Read a Romance Month: Bonus

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I decided to put a specific spin on the book challenge I’ve been tagged in on Facebook  a couple times lately and thought it’d be fun to post it here as well. In a last hurrah celebration of this year’s Read a Romance Month, I’m going to expand on this past post and list 10 a buncha romance books/authors I’ve enjoyed, remembered and sometimes even re-read. Yes, it’s an excuse to talk about Jamie and Claire, yet again…and Nora Roberts books..and…

*Outlander by Diana Gabaldon– the book, yes, but also the entire eight book series. Jamie and Claire *sigh* are the sterling couple of the romance book world, the measuring stick all fictional relationships aspire to. I never tire of reading about their world.

 *The In-Death Series by J.D.Robb-the alter ego of Nora Roberts (see next in this list). Each book is a compelling romance mystery story as super cop Eve kicks ass while super thief-turned-billionaire Roarke pursues and cares for her. Roarke’s devotion to Eve is as good as it gets in the romance book world–just after Jamie’s devotion to Claire in the above mentioned Outlander series.

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*Born-In Trilogy by Nora Roberts– I read anything Nora writes and usually enjoy every story. The Born In Trilogy was my first Nora re-read. Upon that re-read, I realized the reason why I particularly liked this story was the friendships–not just the couple’s relationship. Nora has a beautiful knack of showing deep friendships among the characters, giving off a warm, inviting feeling, a true feeling of family.

 *Beach House No. 9 series by Christie Ridgway--each of these books focuses on one of a trio of battered war weary men–a journalist/writer, a combat medic and a photojournalist–and the women who find themselves wanting to bring these guys peace at home. No place better for love than Beach House No. 9.

 *Sugar Springs Trilogy by Kim Law-a small town scene where three couples find their way to forever love despite–and maybe even because of–small town gossip and lack of privacy. Pure fun, all three of these.

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 *Seasons of Love series by Jennifer Gracen–a four part series that follows a story of finding a new love and learning to trust again. I adore Sam and Lydia’s story and eagerly await the next installment. Two of the four books are out and two are highly anticipated, coming soon!

 *The Sullivans series by Bella Andre-each book follows the story of a Sullivan family member as they find their own happily ever after. The family connections are as much fun to read about as the evolving of the couple’s relationship.

 

*The Kowalskis by Shannon Stacey--Fun and engaging, the Kowalski family plays hard and loves deeply. Each story is a treat.

The list could go on and on, but these series make up a big list of great stories, so I’ll stop there for now. I hope you’ll check out some of these for your next romance reads–if you haven’t read them already. Do come back and tell me how you liked them!

 As always, I’d love to hear about what you’re reading lately. (comment here or pop over to Facebook and join the conversation!)

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Read a Romance Month: Page Two 

Read a Romance Month: Page Three

Read a Romance Month: Everlasting

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In honor of this last week of Read a Romance month, I took some time to browse through some of the author posts over on the Read a Romance website. I enjoyed them so much, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you.

That’s what romance (at any age!) provides, the joy of a hand to hold on the journey, a person with whom to share the tears and laughter that accompany any life…’ –says Christie Ridgway–one of the authors I mentioned earlier this month. 

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Kristan Higgins’ post was about heroes and what makes us love them. Her list is a good one, including such traits as kindness and appreciation. So much more to a hero than broad shoulders and long eyelashes! (Although we can certainly appreciate those!)

In a post from 2013, Susan Elizabeth Phillips talks about how the romance genre is life affirming–as couples meet, fall in love and life goes forward.There’s comfort in the circle of life, so to speak. She says readers “ simply want a good story, characters they care about, and emotions they can identify with – exactly what the good romance delivers. “

Jeannie Moon writes about how true romance comes in every day life, from having someone who ‘gets you’. I couldn’t agree with her more.

Such a far-reaching, endless possibilities genre, is romance. Are you a romance reader? Did you find anything new to read this month, whatever the genre may be? 

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****I truly enjoy hearing from you. Please do leave a comment or pop over to Facebook and chime in on the conversation–there’s always conversation!****

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Read a Romance Month: Page Three

With August being proclaimed Read a Romance Month, I’ve kept right along reading my favorite genre–as is my usual habit–and have had the additional pleasure of finding new-to-me authors to read along the way. I’m always open to new authors, but confess to most often seeking out more books by authors I already read and enjoy. I think any avid reader does that–loves the favored but is willing to explore a bit.

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A couple of those new-to-me authors I’ve discovered this month are Kim Law and Julia London—I’d heard of both here n there but hadn’t read any of their stories as of yet. I’m so glad I remedied that! (While Facebook is clearly far from perfect, I do have to credit it for my learning of both of these authors.)

I opened Kim’s Ex on the Beach and found myself reading the entire book in one sitting—well, nearly one sitting as I had to get up and refill m’tea glass once.

