Brenda Novak - creepy, chilling murder mysteries.

7)  Nora Roberts Bridal quartet series - Visions in White, Bed of Roses, Savor the Moment and Happy Ever After.

8)  People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks

9) The Forgotten Legion - Ben Kane (good historical fiction)

10) The Lace Makers of Glenmarra - Heather Barbieri

I currently have a huge mixture of books (112 to be exact) currently on my nightstand consisting of classics, mysteries, science fiction/fantasy, paranormal, romances, historical fiction and e-books.  I am instituting another buying ban for the first half of the year in order to concentrate on reading my own books.   I limited the number of challenges as well and only joined the one's I currently have books on the shelves that will meet the goal.  I won't be reviewing as many books in 2011.  I'll mainly be doing book reviews for book tours and author/publisher requests, but only a couple a month in order to concentrate on my last two classes, writing challenges and home school.  Be on the look out for mini reviews or reviews of books that really strike a chord with me.  

2011 is shaping up to be an interesting year and I'm looking forward to it.  

A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.
~Edgar Guest


WIP Wednesday: Goals for A Round of Words in 80 Days

January 3, 2011 through March 23, 2011

I am currently working on finishing the first draft of Red Thief which I started for the 2010 Nanowrimo.  My goal is to write one hour a day every morning before turning on the computer.  Because once I turn on the computer and start checking email. Well...You know.   I'm shooting for 500 words a day which should equal one handwritten page front and back.  My goal will include typing up each day's work in the afternoon rather than letting it accumulate for several days.   

I thought about writing only 5 days a week and taking off on the weekends. However, I discovered when I do that I end up having a hard time getting back into the groove on Monday. I'm also joining in on the 90 day Writing challenge and committed to writing daily for 90 days.  It's less stressful than nano since don't have a specific word count and helps me stay accountable and keep the habit of writing every single day.  I do really well for several months then fall off the wagon.  I hope to stay on track this year and make it a daily habit.  

Check out the other participants goals 

2011 Year of Writing Deliberately - goals and challenges

 2011 Writing Deliberately

Mercy! Where has this year gone.  It just seems like yesterday we were celebrating the beginning of 2010 and my year of Writing Deliberately.   My goals were to write every morning, finish the first draft of Eyes in the Ashes, and edit Floating on the Surface (2007 Nano)   I finished the first draft of Eyes and discovered my main characters had turned into supporting cast and two of my supporting cast had turned into the main characters.  After I read the draft, I realized I had some work cut out for me, plus enough fodder and the characters for a sequel seeing as one of my bad guys got away.   Those ideas are stewing in the back of my brain.  I never did get back to Floating on the Surface.  It's turned into my practice piece.   I did reread Winter Illusion (2009 Nano) and it will need a bit of rewriting along with a new and exciting action packed first chapter. 

I hadn't planned on joining in on National Novel Writing Month this year in an effort to concentrate on Winter Illusion, however....  Yep, a new idea which was actually an old idea that's been floating around in my head off and on for years, took flight.   I started "Red Thief" in November, managed to hit 50k just barely and win Nano.  However, the story wasn't done.  And after the writing frenzy in November, slowed down a bit. I'll be editing out the filler (yep, I slightly did it again) and typing up the pages I've written the past couple weeks to get caught up in order to continue fresh and ready to go in 2011.  

As for my goal to write every single morning, that didn't quite work out.  But I did discover that  if I sat down with paper in hand, the words would flow and it didn't matter what time of the day it was.    Though I do have to admit, it's all about time management and balance.  I happened to come across this tidbit on

To achieve success, you need both persistence and flexibility. When you face difficulties and unexpected problems, use all your persistence and determination to stick to your goals. But always stay flexible with your objectives and activities. If the way you do things now does not work, try another way. Keep trying until you find the one that works.
Don't change the ends, change the means. And never forget the difference between ends and means, between goals and objectives.

Which brings me to my goals for 2011 and another year of Writing Deliberately.   To help me with my goals, I am joining two writing challenges.  I've signed up for Kelly Stone's 90 Day Writing Challenge on Facebook.   The goal is to set a writing goal you can meet and write every day from January 1st through April 2nd.   The other challenge is Kait Nolan's A Round of Words in 80 Days.  

