Joanna here, talking about the books we're reading this month.
It's been a humid, rainy June up in my mountains. I am overwhelmed by the beauty of it, with mist everywhere and deer coming out of the woods to eat the grass I just had mowed. They like all that juicy, tender, new growth.
On the free time front, I was harassed by deadlines and by all the little ills the flesh is heir to. I learned, for instance, that it takes a team of men and a huge, noisy, orange machine three days to fix a well pump. Who knew? Also, if your car gets old enough, the repairs cost more than the car is worth.
Did I mention I haz deadlines?
So I didn't get any particular amount of reading done, but instead watched my To Be Read pile grow like summer weeds.
From Grace Burrowes, who writes such warm, appealing characters, Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal. This is another of her infallible cheer-me-up books. Right up there with Julia Quinn. Beautiful and funny.
I also indulged myself in Ilona Andrews' Fate's Edge, Book Three in 'The Edge' Series. Just to be contrary, I'll say that if Andrews is a new-to-you writer, I suggest starting with her Magic Bites.
When I read that series I'm always saying to myself, "Like cats much?"
I also returned to an old favorite, Mary Jo Putney's The Bargain. David Lancaster is one of my favorite heroes -- brave, warm-hearted, straightforward.
What can I say? I think my character Grey has some of David Lancaster in him.
Mary Jo herself picks a couple winners. She says:
currently reading Letters from Backstage:
The Adventures of a Touring Stage Actor
by Michael Kostroff.
Michael Kostroff was a reasonably successful TV actor in Los Angeles, but his long held dream was to appear in a big, splashy Broadway show, so when the opportunity arrived to join the first national tour of The Producers, he leaped on it gladly. Kostroff is also a freelance writer, so his e-mails from the road to his friends were so much fun that they urged him to put them together into a book. This is that book. Besides being delightful to read, it does something I love in a book: it takes me in a new world in a compelling and believable way. I have zero interest in touring with a theater company (not to mention zero talent <G>), but it was fascinating to read about.
In the fiction category, I was happy to see that The Mad Earl’s Bride,, a longish novella by Loretta Chase, is now available in an e-edition.
Originally published in 1995 in the Three Weddings and a Kiss anthology, it has long been a favorite story of mine, and downloading it to my Nook was easier than digging the anthology out of the basement. <G> The story is a spin-off from Loretta’s much loved Lord of Scoundrels, and for a description, it’s hard to beat the blurb:
Gwendolyn Adams is about to propose to an earl. On his deathbed.
Gwendolyn Adams isn't shocked at being asked to save a handsome earl's dying line, even when she learns the prospective bridegroom is seriously ill and possibly insane. She's quite a good nurse, after all, and her family is famous for producing healthy male children. Those stories about his riding the moors half-naked on a pale white horse? Extremely intriguing—especially after she gets her first look at the gorgeous lunatic.
The Earl of Rawnsley wants only to lose what's left of his mind in peace and privacy. But his busybody relatives have saddled him with a surprise bride and orders to sire an heir forthwith. (And they say he's mad?) But with Gwendolyn, his health is returning, and his resistance ... crumbling. Is it possible that love is the finest madness of all?
I'm madly trying to finish a book, and though most people would imagine that reading would be set aside at such a time, for me, reading is a necessary part of unwinding and refreshing my brain.
I've also been browsing through A Writer's Book of Days, by Judy Reeves. She encourages people to meet daily (or regularly at least) and write for 15 minutes using random writing prompts. I don't do that, but it would be interesting, I think, to try.