Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year

Hello friends!
I hope you had a wonderful New Year's celebration. It's hard to believe the 00 decade is over and we're into "the teenage" years. Let's hope those years are less turbulent for our country than they are for those of us with teenaged kids! Regular readers will notice a couple of additions to my sidebar. In 2010, I want to keep better track of my writing progress, and I'd really like to know exactly how many fabulous romances I read during the year. I figured I'd keep track of both here. Once I finish my first 2010 book, I'll add a new gadget that tracks 2010 Reads. I have a feeling it's a pretty significant number, but we shall see!! I'd love to hear about what you're reading, what you love, what you don't, what trends you see that please you and those that don't. One trend that I am frankly OVER is the vampire. I never have understood the lure, but I know paranormals are hugely popular. Not with me. I do read them if my friends wrote them and often enjoy them. But I would never choose a paranormal over a contemporary or historical. Historicals have become my friends in 2009. I sampled my first one with my friend Michele Anne Young's "Lady Flees Her Lord," and was instantly hooked! I've since blazed through at least 100 of them, and now I'm attempting to write one. I'm having a lot of fun with that. We'll see how it goes as this year unfolds. Right now, it's more of a "can I really do this?" experiment. So far, so good. What matters most is that it's fun!!

Over my 17-day stay-cation (the BEST vacation of the year), we had a lot of snow. That's somewhat unusual for us this early in the year up here in RI. Often when big snowstorms head our way, we don't get much down here on the coast. This year, we've probably already had more than two feet. When I lived here growing up, I used to HATE the snow. I never have liked being cold and snow was always a pain in the rear. Now that I am all grown up with kids of my own, I love the snow! It brings everything to a big fat halt and gives us time to hang out at home, read, play games and WRITE. I've written the entire 21,000 words of Fool for Love since Dec. 17, during two of the busier weeks of the year. It's snowing again today and I say let it snow, let it snow, LET IT SNOW! During the stay-cation, I've also done quite a lot of reading. Here is what I've read:

Captive of Sin
By: Anna Campbell
I've gotten to know Anna through my Casa sister Lucinda McGary, who along with Anna is an owner of the very popular Romance Bandits blog. Cindy is my dear friend and EVIL TWIN. Anna's new book is a really fun story about a damaged hero who saves a damsel in distress. In turn, she saves him from himself. A great book!! I loved it. Anna is a hoot in person and if you ever get the chance to hang out with her, you won't be disappointed. Pick up her earlier books, too, especially To Tempt The Devil. Loved that one, too!

Forbidden Falls
By: Robyn Carr
Regular blog readers will recall my fixation on Robyn's Virgin River series earlier this year. I think I read all seven books in four days during a summer vacation. Totally AWESOME! This new installment doesn't disappoint with a new-to-town minister who hires a down-on-her-luck single mother to be his pastoral assistant. The sparks fly between these two unlikely lovers. Throw in a subplot featuring a favorite couple from an earlier book along with Jack, Mel, Preacher and the rest of the Virgin River regulars, and Robyn has penned another winner. If you haven't read the Virgin River books, RUN don't walk to your nearest bookstore. I promise you won't be disappointed. The only bad thing is we have to wait until February for the next one!

Kindred In Death
By: J.D. Robb
I'm a huge fan of this series, which now numbers 30 books. Last December I read the whole series during the staycation. Prior to that, I'd read a few of them piecemeal. You really need to begin with Naked In Death to get the full lowdown on Eve and Roarke's amazing love story. Their story continues to amaze in this latest rendition that follows the investigation into the rape and murder of a police captain's daughter. As always, Eve and her team of friends and colleagues, aided by her ex-criminal and current uber-billionaire, tech-savvy husband Roarke are on the path of a killer. Before I read this latest installment, I heard this one was long on police procedure and short on relationship stuff. So I went into it expecting to be slightly disappointed, but Ms. Roberts gave us a nice mix of both. I always find myself craving more Eve and Roarke, which is probably what fuels the runaway success of the series. This is one series I often buy in hard cover, if that tells you anything about how much I love it. The one negative thing I will say about this latest book is, like in some of the past installments, I found some of the police stuff hard to follow. I had to go back a few times and re-read and still wasn't always clear about what was going on or how they'd come to certain conclusions. That said, however, a bit of confusion didn't take anything away from my enjoyment of this latest In Death book.