The challenge will run in 80 days increments, 4 times a year with a break between.  Round one will run through March 24th. Kait says:

Your goal can be anything you like as long as it is MEASURABLE. If you’re already in the middle of a WIP, that’s fine.  Tailor your goal to suit that.  You may even want to set mini goals (I want to finish the last 40k of this novel.  Then I want to spend the last 20 days revising it at x pages a day.).  There are a lot of elements to writing a book other than the writing itself.  Plotting.  Outlining.  Character Interviews.  Whatever.  Set your goal to match wherever you are right now on your WIP.  If you want to use your Round for editing a novel, that’s fine too.  Just know that this is, at heart, a writing challenge, so all the weekly inspirational posts will be geared in that direction.

There’s no mandatory daily word count. Every writer is different, everyone has different schedules.  You set a goal that works for you.  Find a way to make writing a priority in your life in a way that FITS.  But set SOME kind of schedule and be CONSISTENT.

My goals for the year are to 

1)  Finish the first draft of Red Thief

2)  Complete 2nd Edit of Winter Illusion  and have beta reading.

3)  Outline Red Thief, complete character interviews and research plot points.

4)  Take an online writing course.

5)  Enter at least one Writer's Digest writing contest

6)  Join IRL or online critique group.

7) By the end of the year I would like to have at least one story ready to query.  I love all my stories and will have to decide which one I love the most and do my best to finish it.
Joining me in the Row80 and/or 90 day challenges are J.Kaye from 365 Days of Novel Writing, and Laurel from Creative Moments.

This week I'll be getting all my ducks lined up in a row so I'm ready to start in  2011.  A new new year, a fresh slate, crisp new adventures and a year of writing deliberately. What could be better than that.  

What are your goals for 2011?

Merry Christmas from our House to yours!

No Room at the Inn by Tom DuBois


There is one last present under the Christmas tree,
I wonder whose it is?
Is it for the little girl with the rocking horse,
Or is it for Grandma or Aunt Liz?
It looks so lonely,
Sitting there by itself;
It’d certainly be an awesome addition
On "somebody’s" shelf.

The ribbon is gold,
The paper is paisley red;
"Who does it belong to?"
Keeps rattling in my head;
I decided to snatch a peek,
And see whose name is on the card;
It’d only take a second,
It won’t be very hard.

When no one was looking,
I reached under the tree,
Carefully handling the package,
"Who knows, it may be for me!"
But when I read the card,
I thought it was extraordinarily odd,
Because the message read,
"Love and blessings," God.

--Joel Bjorling

Merry Christmas to you and yours!  May it be filled with blessings and joy, bright and true.

Just one more reading challenge - Take a Chance Challenge

Ultimately I can't resist some challenges and Jenner's always tempts me because they are unique and fun and test your reading metal. The fun is in finding the books and the joy is in reading them.  The challenge is to see which ones I already have on my shelves so I don't break my buying ban. Which, of course, doesn't start until the first of the year.  *grin*   

And for those curious minds, yes, I am working on my writing goals and will be posting those soon.

Basic Information
  • The concept of the challenge is to take chances with your reading by finding books to read in unusual or random ways. I’ve listed 10 different ways to find books below. Feel free to complete at many as you want. However, anyone completing all 10 challenges by December 31, 2011 will be entered in a prize drawing to win a book of their choice from Amazon.
  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2011 until December 31, 2011.
  • Crossover books from other challenges is fine. You can read books in any format.
  • On January 1, 2011, I will post pages for each of the 10 challenges so you can link up your completed posts.
The 2011 Challenges
1: Staff  Member’s Choice: Go to a bookstore or library that has a “Staff Picks” section. Read one of the picks from that section.

2: Loved One’s Choice: Ask a loved one to pick a book for you to read. (If you can convince them to buy it for you, that is even better!)

3: Blogger’s Choice: Find a “Best Books Read” post from a favorite blogger. Read a book from their list.

4: Critic’s Choice: Find a “Best of the Year” list from a magazine, newspaper or professional critic. Read a book from their Top 10 list.

5: Blurb Book: Find a book that has a blurb on it from another author. Read a book by the author that wrote the blurb.

6: Book Seer Pick: Go to The Book Seer and follow the instructions there. Read a book from the list it generates for you.

7: What Should I Read Next Pick : Go to What Should I Read Next and follow the instructions there. Read a book from the list it generates for you.

8: Which Book Pick: Go to Which Book and use the software to generate a list of books. Read a book from that list.