As is my habit when finding a book I enjoyed so, I went looking for other books by Kim and now have a nice new stack added to my TBR. Next up is Sugar Springs. Check out Kim’s page and see what might catch your eye—I know twas worth if for me!

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Definitely me…without a doubt!

Julia’s Homecoming Ranch was another one I didn’t want to put down until the end—and there’s a Return to Homecoming Ranch awaiting me as I type *happy reader dance*

A bonus to discovering both of these authors was finding their books available free for members of Kindle Unlimited–which, by the way, I have found to be a worthy investment for me. Of many subscription services I’ve tried, this one is the first one I have kept past the free trial period as I have had no trouble finding books to add to my TBR stacks.

How about you—discovered any new-to-you authors lately? Do share…

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Writing & Murder & Love–Oh My!

So, this is my latest TV show craze:

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You tell me, how could I not be intrigued by a show whose main character is a writer?!? Full of great by play and memorable quotes, this show has been a blast to watch. The plotlines of the shows have been interesting, but I think the characters and their connections/interactions are the stars of the show.

I started with season one a few weeks ago and have been steadily making my way through—now amid season five. I’ve heard season seven starts in a few weeks, but I’m in no hurry to blitz through the remaining episodes so I’ll keep recording n watching when it suits me. Ah, the perks of modern technology…

Have you found a show with characters you really like or are you more story driven when it comes to TV? 

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Read a Romance Month: Page Two

As most avid readers, my To-Be-Read (TBR) stack is nearly infinite—in print and on m’Kindle, as well as my TBR list on Goodreads. Even so, I’m always on the lookout for fresh reads to add to the stacks. This Read a Romance month has brought to my attention several new-to-me-authors or has renewed an interest in authors I’ve read but had forgotten (hey, it happens!)

Social media, namely Facebook, has been a big part of this, as I’ve clicked through the Read a Romance month links found there as well as the links found on pages where authors are active. Interactive, fun authors get my attention every time—sending me to check out their books and go on to read them if any interest at all is sparked.

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Some romance (or close enough) authors I’ve enjoyed in recent weeks—both their books and their interactions—are:

Diana Gabaldon

Nora Roberts

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Kristan Higgins

Bella Andre

Jill Shalvis

Susan Wiggs

Eloisa James

I’m posting shout outs to these authors because the added bonus of Facebook interactions is a fun one I think you’ll enjoy checking out.

Speaking of Facebook, pop on over and join the conversation sometime, won’t you? 

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Outlander…On Screen!?

I know I’ve mentioned that I’m a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novel series—if you’ve been around me in person or online much at all, you’ve heard many times over. I first read Outlander over ten years ago and have been hooked on the series since. The books now number eight main titles with several smaller novels/novellas woven in and around the story. I really think you’ll find the story worth your time–just try the first one…see what ya think.

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While I know many fans have wished for a movie or tv series version of Outlander for a long time, I was not one of those folks. I’ve been supremely content with Jamie and Claire’s story in the books, giving no thought to tv or movie. I remain supremely content with the books, however…there is this buzz.

I dismissed all the buzz about an Outlander tv series until Diana Gabaldon herself said a deal was in the works and she was optimistic and confident Ron Moore would do justice to the Outlander story. I noted that, felt a flicker of interest but still went on less than enthused and not sure I’d bother to watch. Until now.

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When it comes to books made into tv shows or movies, I’ve always been able to enjoy both—viewing them separately, one or the other has never spoiled one or the other for me, so to speak. That being said, I still wasn’t really interested a screen adaptation of Outlander. Yet.

When Diana herself screened the first episode, then told us she was pleased and that it is her belief that we would love it, then I paid attention. If the CREATOR of Jamie and Claire’s world liked the adaptation, how in the world could I not give it a go?!?

This month the beloved saga makes its television debut and what a debut it has been already. Outlander fans everywhere are amazed with the production Ron Moore and his team have given us with Episode One. Up until now I have clarified that I’m a fan of Diana’s and of her books—after seeing Episode One, I must say I’m a fan of the Outlander tv series as well. Well done, folks, well done!

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I’m eagerly awaiting Episode Two and having a fun time chatting about all of it with other fans—social media was made for this kind of fun stuff!

Have you heard of Outlander? The book? The tv series? Have you read or watched either? Do tell…

 

Read a Romance Month: Page One

**I have expanded this post in detail here–check it out :) **

Apparently August is ‘Read a Romance Month’ out in the bookish world. Who knew?!?

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Being that romance novels are a particular favorite of mine, this is my world most every month/week/day. That being said, I figured ‘Read a Romance Month’ is as good a time as any to talk about favorite books and authors that fall into the romance genre.

In my experience, romance novels range from stories that focus on the developing relationship and include some of the world around the couple involved to quick-fall-in-love-and-lust-stories that steam up the page/screen. I typically like them all at some time or another, depending on my current reading mood.

