Tag Archive | Dying to Write

Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge 2010 Round-Up

Around Christmas I wrote a blog and in it had a big long moan about how badly I thought I’d done in this challenge. After that I sat down and worked out what thriller or suspense books I’d read throughout the year and was shocked to realise I’d actually read 11. Wow! I then thought about all the other books I’d read over the year, and went over to the host of the challenge Book Chick City to see what other people had read. shockingly someone had reviewed Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. I wasn’t too sure if it was a thriller or suspense, but as someone else had used it, guess what? I’m really happy to use it.

So that means… I completed the challenge. WOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO! The thing I haven’t done is review all the books yet, but I will get there. Here’s the list of them – the highlighted ones are linked to the review. The unhighlighted ones will have a review as soon as I can add it.

There you have it, my 12 books. I’m really happy I did it. I think the challenge pushed me to read more thrillers than I would have normally done, because I tend to favour chick lit and romance. I don’t know why I do that, I really love thrillers.

One of my aims of doing this challenge was to introduce myself to new authors. I certainly did that. The first book I read, a Sandra Brown book, I only picked up because of the challenge. I was so glad I did – I totally love both of her books I read during the challenge. I can’t wait to read more of hers.

Nicci French was introduced to me by my Step Mum. Again because I told her about the challenge so she gave me that book. I totally loved it, and will be looking out for more Nicci French books this year, and in the future.

Simon & Schuster sent all the people in this challenge an ARC of one of two novels. I was so happy I got Random by Craig Robertson. I hated the goreiness of it, but loved that at the same time. Last time I saw his update on Twitter, he was writing a new book. When it gets published I’ll be first in line to read it.

I honestly wouldn’t have read Asimov if it wasn’t for this challenge and my boyfriend convincing me it would work really well for the challenge. Sci-fi? Me? Nah! But, yeah. I actually enjoyed it. So much so, I’m going to read the other books in the Robot series. I don’t think I’ll read any others of his though, Sci-fi does still… I was going to say scare me, but I think it just doesn’t interest me that much. Hopefully he’ll (the boyfriend) will bully (!!) me into reading more of Asimov, or maybe another sci-fi writer – and he’ll find something easy-reading that I’ll ‘get’.

I’ve had the Judith Cutler book (and another) for years and didn’t pick it up in all that time. This challenge made me pick it up. I’ll definitely be reading the other one I’ve got of her’s (Dying to Fall) and probably the rest of that series.

That’s it. All the others I think I would have read anyway. But that’s pretty impressive – five authors that now I’ll be looking out for, that would have pasted right by me without the challenge.

I’m really impressed with how much I enjoyed the books I chose for this challenge. Looking at this list, I can genuinely say I loved each and every one of them. How good is that?!

I only have one small regret to come from this challenge. At the beginning of 2010 I looked around the internet and got recommendations of authors from people/places (including other people taking the challenge) and got a list of authors I wanted to read. But, I didn’t read any of them. That upsets me. But I’ll get over it. Just because the challenge is over… doesn’t mean I have to stop reading thrillers & suspense novels.

Plus… You never know what other challenges will be round the corner in 2011…

Advertisements

Dying to Write by Judith Cutler – Review

Many years ago, my Mum was a member of a writing group in a small city outside Birmingham. One day, an author came to talk to her group, and signed books after the talk. That author was Judith Cutler. I have to be honest I’d not heard of her (she’s from and sets her novels in Birmingham) but after Googling her, I found she’s actually published A LOT of books.

The two that my mum got ‘Dying to write’ and ‘Dying on Principle’ are from a ‘Dying to…’ series. Originally this put me off reading them because they’re not the first ones in the series. I like to read books in series order, but was so attracted by the title of this one ‘Dying to Write’ that I had to dive in. And I’m pretty please I did.

You totally didn’t have to have read the first book to be able to read this one, although I do think it would probably be an advantage – there were lots of references to previous things, but not that detracted from the story.

Sophie Rivers is attending a writing course when a fellow student is found dead. Although glamorous Nyree hadn’t done a lot to endear herself to Sophie, nevertheless she didn’t deserve to meet such a squalid end.