9: LibraryThing Pick: Go to LibraryThing’s Zeitgeist page. Look at the lists for 25 Most Reviewed Books or Top Books and pick a book you’ve never read. Read the book. (Yes … you can click on MORE if you have to.)

10: Pick A Method: Pick a method for finding a book from the choices listed below (used in previous versions of the challenge).

Random Book Selection. Go to the library. Position yourself in a section such as Fiction, Non-Fiction, Mystery, Children (whatever section you want). Then write down random directions for yourself (for example, third row, second shelf, fifth book from right). Follow your directions and see what book you find. Check that book out of the library, read it and then write about it. (If you prefer, you can do the same at a bookstore and buy the book!)

Public Spying. Find someone who is reading a book in public. Find out what book they are reading and then read the same book. Write about it.

Random Bestseller. Go to and, using the True Random Number Generator, enter the number 1950 for the min. and 2010 for the max. and then hit generate. Then go to this site and find the year that generated for you and click on it. Then find the bestseller list for the week that would contain your birthday for that year. Choose one of the bestsellers from the list that comes up, read it and write about it.

Head on over to Jenner's and sign up for the challenge, and join in the fun.

Cub Scouting's Highest award - Arrow of Light

Arrow of Light 

Friday night James along with four other boys in his den received cub scouting's highest honor, the Arrow of Light.   His den leader personally made all the awards for the boys. 

From the Arrow of Light ceremony: 

The colored bands honor your individual ranks and achievements. Orange is for Tiger; Blue for Bobcat; Red for Wolf; Green for Bear; Silver and Gold for Arrow Points; Brown for Webelos; White  is for the Readyman Activity Badge; Purple is for the Citizen Activity Badge; Black for the Fitness Activity Badge; 5 Tan stripes are for the Activity Badge for the Arrow-of-Light Honor and the band of Yellow represents the Arrow of Light Award. 

But the parts of the arrow itself hold special significance, too.

The three feathers symbolize the family, the pack leadership and the scout.  Everyone has worked together to help you grow into a fine young man.  May you always fly straight and true to the mark.  These feathers in turn are joined by the blue and gold crests of Cub Scouting.  The blue crest stands for faith and loyalty, as deep and as true as the vast expanse of the sky above us.  May you always be faithful and loyal.  The gold crest stands for warmth and good cheer, like the golden rays of the sun.  May you always be of good cheer.  The arrowhead represents courage and strength, like the stone from which it is crafted.  May you always be courageous and strong.

The shaft of the arrow, fashioned from the hardest wood, stands for honesty and fairness.  May you always be truthful, and straight as the arrow.  The lashing that holds the arrowhead to the shaft represents the friendship that has bound us together in scouting, and will bind us together in memory.

Proud boys and parents 

Checking out the Arrow
Receiving Arrows

Proud and Happy Boys with Den Chiefs

James with his Den Chief and Eagle Scout

The highlight of the evening

We are very proud of James and all the work he put into getting his Arrow of light. 

Happy Birthday Jane Austen

Happy 235th Birthday Jane Austen

In celebration of Jane Austen's birthday Sourcebook Publishers is making available for free today special editions of her novels
Special e-book editions of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion and Mansfield Park. These celebratory editions include the full novels, plus the legendary color illustrations of the Brock brothers, originally created to accompany the books in 1898.

In addition to the Jane Austen classics, readers can also enjoy these bestselling Austen-inspired novels. The following bestselling e-books will be free on December 16th in honor of her birthday:

Eliza’s Daughter by Joan Aiken
The Darcys and the Bingleys by Marsha Altman
Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll
What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown
The Pemberley Chronicles by Rebecca Ann Collins
The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview
Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange
Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One by Sharon Lathan
Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Abigail Reynolds

Due to a slight snafu, the offer has been extended through Friday, December 17TH.   The ebooks are currently available at Ibooks and Google books.  Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony are working on fixing their prices, so check back this afternoon. will have the special editions available on their site as well. 

2011 Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge

2011 52 Books in 52 Weeks Reading Challenge

As well as joining in on a few challenges in 2011, I'm going to continue to host Read 52 books in 52 weeks. I  am going to spice it up a bit this year and blend in several mini challenges, including the Mind Voyages challenge I created in 2010.   I worked rather hard to create the Mind Voyages blog and don't want to see it go to waste. So the blog will remain up so folks can refer to the links for their voyages.  All the mini challenges are optional and offered to help you meet the 52 books goal.  