My favorite series of all time falls into romance and a whole host of other genres at the same time: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. All eight books—yep, you read it right…eight books. *sigh* I can’t do the saga justice, but will say that I think the story of Jamie and Claire, and all that is them, is epic. Simply epic. outlander

Nora Roberts/JD Robb is another particular favorite of mine. I’ve enjoyed her books time and again—the romances, the series, the stand alone novels. Some I love, some I like, all I’ve enjoyed. There are far too many to name, but off-hand my favorites include the In Death series (JD Robb) and the Irish Born In trilogy. Eve and Roarke from the In Death series rank as number two on my all time favorite fiction couples list–just behind Jamie and Claire.

Those two authors had to be acknowledged and forever documented (yet again and will be again). Top o’ my list, they.

Most recently, I’ve been devouring fun, what some call ‘beach reads’, that are let’s wrangle-this-attraction-despite-complicated-lives-and-make-happily-ever-after stories:

Bella Andre—The Sullivans series. So many interesting characters.

Christie Ridgway—I started with the Beach House #9 series, so good.

Shannon Stacey- The Kowalski family is fun, loving group to follow.

 

Are you a romance reader? What pages have you been turning lately—do tell?

 

 

Helpful, Interesting, Laugh Out Loud Funny Things

The ever-incredible Internet has, yet again, offered a wide variety of good reads to me lately. I hope you’ll take a look at a few of these and let me know what you think here in the comments or over on Facebook—for I do enjoy chatting with you!

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* ‘I hate C. It’s definitively the worst number.’ –this conversation between a  Mom and her 4 year old cracked.me.up. Must read.

* ’Social Media is killing books? I’m not buying it.’ – a great article about how a book lover (like me) enjoys her reading time.  ‘I’m not wasting my time. I’m not being lazy. I’m tending my soul.’ << her quote, but I know I’ve said the same thing in so many words so many times.

* The Difference Between a Sensory Sensitivity and Disliking Something –all too often folks without sensory issues (or unacknowledged ones) blame sensory issues on simple refusal…this article written by one affected by sensory sensitivities does a good job explaining the difference.

*’Those veggies and meat cuts look vaguely familiar, but you have no functional memory of how one takes raw ingredients and combines them into a dish…’ – 5 ways to get back into the meal planning groove. I needed this nudge, for while I’m all about the eating, I have been sooo lacking in the get-it-together-and-cook-it department lately.

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**Extra! Extra!**

Round-Up: Five Things to Help Better Your World 

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Wanted: A Fresh Hobby

 

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Lately I’ve been a part of several different conversations in which the desire to seek out a new hobby was mentioned but the person in question had no clue about where to start. Being that I have a list at least mile long of things I want to do, this isn’t a problem I’ve ever encountered, but their questing made me ponder…where do you start when seeking out a new hobby?

I think the first thing to do is to ask yourself this question:

If you could do anything at all as a hobby, what would it be? If time and money were no object, what would you pursue? 

On one hand, that question seems like a moot point, because clearly time and money are a consideration for most of us–but the idea is to first just brainstorm and think about what you’d truly enjoy, then find a way to enjoy it on an affordable scale.

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For example, if you’d love to travel to faraway places and take incredible pictures but circumstances prevent you from doing so, you can still indulge that dream by learning to take incredible pictures from right where you are. All you need is some kind of camera—even a smart phone camera–and you’ve got a new hobby. There are thirteen bazillion free websites that give all sorts of photography tips, local clubs, library resources and—most of all—experimenting is free.

Also, you can enjoy the planning part of an affordable, exciting trip to be taken when you have the time and money to do so. I’ve known folks with the hobby of planning trips they might or might not take, but the details of learning about it and planning it are a fun pastime for them, especially with the Internet and how we can virtually visit places so easily.

Another question to ask yourself is: Do you want your hobby to be physically active, relaxing or mentally stimulating?

Folks seek out new hobbies for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you now have more time—the kids need you less, the new job is less demanding, you’re making sure to take time for yourself. Maybe you’re seeking a physical activity to free your mind yet occupy your body or reduce stress/worry/pain. Are you looking to learn something new, stimulate your brain? Is relaxation your goal?

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Consider what your goal is in seeking a new hobby and that will help you decide. Maybe it’s taking up a new sport or a making list of books set in Ireland to read through. If you want to start a collection of something—of first edition books or Indian artifacts–or pursue a 5K goal, you can do these things on your own, with a partner or you can connect with folks from all over via websites and forums as well as local clubs.

The point is to choose a hobby that will bring you joy as well as fill your time. Don’t over think it, pick something that sounds fun and stimulating and give it a try. The possibilities really are endless.

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Do you have a favorite hobby? Have you started a new one lately—or are you thinking about doing so? I’d love to hear about it here in the comments or over on Facebook :)

 

 

 

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