Finally, a few plugs for new books out this week by my friends:

By: Cheryl Brooks
This is the fifth book in Cheryl's Cat Star Chronicles. I read this one in manuscript format and it's a fun, sexy romp! Run out and buy the whole series! You won't believe Cheryl's world-building skills. What an imagination!! (Oh and did I mention it's SUPER SEXY?)

My Dearest Mr. Darcy
By: Sharon Lathan
The latest in Sharon's ongoing look into the happy marriage between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. I am now two books behind and must get caught up! Sharon will be coming by soon for a visit, so stay tuned.

Breakfast in Bed
By: Robin Kaye
Robin's books are as funny as she is—and she's pretty damned funny. All we do is laugh when we catch up on the phone. This is the third book in her Domestic Gods series. I love the tagline for that series: Every woman wants a man who is a good in the kitchen as he is in the bedroom. Is that inspired or what? Looking forward to reading this new one in which a DG in training falls for the woman who was teaching him to be a better man for ANOTHER woman. Knowing Robin, you can expect a laugh riot!

What have you been reading during the holidays? Any great recommendations? Are we friends on Facebook? If not, why not? I'm growing my Facebook site and I want you there with me!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Evil Twin!
Thanx for the Shout-Out for me, Anna C. and the Romance Bandits!

You are ahead of me in that I haven't read Captive of Sin yet. (sigh) But Anna's heroes are always TO DIE FOR!

I just finished Kristan Higgins' Too Good To Be True and LOVED her portrayal of the Westie Angus! Of course, her hero was pretty darn YUMMY too, AND his last name was O'Shea... ;-)


Marie Force said...

Hi Cindy,
You are welcome for the shout out. I forgot to tell you that my friend Jessica was raving about The Treasures of Venice the other day. Still on my TBR pile!

Kristan's book TGTBT is very cute. She has a new one coming soon, February I think, called The Next Best Thing with a widow heroine that sounds great. I do like how the pets become characters in her books.

Hope you're having a good NY's weekend. We have the DH's holiday party tonight. I am SO partied OUT at this point!!

Cheryl Brooks said...

Hey, Marie! Thanks for the shout-out for Fugitive. I read Emma Wildes' An Indecent Proposition which was quite good. Other than your books and Cindy's, and the others of our Casablanca sisters which I enjoy very much, I haven't read very many. I don't know how you have the time to read. I sure don't!
Happy New Year!

Marie Force said...

I have to make time to read every day, Cheryl. It's like my reward for getting through the day. It usually happens very late at night--when I should be asleep. During the staycation, I read until 2:30 am a couple of times. I love being able to do that and not have to pay for it the next day.

Hope your signing went well today!

Sharon Lathan said...

Marie writing a historical! Wow! That is wonderful. I knew you had read a few, but did not know it had become an obsession. I have no doubt you will manage to write a fabulous historical that will make me cry as your others have. Of course, I hope to read those contemporaries you have been telling us about for a while now, so don't get too sidetracked! LOL!

Thanks for the plug for my book and the other CasaBabes. I look SO forward to hanging out on your blog in the near future. It will be so fun!

Love ya, sweetie! Stay warm. Glad you like snow because just you talking about it has me shivering. Brrr... I'll remain here in the central valley where a freeze is rare. :)

flchen1 said...

Ooh, sounds like you had some awesome reading time, Marie! Our holidays were wonderful, and we just got back from some time with dear friends (always a treat!) Trying to enjoy the time before the school thing starts up again, and trying to decide what to pull off the TBR :)

Marie Force said...