1)  Mind Voyages is a science fiction / fantasy challenge to explore the hugo and nebula winners, take side trips through the different decades reading the nominees, check out Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein.   Also, Since I can't  possibly imagine a reading challenge without exploring new releases that come out in 2011, we have the all inclusive Pluto challenge. Links to all the voyages are available on the Mind Voyages blog.  

Moon Voyage :  Read at least 6 winners on the Hugo Winners List

Sling shot back to Earth:  Read at least  3 winners on the Nebula Winner's List

Venus Voyage:   Philip K. Dick Quest  - Read at least 2 of his books

Mercury  Voyage:   Robert Heinlein Quest - Read at least 2 of his books

Mars Voyage:   Read at least 6 winners on the Hugo List and take a side trip through the 21st century and read at least 4 nominees.

Go into Warp Drive and visit the other planets

Jupiter Voyage:   Go side tripping 90's Style

Saturn:  Go Side Tripping 80's Style

Uranus: Go Side Tripping 70's Style

Neptune Voyage:  Go Side Tripping through the 50's and 60's

The I'm going to Pluto because Pluto is still a planet as far as I'm concerned Voyage:   Mix it up, choose the number of books you want to read from each voyage, include some new books you pick up along the way and enjoy the ride. 
2)  Read around the World:   I probably did read around the world last year but didn't pay much attention. So this year I'm paying attention to setting. Keep track of where the story takes place and see how many places you end up. 

3)  Ireland Reading Challenge: or just stick with one country such as Ireland and read books set in Ireland, written by Irish Authors or with an Irish theme. Pick 2, 4, 6, or 12 books to read.

4) Jane Austen Mini Challenge: Read Jane Austen's books -Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion. All can be found online here.

5)  Well Educated Mind Mini Challenge:  The Well Educated Mind written by Susan Wise Bauer is a guide to reading the great works.  Read 3 books from each category: Fiction, autobiography, history, drama and poetry.  

6) New Author Mini Challenge:   Read at least one new to you author per month.

7) Try a new genre challenge: Read at least one book in a genre you've never tried before. 

8)  E-Book reading challenge:   read at least 3, 6, 9, or 12 e-books this year. 

9)  Chunkster Challenge:  Chunksters are considered books that are over 500 pages in length.  Read one chunkster a month.  

10)  Read 12 classics in 12 months 

A new year, a fresh slate.  Time to discover some new friends and rediscover some old friends. Make the challenge as easy and casual as you want or spice it up and challenge yourself. Explore a bit, but most of all have fun.  

The rules are very simple and the goal is to read one book (at least) a week for 52 weeks. 

  1. The challenge will run from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011. 
  2. Our book weeks will begin on Sunday.  
  3. Participants may join at any time.
  4. All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc.
  5. Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2011.
  6. Books may overlap other challenges.
  7. Create an entry post linking to the 52 Weeks blog. 
  8. Sign up with Mr. Linky in the "I'm participating post" post.
  9. You don't have a blog to participate.  Post your weekly book in the comments section.
  10. Mr. Linky will be added to the bottom of the weekly post to link to reviews of most current reads. 
I'll be changing the header and modifying the theme a bit over on the 52 weeks blog, so don't mind the dust for the next couple weeks. I'll also be posting Mr. Linky in the next couple days for participants to sign up. 

Secrets To The Grave - Tami Hoag (special giveaway)


Tami Hoag

Author Synopsis:  Marissa Fordham had a past full of secrets, a present full of lies. Everyone knew of her, but no one knew her.  When Marissa is found brutally murdered, her young daughter, Haley, with her head on her mother’s bloody breast, this mystery woman sends the idyllic California town of Oak Knoll into a tailspin. Already on edge with the upcoming trial of the See-No-Evil killer, residents are shocked at reports of the crime scene, which might not have been discovered for days but for a chilling 911 call: a small child’s voice saying, “My daddy hurt my mommy.”

The police face a puzzle with nothing but pieces that won’t fit. To assist with their only witness, four-year-old Haley, they call teacher-turned-child advocate Anne Leone. Anne’s life is hectic enough—she’s a newlywed and a part-time student in child psychology, and she’s the star witness in the See-No-Evil trial. But one look at Haley, alone and terrified, and Anne’s heart is stolen.

