Tag Archive | The Crush

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…

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The Weekend’s Accomplishments

So much to talk about…

Firstly, all the entries have been posted for the Search Term Challenge on ErgoFiction.  One of the 14 stories is mine, but I can’t tell you which.  You can vote for your favourite 3 (yes, three) until Saturday, then the winner, and authors of all the stories will be published.  How exciting.

I got my writing course assignment back today.  I’ve not had a chance to go through it in that much detail, but it’s looking, um, ok.  I’ve a lot to work on, which is really what I expected.  She didn’t like my story as much as I do, but now I’ve read her comments, I can see why.  All good.  That means I can get on with writing the next assignment.  Can’t wait – it looks great.

I did a little bit of the course on the train home at the weekend – a bit where you do it for practice not for handing in.  They give you an idea of a novel, then you have to write a full synopsis of where you’d take it.  2 1/2 pages later I finished mine.  Loving the idea of the novel, and unsurprisingly it’s totally different from where they took it.  It’s made me think maybe I could possibly write thrillers.  I Can’t use what I did as it’s their idea.  Nevermind – I’ve enough other ideas to keep me going for a few years!

I finished reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  I really enjoyed it, in fact, I’m going to have to do a review of it at some point for the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge I’m doing this year.  Should do that while it’s fresh in my mind.

At the weekend I saw my step mum, who reads even more than I do.  I couldn’t even guess how many books she reads a year – I think I’ll just stick to lots!  We swapped Sandra Brown books. I gave her The Crush, which I really really loved, she gave me Standoff.  It was a short novel (compared to the one I’ve just read anyway, that was nearly 600 words).  I read a lot yesterday and finished that too.  I like Sandra Brown, I’m so glad I discovered her.  I guess I need to do a review of that too, again for the T&SRC.

All in all, I had a pretty good weekend with regards to reading and writing.

The Crush by Sandra Brown

When Dr Rennie Newton is summoned to jury duty, she brings to the courtroom the same degree of dedication and composure that she displays in the operating room. And it is this commitment to duty and precision that compels her to return a not guilty verdict in the trial of notorious killer, Ricky Lozada. But it might prove the most regrettable decision of her life …

When a rival colleague is brutally slain, Rennie is cast as prime suspect even though Lozada’s menacing shadow looms over the murder. Not only does Lozada seem to be insinuating himself into every aspect of her life, but the police also seem intent on invading her privacy – particularly Wick Threadgill, an embittered detective with vengeance on his mind and a point to prove. As the stakes continue to rise, Rennie and Wick decide to forge an uneasy alliance – but what they both have yet to realise is that when the killer strikes, they won’t see it coming …

I’d never heard of Sandra Brown until I started researching authors and novels for the Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge I’ve signed up for this year.  It was one of those books I read about and thought, yeah, I’d like to read that.  Randomly a few days later I found it cheap (about a £ or so) in a supermarket – now that has to be fate.  I’m very glad I did.

Virtually from page 1 I was hooked.  Brown really gets into the minds of the characters, at one point I even found myself sympathising with the psychopathic murderer!  And you’re kept guessing what’s going to happen until the very end.  I can’t recommend this book highly enough. 

I’m off to find more Sandra Brown books…

Comments and challenges

Today started off pretty well (if you forget the rain, the buses – yes plural – terminating at my stop and being late for work!!).  When I checked my blog this morning, I’d had a few visitors, all good.  And a couple of comments.  Great.  One of the comments was from none other than Adele Parks.  As in THE Adele Parks, the author.  He he.  She’d obviously been searching for stuff about her and found a blog of mine from the summer talking about an excerpt of her book I’d been given.  How awesome is that!!! Also, it reminded me I never got round to reading the book I blogged about.  I should do that.

I’ve not really done much else today (writing wise).  I didn’t really do much yesterday either.  I have been very busy at work though.  In fact we were saying that this week is the busiest week since we’ve been here.  I’d like to complain, but my version of busy has still left me with well over an hour total to do my own thing.  I remember working 60 hour + weeks and still not getting anything done.  I do not miss hotels (well, maybe a little).

Boyfriend said he’d spend his lunch break getting the pics for my next reads so I can put them up on the blog when I start them.  Awesome!  However, that meant I had to think which books I was going to read next.  And remember the titles.  I bet I can’t remember the titles of at least 40 of the 64+ books currently on my shelf.  That’s not good.

I keep meaning to do a post for Thriller & Suspense Challenge with the books I plan to read for the challenge.  But, when I’m at home I keep forgetting to do it, or write down the books.  Lots of the books have been given to me by other people, so I can’t remember the titles.  I will do it soon.

I also keep meaning to review The Crush for the challenge.  I’ve read a few others’ reviews and it’s a great way to learn about new books, I’d love to tell people about this Sandra Brown one – I thought it was great.

I found another challenge/competition to enter yesterday here which Victanguera got from Writers Digest’s Promptly blog here.  You have to finish a scene where someone borrows your phone, then runs off crying.  I’m really excited about having a go at this.  Although it can only be 500 words, and like I said yesterday, I’m not good at short stories.  I keep getting excited about these little writing competitions/challenges.   I hope my enthusiasm for them continues and I actually manage to enter them, I have a bad habit of not following through with the things I say I will.  A bad habit I need to break!

I’ll stop procrastinating now and do some writing…

Best laid plans…

Today’s blog was going to be a rant about my boyfriend.  He complains I have too many books, then last night made me take a couple of his books, cause they’d be good for my Thriller & Suspense Challenge. Just cause he’s got too many and wanted to get rid of them.  Maybe. 