I can't believe I didn't tell you about the historical. My bad! Yes, I even joined the Beau Monde chapter. LOL. It's been fun to dive into writing in that time period. I have a really fun idea for a book, which our friend Amelia has heartily endorsed. She has been super supportive. Anyway, we'll see what becomes of it. Look forward to having you here on the blog soon!

Marie Force said...

Hi Fedora,
Glad to hear you had a fun holiday trip. Winter is the perfect time to whittle away at the TBR pile. Enjoy your reading time!

Mary G said...

Hi Marie
Happy New Year to you & your family. I just discovered Susan Elizabeth Phillips recently & have devoured about 10 of her books & added a few more to my TBR pile.
Robin Kaye is one of my faves too.
She's wonderful. Next time you talk to her ask her about Tripod (her cat & the nickname I have for some heroes in a certain author's books LOL). In the middle of Hard To Hold by Stephanie Tyler. Speaking of faves you have made numerous fave lists in blogland & that's so nice to see.

Marie Force said...

Hi Mary,
Thanks for coming by. Robin is a great gal and SUPER funny! We always laugh so hard when we're together whether it's in person or on the phone. We are both more than half nuts! LOL!

I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Her Chicago Stars books are among my favorites and probably helped to influence Line of Scrimmage, although I never set out to write a book in the football genre. As I've said over and over, that book appeared to me with Ryan fully formed and went from there.

I haven't seen my books on any lists. Do tell! Where have you seen them? Thanks!!

Mary G said...

Hi Marie
Here's 2 that I remember off the top:
1. Christy Reece's blog (news/contest). See blog for Dec 31 - complete list of faves & blog for Dec 29. You were someone's fave book of the year. She did numerous posts about faves thru December & you came up every time e.g dec 11.
2. Jan 1 post & read my comment - first one.
I'll let you know if I remember the others.

You've also come up many times when people are looking for a sports romance. Usually someone mentions you before I get a chance to. I guess you're a "famous" author now. Cool LOL.

Marie Force said...

Wow, Mary, thanks for that info. I had no idea! LOL on the "famous" thing. If you say so, girlfriend. I appreciate all my e-friends helping to promote my books. There is absolutely no substitute for good word-of-mouth publicity! Thanks for all you've done to help me out!!

Mary G said...

It's my pleasure. You just keep writing them. I love finding & supporting new authors. I think I told Christy Reese - it's like finding a treasure & you want to show everybody LOL.

Marie Force said...

That's really sweet of you, Mary. I know I speak for a lot of newbies when I say that connecting with satisfied readers is the very best part of this experience!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Marie, aren't you a darling giving such a lovely wrap to Captive of Sin. Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I just finished Liz Carlyle's Wicked All Day and just loved it - she's an auto buy for me. Happy New Year!

Marie Force said...

Hi Anna,
Thanks for stopping by and it was my pleasure to give a shout out for your new book. I loved Captive of Sin AND Wicked All Day. They were both brilliant! Hope you're enjoying some sunshine Down Under. It's snowing AGAIN here in Rhode Island! Happy New Year!

Mary G said...

Here's another person's fave list from Book Binge blog Jan 4th

Emmanuelle said...
- Bed of Roses by NR
- Gone Too Far by Jennifer Echols
- Seduced by His Touch by Tracy Anne Warren
- Gotcha by Christie Craig
- Love at First Flight by Marie Force

January 4, 2010 11:17 PM

Marie Force said...

Ahh yes, Mary, my new BFF Emmanuelle from France who has become a good friend of the blog, too! Thank you Emmanuelle! (And Mary for sniffing out all those best-of lists. There is NO substitute for the great word-of-mouth publicity you all have given my books!) xoxo

Mary G said...

Here's another one Marie - from Book Binge Best of 2009.
Casee's list:

1. Jennifer Lyon
2. Beth Kery
3. Jill Sorenson
4. Linda Winfree
5. Toni McGee Causey

Honorable mentions: Tracy Wolff and Marie Force.

You are in very good company.

Marie Force said...

Wow, Mary G! You are full of good news these days! Thanks for letting me know! I'll take an HM any day.