MJ’s MUSINGS: BOOK BINGO–UNDER REPRESENTED AUTHOR

For my “under-represented author” square on the BOOK BINGO card, I chose Tikka Chance on Me, by Suleikha Snyder. Several people had recommended it as a good read, not necessarily for book bingo.

I loved it! It’s the story of an Indian girl who works in her parents’ restaurant and a biker bad boy, neither of whom are all they seem.  They’d known each other in high school, but their lives took divergent paths. The story is actually a novella, but it reads longer because it’s packed and fast-paced. And it’s hot.

Five stars.

 

 

 

 

MJ’s Musings: SEP-Dream a Little Dream

Dream a Little Dream is my least favorite of the Bonner brother/Chicago Stars books. I don’t like Gabe (hero), I don’t like Rachel (heroine), I don’t like Edward/Chip (Rachel’s little boy). I don’t like that a favorite character from Nobody’s Baby But Mine  was dead. Maybe Rachel and Gabe’s respective backstories are too bleak and dark and need the comic relief the dead character provided in Nobody’s Baby. I don’t know.

The humanizing of Gabe is well done. My heart breaks for him. But he’s not a romance hero. Rachel’s return to the scene of her late-husband’s crimes is well-motivated, but I still can’t warm up to her.

I’m the first to complain when so many romance novels conflicts seem trite (to me), so I’m not sure why the grim premises of this story bother me so much. It is a testament to the author’s skill that I feel this so strongly.

There were things about the book that I did like: I liked that the evangelical huckster got his (before the story opened); I liked that Gabe’s parents weren’t in the book (Jim & Lynn Bonner from Nobody’s Baby But Mine), and I loved Gabe’s brother Ethan and the subplot involving him and his secretary.  I love that God speaks to Ethan with Oprah’s voice.

Three stars.

MJ’s Musings: Book Bingo-Self Published Author

I live under a rock when it comes to popular culture. A total and complete rock.  I freely admit I don’t watch a lot of TV and I rarely read outside of my comfort zone. That’s why my RWA chapter’s Book Bingo is good for me.  My competitive nature loves a challenge.

I failed this year. Miserably.  I read many category squares but didn’t achieve even a single bingo.  Part of my lack was from being busy writing. Three books coming out in less than a year is challenging. No excuses. I agreed to the schedule. And it hasn’t kept me from reading. According to my Goodreads challenge, I’ve read over 100 books this year. I’m not ashamed of that number.

I did read a self-published author. Actually, I’m sure I’ve read many. My reading is really random. When the #copypastecris scandal broke out–a major plagiarism case–and Nora Roberts got involved, I checked out the list of authors whose work was stolen.  Many favorites were included, but there were other names on the list with whom I was not familiar. I settled on the author whose fan was the first to discover and report the plagiarism: Courtney Milan.

Now, I don’t know if she is exclusively self-published (and this is one of frustrations I have with Book Bingo–the time spent trying to locate books that qualify for the square), but I decided The Duchess War (the plagiarized book) would fit the bill.

I loved it! I loved it so much, I read the rest of the series. (Thank goodness for my local library and Kindle downloads.) Milan’s heroines are so different than the usual historical heroine. As much as I love historical romances, sometimes they get tiresome. Not so with the ones in this series.

Five stars.

MJ’s Musings: SEP-Match Me If You Can

MATCH ME IF YOU CAN is one of the Chicago Stars series. I have to admit, I’m not that fond of it. I enjoy it while I’m reading it, but there was nothing about the story or the characters that compel me to compulsively reread the book. In fact, I didn’t own a copy until a couple of years ago.

The premise is great: a professional matchmaker vs. a professional sports agent. Two tenacious characters. But I don’t know them. I don’t understand their foibles. I don’t love them. Maybe I need to read the  book a couple of more times in order to plumb their souls. I had to do that with Natural Born Charmer, and it worked.

Here’s the thing: I don’t hate the characters. They don’t make me uncomfortable (something I’ll explore next month). I’m merely indifferent to them.

Can you convince me to care?

MJ’s Musings: Atomic Habits

The speaker at a recent meeting recommended the book Atomic Habits. I put the Kindle version on hold at the library. When it finally came in, I slogged my way through it.

It covered a lot of the same material as the Julia Cameron classic, The Artist’s Way. Many of the suggestions are things I incorporated into my life years ago. Other things were tricks I’ve tried and found don’t work well for me.

I don’t believe the myth that it takes 21 days to form a habit.

Maybe other people, who haven’t read as many time-management books as I have would get more out of this newest bible.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to grab my affirmation beads every morning and remind myself: “I am an author. Writing is the best part of my day.”