Wednesday, March 20, 2013

5 Favorites Blog Hop

Gimme 5!

Beverly Diehl cornered me at romance writers' meeting a few weeks ago, put me in a headlock and told me if I didn't do this block hop that she would confess awful secrets of mine to the whole world. She's so mean. 

Of course I'm kidding. We're hopping around the blogesphere (is that how you spell it) sharing our favorite books. Our 5 favorites to be exact. It was hard to choose, but I think I did an okay job.  Here my top 5(7)

Confessions of an Ugly Step-Sister by Gregory Maguire

This retelling of Cinderella was a pleasant surprise. This is a story of a family of women struggling to survive. It feels like the story is set in medieval (I think) Holland. The step-mother in this tale is left penniless with two daughters, one of which suffers from some kind of mental retardation. She remarries to keep herself and her daughters off the streets. Cinderella is somewhat of a spoiled brat. It's a good time.

I read this book right after a break up, when I was dead broke and about to move back to New Hampshire to live with my dad. I remember clearly sitting on my balcony one afternoon, because my power had been cut off and it was too dark inside my apartment, reading this book and completely forgetting about my troubles. I think that's exactly what a book should do, transport you to another place. I know Wicked is Maquire's most famous book, but this is by far my favorite of his. 

A Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

This is the fifth book in the Outlander Series, I'll skip the plot summary because at this point in the series you're more following along with the family. This was the first book in the series that made me sob. Like raining buckets on my face. The first chunk of the book is brutal because it's almost a real time retelling of a single day, but the rest of the book tore my heart out.

Baby by Patricia MacLachlan

A Tale of a baby in a basket. Who doesn't love a little small town story about a baby in a basket. But really, I read this book in 7th grade and kept the copy that I "borrowed" from my teacher. I still have it. Sorry Mr. A. I loved Larkin's voice. She was a kid I could relate to, but what I really loved about this book was how it didn't sugar coat death and loss and trauma. Toward the end of the book Larkin's teacher talks about the death of her brother and reads a "Dirge Without Music" by Edna St. Vincent Millay to the class. I memorized this scene and recited it to make it to the finals of our school's oral interpretation contest. I think it was one of the few times I really applied myself academically. In hindsight, I think this was a time when my own family was really starting to change and as a kid, this was a story I could really hold on to.

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty/Beauty's Punishment/Beauty's Release by Anne Rice writing as A.N. Roquelaure

Sleeping Beauty is awoken and swept off to a BDSM training camp in a nearby kindgom. There is a for real fairy tale ending. Uh... I'll just leave these here.

Always and Forever by Beverly Jenkins

Picking a favorite among Beverly Jenkins's books was hard. Really hard. I read a book of hers and I love it and then I move on to the next one and then I love it. Always and Forever for me is one of her most complete stories, not just a romance, but an adventure and a story of personal growth and love. Jackson and Grace come together as they wrangle a group of prospective brides to head out to the Kansas Territory. Jenkins writes hilarious interactions between the women and an amazing Western for Jackson and Grace once they fall in love. And it ends the way I want nearly all romances to end. You'll have to read it to see what I mean. It's corny, but I love it. 

And here's the reserve list because 5 books is just ridiculous.

Vows, Years, and Morning Glory all by LaVyrle Spencer 
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
Fledgling and Kindred by Octavia Butler
Witches by Raul Dahl
Night Song by Beverly Jenkins
Voyager and A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward
Split by Mel Bossa
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Now you! Tell me some of your favorite titles in the comments. I need more books to read! 

Next week check out the faves for some of my favorite author friends. 

Jeffrey Ricker
'Nathan Burgoine
A.C. Mason
Ambrielle Kirk
Felice Fox

 They'll keep this hopping right along. :)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Day 993: Crowd Participation: UPDATE!

Hey, I need opinions. I'm writing a short story about an existing couple, but I can't decide which couple to pick. What do you guys think? Should I write about Ginger & Camila, Benny & Cleo, or Annie & Oksana? I'm going to decide by Friday 3/ 8/1. Please help. Gimme your opinions in the comments below. Please. Help.

Update: I've gotten feedback everywhere (facebook/tumblr/twitter), but here. Was it something I said??

Here's the tally so far.

Annie & Oksana (The Fling): 9
Ginger & Camila ( Better Off Red): 8
Benny & Cleo (Blacker Than Blue): 4

Ginger and Camila took it!
Final Tally:
Ginger & Camila: 14
Annie & Oksana: 9
Benny & Cleo: 4
Looks like I have a sexy short about Ginger and her Mila to write. :)