As Anne, her FBI profiler husband, Vince, and local sheriff’s deputy, Tony Mendez, begin to peel back the layers of Marissa Fordham’s life, they find a clue fragment here, another there. And just when it seems Marissa has taken her secrets to the grave, they uncover a fact that puts Anne and Haley directly in the sights of a killer: Marissa Fordham never existed at all.

I just finished reading Deeper Than The Dead and Secrets To The Grave by Tami Hoag.  Hoag has been around for a while but is a new to me author. She has an amazing book list that I'll definitely be checking out in the future.  Both stories are excellent  with interesting characters and a tale that will grab you and hold on for the entire story.  You really should read the first book to appreciate the second.   Deeper Than the Dead introduces you to Anne, Vince, and Tony and various characters you will meet in both books.  Secrets to the Grave continues the story and it takes place back in 1986 so modern forensics don't exist yet.  There are many twists and turns to the story and anyone could be a bad guy.  Everyone has a secret and something to hide.   Chilling, graphic, heart rending, as well as gut wrenching, the stories are well worth the read.

Secrets to the Grave is being released on December 28th and thanks to the publisher, some lucky person will have the opportunity to read both books.  I will be giving away a copy of both books to one of my lucky readers.   Leave your name in the comments along with your email address.  The giveaway is open U.S. and Canadian residents only (no P.O. Boxes please and will end on December 27, 2010 at 11:59 p.m.

Thank you to TLC  Book Tours for asking me to be a part of the tour, Dutton Publishing for providing me with a copy of both books and Tami Hoag for writing remarkable, entertaining stories.   Be sure to check out the rest of the tour at TLC book Tours or these blog stops:

Monday, December 6th:  A Bookworm’s World
Tuesday, December 7th:  Luxury Reading
Wednesday, December 8th:  Musings of an All Purpose Monkey
Thursday, December 9th:  Under the Boardwalk
Friday, December 10th:  Life in Review
Monday, December 13th:  The Well-Read Wife
Tuesday, December 14th:  My Two Blessings (me)
Wednesday, December 15th:  Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Thursday, December 16th:  Bewitched Bookworms
Friday, December 17th:  Presenting Lenore
Monday, December 20th:  Man of La Book
Tuesday, December 21st:  I’m Booking It
Wednesday, December 22nd:  Rundpinne (Deeper Than the Dead)
Thursday, December 23rd:  Rundpinne (Secrets to the Grave)
Monday, December 27th:  Reviews by Molly
Monday, January 3rd:  Teresa’s Reading Corner
Wednesday, January 5th:  Lesa’s Book Critiques
Monday, January 10th:  Jen’s Book Thoughts

Blogging Author Reading Project Wrap Up

At the beginning of the year, I joined in on Florinda's Blogging Authors Reading Project.  The project was basically to read books by authors who blog.  I follow a number of author blogs including group blogs such as Murderati, Running with Quills and Deadline Dames.  I've been working my way slowly through all their books.

Murderati is a group blog of 14 mystery writers includes Pari Noskin Taichert, Alafair Burke, Allison Brennan, Brett Battles, Cornelia Read, J.D. Rhoades, J.T. Ellison, Louise Ure, Robert Gregory Brown, Zoe Sharp, Toni McGee Causey, Stephen Jay Schwartz,  Alex Sokoloff and Tess Gerritsen. Wonderful blog. If you haven't been following them, you should. I've read stories by Tess Gerritsen, Robert Gregory Browne, J.T. Ellison, and Allison Brennan.    This year I read

Toni McGee Causey's Charmed and Dangerous
Louise Ure's Liar's Anonymous and The Fault Tree (e-book)
Tess Gerritsen'The Sinner 

Running with Quills was a blog with  7 great romance suspense authors including Susan Anderson, Stella Cameron, Kate Douglas, Lori Foster, Jayne Ann Krentz, Elizabeth Lowell and Carla Neggers. They just recently decided to pull the plug on the blog.  I've read stories by Susan Anderson, Lori Foster, Elizabeth Lowell, Jayne Ann Krentz and Carla Neggers so far.    However I love most of the authors and will continue to read their stories.  This year I completed 

Jayne Ann Krentz aka Amanda Quick  The Third Circle
Lori Foster aka L.L. Foster's Servant: The Kindred, 
Lori Foster's Caught in the Act and the Buckhorn Brothers series.

