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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (4)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho
- Illinois (4)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine
- Maryland (1)
- Massachusetts (1)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (1)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (6)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee
- Texas (1)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (3)
- Washington (3)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming (1)
- *Washington, D.C.

International:
Australia (2)
Canada (3)
England (6)
France (1)
Ireland (1)
Switzerland (1)
The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:


28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:


0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:


7 / 25 books. 28% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:


33 / 50 books. 66% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


39 / 52 books. 75% done!
Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My First Ever Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors

I don't usually participate in Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish), but I think I'm going to start.  I love reading everyone else's TTT posts, so it stands to reason that I should be creating my own.  Yes?  Yes, I do believe it does.  So, here goes.  This week's list is about "Auto-Buy Authors," or authors you love/trust enough to automatically buy whatever they write.  Here are mine:

1.)  Kathy Reichs -- I love her forensic mystery series featuring the smart, snarky, Diet Coke-slugging Temperance Brennan.  Whenever I don't have access to free ARCs of Reichs' books, I buy them.  In hardcover.  That's how much I love her.

2.)  Jodi Picoult -- Even though Picoult's latest books haven't wowed me as much as her earlier novels, I still think this author on her worst day beats a lot of writers on their best.  Her books always keep me engrossed and make me think.  Definite auto-buys.

3.)  Maeve Binchy -- Unfortunately, this wonderful Irish author passed away recently, which means I won't be able to buy any new books from her.  I love all of her novels.  A Week in Winter recently arrived on my doorstep and I can't wait to read this last book from one of my favorite authors.

4.)  Neal Shusterman -- Although I'm way behind on my reading of this author's books, I have loved every Shusterman novel I've read.  I can buy his books with complete confidence, knowing I won't be disappointed.

5.)  Robyn Carr -- Adult romance is not a genre I read often, for lots of reasons.  Carr is my one exception to the rule.  I love the warmth of her novels and count them as definite auto-buys.

6.)  Tana French -- French is another Irish author whose books just blow me away.  Hers are very different than Binchy's, much more raw, but still, I've loved every one of them.

7.)  L.A. Meyer -- I love Meyer's Bloody Jack series so much that I'm reading it slowly so that I can savor each book.  They've got wonderful characters, vivid settings, fun plot twists, etc.  I'll buy anything Meyer writes, especially if it features Jacky Faber, one of my favorite characters in modern YA literature.

8.)  Marissa Meyer -- Meyer's a new YA author who's making a big splash with The Lunar Chronicles, a series of "rebooted" fairy tales.  I've loved the books she's written so far and hope to read many, many more novels by this talented lady.  

9.)  Cassandra Clare -- Clare's The Mortal Instruments series sucked me in so completely that I believe anything she writes will do the same.

10.)  Patrick Ness -- Even though I didn't love his A Monster Calls, I adored The Chaos Walking trilogy.  I know Ness has a couple novels coming out this year and you better believe they're on my Auto-Buy list.

Phew!  Now, it's your turn -- which authors do you love so much that you'll rush out and buy anything they write?  Do we have any favorites in common?  


At Least There's Chocolate ...

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

There are many words one could use to describe 25-year-old Jillian Parrish:  rigid, controlled, guarded, disciplined.  Flexible isn't one of them.  Adaptable or easily amused don't really fit either.  So, when Scott Gentry pulls a silly prank to get Jillian's attention, it backfires.  Big time.  Jillian's surprised by his sudden interest, but not at all impressed with his immature attempt at asking her out.  She'd rather spend the weekend cozying up to a bag of chocolate-covered cinnamon bears, thank you very much.

But a quiet weekend is not in the cards for Jillian, a would-be novelist who works for a small publishing company in Portland, Oregon.  When Jillian's long-lost younger sister shows up on her doorstep, cradling an infant, all chances of relaxing disappear.  On the run from her drug dealer boyfriend, 20-year-old Evie needs a place to hide.  Despite their estrangement, Jillian will do anything for her little sister.  Then, Evie disappears, leaving baby Shiloh behind.  Totally unequipped to deal with the situation, Jillian freaks out.  Her strictly-managed life is officially out-of-control.  

As Jillian struggles to cope, she discovers she's not as friendless as she believes herself to be.  With the help of her bishop's family and the (annoyingly) dependable Scott Gentry, she might just find her sister—not to mention the happiness she's been denying herself for so long.  But, with an angry drug dealer tracking her every move, a needy baby zapping all her energy, and a man she doesn't want to trust begging her to do just that, Jillian's becoming increasingly desperate and confused.  How can she wrangle herself and her niece out of the mess Evie's created for them?  The problem's too big to solve with chocolate, so the fiercely independent Jillian might just have to rely on the exact things she usually avoids—trust, love and the grace of a loving God.  

 It's no secret that I'm not huge on LDS fiction.  I want to be, I really do.  But the truth is, I can only stomach it once a year, when judging time for the Whitney Awards rolls around.  I wish it weren't so, but by nature, LDS fiction seems to lean toward the cheesy, the preachy and the melodramatic-y.  Of Grace and Chocolate, a romantic suspense novel by Krista Lynne Jensen, is just such a book.  The premise sounds intriguing, it does, but the plot relies way too heavily on coincidence and other contrived situations.  Flat characters don't help matters; neither does the far-fetched action or the tell-not-show writing.  Of Grace and Chocolate does move rather quickly, making it an entertaining enough read—as long as you don't care too much about character or plot development.  Which I, unfortunately for this book, totally do.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other LDS romantic suspense novels, although no specific titles are coming to mind since I usually avoid this genre like the plague)

Grade:  C-

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG for scenes of peril/violence and references to illegal drug use

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Of Grace and Chocolate at last year's LDS Storymakers Conference with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.  
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The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

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Glass Houses by Louise Penny



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