A course tutor then goes missing and it is clear that one of Sophie’s fellow students is responsible…

I did really enjoy this – Sophie’s voice is great, and although she’s not always 100% nice, I did warm to her. As the book went on, I thought I knew who the murderer was, and was a little disappointed about who I thought it was, but then, I was quite delighted when it turned out I was wrong.

The only thing I didn’t like about it was the ending. I felt it was left to quickly that there should have been more explanation for what happened. Having said that though, I’m eager to read the other book I’ve got ‘Dying on Principle’ and am definitely going to get hold of the first one in the series ‘Dying in Principle’. It’s also quite nice to read about Birmingham, which I know quite well as I grew up near there, it’s not often you read about it in novels.

How December is Going

I’ve just done something kind of crazy. Good crazy though. Very unexpected crazy. But I’m glad crazy. Am I driving YOU crazy yet?

I’ve just written 250 words of The Dating Project! How good is that? It’s only the 8th too. That means I only left it for a week after NaNo before I wrote more – so much better than I thought I would do.

Not that I think this is it. This isn’t the start of me writing all the time away from NaNo or NovelPI, but it’s a start. And that makes me happy. The scene is also one where the MC is drunk, and I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine, so it probably worked pretty well, haha.

So, how’s December going for me then? Well, I’m reading. I’m about ¼ of the way into my second novel this month. It’s so nice letting myself read. During NaNo, I don’t let myself read, as that takes up time and that’s time where I should be writing. But now we’re over it, I’m well back on the reading train.

The first novel I read was Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffeneger. Having read The Time Traveller’s Wife a few years ago, I have been eagerly awaiting reading this one, and on the whole it didn’t disappoint. I did really enjoy it. I loved some of the charachers, didn’t so much others, sympathised and stuff. In fact I’d say I really enjoyed it until the end, when  I was left slightly disappointed. SEMI SPOILER ALERT: I just felt like it was left wrong. Yeah Valentina was happy, but she shouldn’t have been where she was and Elsbeth, she shouldn’t have been where she was. I was just a bit disappointed it ended there. But then I also felt that about Sliding Doors (the movie) and I still loved it, so maybe the ending isn’t that important. I just almost feel a little cheated. It’s like it ended, but it shouldn’t have gone that way. Maybe if you’ve read it you feel the same? Let me know if you do – I’ve not read any reviews of spoken to anyone that has read it, so I have no idea if I’m all alone in this judgement, or people think the same.

I’m now reading Dying to Write by Judith Cutler. Judith Cutler, as far as I’m aware isn’t that big a name in writing, but she’s from around Birmingham (where I grew up) and she once visited my Mum’s writing group (back in the day when Mum was part of a writing group – guess where I got my passion for writing from?). Mum bought that book and Dying on Principle by her and got them signed by her – one to me and one to my brother. Now, I’m sure it was the luck of the draw who go t which one signed to who, but I can’t help feeling a little bitter that the one signed to him is Dying to Write, but I’m the writer. Not fair eh?

But I am (for the most part) over it. And the book, well it’s pretty good. I only picked it up originally because it’s a thriller (see the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge mention coming up?), and it’s got writing in the title. Perfect eh! But it’s really good. The main character, Sophie, is pretty cool and I feel like I can identify with her (especially her writer’s block!). But, this is the third Dying… novel in the series, and I really feel like I should have read the other two first. I think you don’t need to, but every now and then I feel like I’m missing out on something. But it’s good enough that I know I’ll be going back and reading the other two at some point. And definitely seeing if she’s written any more.

Totally, totally off the writing subject, but hey it’s my blog, I can go off subject if I want – especially if it’s to brag. I joined slimming world three weeks ago. The first week I lost 3 ½ lb. The next week 2lb. This week, I don’t think I’m going to have lost any because I’ve eaten like a pig today, but still – 5 1/5 lb in three weeks – how good is that!!!!!

Finally, please keep an eye out for more blogs and Tweets – very shortly I’ll be telling you about my FIRST PUBLISHED STORY!!!!