Deadline Dames is the group blog of paranormal romance authors including Rachel Vincent, Keri Arthur, Devon Monk, Jackie Kessler, Karen Mahoney, Lilith Saintcrow, Rinda Elliot and Toni Andrews.

I read the entire Riley Jensen Guardian Series by Keri Arthur
My Soul to Lose. and Stray by Rachel Vincent

The Kill Zone is a group blog with authors James Scott Bell, John Ramsey Miller, John Gilstrap, Joe Moore, Michelle Gagnon,  Kathryn Lilley, and Clare Langley Hawthorne.

I read Michelle Gagnon's The Gatekeeper and Kidnap and Ransom.

I also read several other blogging authors books including:

Robert Liparulo's Comes a Horseman
Ted Dekker's "Burn" 
Susan Helene Gottfried Shapeshifter Demo Tapes year 1 and year 2 (e-books) and Trevor's Song.
Christine Fonseca's Emotional Intensity in Gifted Children

I'm going to continue the project in 2011 along with Florinda and will writing up a 2011 post detailing which books will be reading from the blogs I've been following.  I've already acquired a number of their books, so won't be breaking my self imposed buying ban with the beginning of the new year.  

2010 New Author Reading Challenge Wrapup

At the beginning of 2010, I joined in on Jackie of Literary Escapism's New Author Reading Challenge with the goal of reading 50 new authors this year.   Surprisingly, I reached that goal.  I enjoyed discovering and reading a great many new authors this year.  The books and new authors I read are:

  1. Poetics - Aristotle
  2. Boomerang - Alan Hutcheson
  3. The Mists of Avalon - Marian Zimmer Bradley
  4. Promise Me- Harlan Coben
  5. The Last Surgeon - Michael Palmer 
  6. The Forgotten Legion - Ben Kane
  7. The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester
  8. A Ship Possessed - Alton Gansky
  9. Soul Catcher - Leah Bridger
  10. The Last Ember - Daniel Levin
  11. The Eye of the World - Robert Jordan
  12. Shimmer - David Morrell
  13. Under the Dome - Stephen King
  14. The Mayo Clinic Diet
  15. Keeping the Feast - Paula Butturini (review book)
  16. Don't Look Behind You - Lois Duncan
  17. The Scarlet Lion - Elizabeth Chadwick
  18. Spin - Robert Charles Wilson
  19. City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
  20. Nausea - Jean  Paul Sartre
  21. The Scarlet and the Black - J.D. Gallagher 
  22. Young Bess - Margaret Irwin
  23.  Mr Darcy Broke My Heart -  Beth Pattilo
  24. People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks 
  25. Endgame - Samuel Beckett
  26. The Lumby Lines -  Gail Fraser
  27. Certain Prey - John Sandford
  28. The Magic Mountain - Thomas Mann
  29. The Killing of Mindy Quintana - Jeffrey Cohen
  30. Black Water Rising - Attica Lock (Review book)
  31. The Silent Cry - Kenzaburo Oe 
  32. Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
  33. Shadow Bound - Erin Kellison 
  34. Heart of Lies - M.L. Malcolm
  35. Shapeshifters 1 and 2 - Susan Helene Gottfried (e-book)
  36. The Great Lover - Jill Dawson 
  37. www.wake - Robert J. Sawyer (e-book)
  38. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert Heinlein
  39. 206 Bones - Kathy Reichs
  40. Lumby on the Air - Gail Fraser
  41. The Lace Makers of Glenmara - Heather Barbieri
  42. The Rembrandt Affair - Daniel Silva
  43. Charmed and Dangerous - Toni McGee Causey
  44. The Reincarnationist - M.J. Rose
  45. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffennegger
  46. Offworld - Robin Parrish 
  47. Outlander - Diana Gabaldon
  48. Against All Odds - Irene Hannon
  49. Tempest Rising - Nicole Peeler 
  50. The Silent Gift - Michael Landon Jr.
  51. Infinite Days - Rebecca Maizel
  52. Wizard's Last Rule - Terry Goodkind
  53. Book of Souls - Glenn Cooper
  54. My Soul to Lose - Rachel Vincent (ebook)
  55. Marked - P.C. Cast (ebook)
  56. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
  57. Hope Undaunted - Julie Lessman
  58. Magic in the Wind (Drake sister #1) - Christine Feehan
  59. Bitten - Kelley Armstrong
  60. The Watchman - Robert Crais 
  61. Emotional Intensity in Gifted Children - Christine Fonseca 
  62. The Fault Tree - Louise Ure
  63. Tyger Tyger - Kersten Hamilton 
  64. Stormwalker - Allyson James
  65. Carry On Mr. Bowditch - Jean Lee Latham (read aloud with James) 
  66. The Iron Hunt - Marjorie M. Lui (e-book) 
  67. Deeper Than The Dead - Tami Hoag

