MJ’s Musings: Early Bird or Night Owl?

I am what is known as an early bird. I get up early. It’s my best time to think because the distractions of the day haven’t yet attacked.

But I often wonder if I am naturally an early bird or was my circadian rhythm warped by my upbringing. When I was a child, even a teenager who often babysat until the wee hours of the morning, my mother made sure I was out of bed by 9AM every morning. People who lingered in bed were lazy and slothful.

Part of this could be my dad having to get up at 4AM to work in a factory every day. So naturally bedtimes at our house were early.  I get that.

But since being an adult and with my children adults, too, when I’m not bound by the alarm for the day job, I do tend to stay up later at night–and to write and write well.  So perhaps my natural cycle is that of a night owl.

Maybe when I retire I’ll find out.

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: Book Bingo-Three (Or More)’s Company

Yes indeed, this year’s Book Bingo Challenge included a square for reading a ménage book. I figured reading a paranormal-sci-fi space alien type book would work much better for this square than a standard romance.

I went with No Limit, by Susan Hayes. The book is Book 5 in The Drift Series. I was pleasantly surprised that there was an actual, compelling plot that didn’t revolve around sex.  I didn’t need to read the first four books in the series (which I may go back and do). The story was well-written and well-motivated. I do love me some good space romance. This book hit on all levels without being gratuitously graphic.

MJ’s Musings: SEP-Nobody’s Baby But Mine

Nobody’s Baby But Mine is a little creepy in that there is a slight stalker element. The heroine wants a dumb man to father a child for her, so she sets her sights on a football quarterback who says “ain’t” in a southern drawl and makes assumptions. Bad assumptions, all the way around.  The hero may be from North Carolina, but being from the south is the only assumption the heroine got right. Almost.

Tricking the football playing into getting her pregnant is morally wrong; the heroine knows it, but her longing for a child who won’t be a genius (the heroine is a physicist who’s always felt like a freak because she’s smart), but who will be normal outweighs her morals.  Twice.

There is a secret baby (for a couple of pages), a marriage that’s anything but convenient, and a truly lovely romance that unfolds as the hero and heroine get to know each other.

The cast of secondary characters is interesting. I adore the hero’s hillbilly grandmother. The secondary romance, between the hero’s parents is interesting, and showcases what a brilliant author Susan Elizabeth Phillips is. The subtleties tying the primary romance to the secondary is extremely well done. At first, I didn’t like the hero’s father, but with each re-read of the book and my own development as an author have made me appreciate exactly what Phillips did here.

Four stars.