I'll be signing up to give it another go in 2011, except I'm going to be a bit more conservative and go with 15 new authors

What new authors have you discovered this year?

2010 Ireland Reading Challenge wrap up

The Ireland Reading Challenge hosted by Carrie of Books and Movies has come to an end.  My goal was to read 6 books to fulfill the Kiss the Blarney Stone level.  I didn't end up reading the books I originally planned. I ended up reading

  1. Venetia Kelley's Traveling Show by Frank Delaney
  2. The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri 
  3. Endgame by Samuel Beckett ( Irish Author) 
  4. A Passion Most Pure - Julie Lessman (Christian romance series about an Irish Family)
  5. A Passion Redeemed - Julie Lessman A
  6. Passion Denied - Julie Lessman 

Thank you to Carrie for hosting and she'll being doing it again for 2011. If you'd like to join in the 2011 Ireland Reading challenge, go to Books and Movies and sign up. I'll signing up for the "Luck o' the Irish Level and will be reading 4 books in 2011. 

Sunday Salon: November, Nanowrimo, and notions

November is over and winter is approaching. Time to cozy up to the fire and do some thinking, reading, writing, or just some good old fashioned cuddling.  November was a hectic month with the start of my short story's class and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). 

I love Nanowrimo because it not only challenges me, but gets me back in the habit of writing every single day.   The challenge of writing 1667 words a day for 30 days also weaned me off of my too many hours spent browsing, not getting anything done, internet habit.  I discovered Twitter was just a big, time consuming distraction that at this point in my life, doesn't serve a useful purpose for me.  So *gasp* I deleted my account.   And I've decided to set up a schedule for blogging.  I'll be posting at least once a week on a day to be determined.  Still trying to figure out which day is the best.  Sunday will remain the scheduled post day for Reading 52 Books in 52 weeks challenge. 

I've set a goal of 25,000 words for the month of December in the hopes of completing "Red Thief."  The story may end up needing more words than that, we'll find out.  I'm enjoying the story and learning so much about my characters.  I sort of skipped around in the story, jumping around, writing scenes out of sequence.  When I initially decided to write the story, I started writing in my mind, from somewhere midpoint in the story and worked my ways backwards to a beginning point.   Weird, but that's how it worked.  So when I'd get stumped as to what the next sequential scene should have been, I'd jump back to the midpoint and start writing from there.  

Joseph Bates of Novel Journey's wrote the most awesome post: Off the Clock, On Preparation, Inspiration and Time Management  in which he quoted Toni Morrison

"I type in one place, but I write all over the house. I never go to the paper to create. The meat and juice and all that I work out while doing something else..."
Wonderful post. Go read it, then come back.  So, true.  I found that by daydreaming about the story while involved in other things - cleaning, driving, etc and writing it in my mind that  when I was ready to sit down and write, the words flowed.  My writing time is more productive.  Although a side effect of all that, was I read less, spent less time on the internet and got side tracked somewhat while involved in other things. But hey, that's November for you.  My family has learned Novembers are for Nano and are quite accommodating. 

As you can imagine I didn't get much reading done and books reviews for the year have kind of fallen by the way side.  I decided to limit my reviews for the time being and also  limit the number of book tours to one or two a month for the new year.   I'm also not going to go all challenge crazy in the coming new year and will limit it to three or four.   I'll be hosting the Read 52 books in 52 books challenge again in 2011 and will meld the Mind Voyages in with it as a mini challenge of some sort, so I'm managing one challenge only.  If you want to join in, let me know.  

Sometimes you just have to stop, re access and find your balance.  Thanks for sticking around through the November madness and I'm working on catching up with everyone slowly but surely.  See you on the interwebs.

"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony."
--- Thomas Merton

The Sunday