Anyway, that was my plan.  Until the snow happened.  My mum was supposed to come to London and we were going to do touristy things, including a lunch cruise on the Thames.  But like I said the snow happened and trains between Birmingham didn’t happen.  Which left me with two days holiday for no reason.  Damn.  I decided I’d make them worthwhile so have made a plan for these two days. 

Although today is nearly over and I know I’ve failed on a couple of these things, here’s my plan for Thursday & Friday:

  • Spend two hours on the writing course on Thursday
  • Spend two hours on the writing course on Friday
  • Spend two hours reading Italian Infatuation on Thursday
  • Spend two hours reading Italian Infatuation on Friday
  • A blog on Thursday
  • A blog on Friday
  • Go food shopping
  • Ice Christmas cake (I know…)
  • Make Turkey and Ham Pie with Christmas leftovers (frozen meat)
  • 30 minutes exercise on Thursday
  • 30 minutes exercise on Friday
  • Finish the novel I’m reading

That’s it.  As today’s not over yet, I can’t say I’ve failed any yet.  I can still read Italian Infatuation for two hours.  I haven’t done the exercise, but walking round Tesco, scrapping snow and walking to the local shop MIGHT add to 30 mins.  Maybe. 

But, look at the first one!  Writing Course!  I worked on it for OVER 2 hours.  Woo hoo. I’m really impressed with it.  I also think I’ve worked out why I’m procrastinating so much – I think I’m aiming too high.  The publication I’m aiming for is way above me.  For a first article, I should NOT be aiming for a national monthly magazine.  I’m not sure what I should be aiming for, but I’m pretty sure not this.  I’ve had to do a magazine analysis first and have realised that pretty much all articles have an expert’s advice.  I’m not ready for interviewing someone.  Although… I’ve got to do it at some point.  I don’t know.  *sigh*.   I’ll work it out I’m sure.  No idea how.

On completely different note, I finished The Crush by Sandra Brown last night.  I loved it, it was great.  I’m going to try to do a review of it.  Oh no, I need to, I did it for the Thriller & Suspense Challenge and there’s the option to add your review.  I want to, because when I first started this blog thing I said I was going to do book reviews.  I think I did two.  Oh well, this challenge means I’ll do at least 12 this year 🙂

Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge and other bits

I am soooooo tired.  No, actually I’m sooooooooooooooooo tired.  I wish it was because I’ve been out all night partying or something.  No, it’s because I can’t stop reading my book.  At all.  Especially at night.  When I should be sleeping. I was the same with my last book too, so I’ve not had a decent night’s sleep for over a week.  It’s killing me.

You can now see the book I’m currently reading to the right of my blog.  I saw this idea on Book Chick City’s blog and had to copy it (once the boyfriend was enlisted to work out how to do it!).  In some respects I hope I read very few books this year – then I won’t have to change it often.  (You’ll also see a new button for the T&SRC and my Nano winner one.  Yay!). 

I think I’m going to have to change the layout of this blog – I’d like one with a collumn to the left as well as the right.   The problem is I really like this one.  One day…

Back to the challenge then.  My first book is The Crush by Sandra Brown.  This was not supposed to be my first book.  I saw it on offer in Tesco last week and HAD to buy it.  You know when you read the cover and can’t stop yourself from buying it?  I had that.  It was the right thing to do – it’s brilliant.  As I said, I can’t put it down.  I’m about 2/3 of the way through it – in some respects I want the next 1/3 to go FAST, but at the same time I don’t want it to end!

I have way more than 11 other books lined up for this challenge.  I don’t know how I’m going to decide which ones to read for it.  I keep reading people’s reviews of books and wanting to add them to my list.  The list is way too long.  I think this challenge will be a definite success for me!

I had to return a library book yesterday.  I went there and managed to NOT pick up any more books.  I was tempted – really really tempted.  But (somehow) managed to stop myself.  Maybe it’s the fact I have 2 library books at home to read (and the one I’m currently reading ISN’T a library book); Maybe it’s cause I’m so annoyed at myself for having to pay ANOTHER fine to the library (it’s round the corner from work, I can renew online, and yet I still get fines??!?!  How?!!?); Or maybe (I’m going with this one) it’s because I had a little count up of how many unread books are on my shelf.  64.  64 plus a couple I added after the count that I couldn’t bring myself to add.  64.  That’s like 3 years reading right there (if I read at the rate I read last year – I hope to read many more this year).  AND the problem is, I know for a fact there are at least 5 books that are going to come out in paperback this year so I will HAVE to buy them. 

I need to win the lottery so I can stay home and read all day for the next year or so.  How good would that be.  With a little (lot) of writing too!  Apparently you have to do it to win it?  Who knew?  Will start that one tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

Christmas – Done!

It’s all over for another year 😦  I’m now back at home and back at work – but at least only for two days before I get another four off.  Gotta love New Year being before a weekend!

Christmas went well.  I went up north with a few books to give to my step mum, she’s an avid reader like me, but came back with an even bigger stack of books.  Love it.  For presents I got given the first two novels in Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy.  I’ve also had promises that I’m going to get (they had to be ordered specially and didn’t arrive in time) Stephen King’s On Writing and Cathy Yardley’s Will Write For Shoes. Yay!

I also got a stack of books in return for mine from my step mum.  I told her about my Thriller & Suspense challenge and she suggested I read Michael Connelly – the guy I was saying last week I’d like to read.  She gave me a few of his books and some other thrillers. 

During a couple of shopping trips I found: two very cheap Mills & Boon books (yes cheaper than normal), I couldn’t help getting them for more ‘research’; Then in a couple of cheap books in a supermarket – The Crush by Sandra Brown and a chick lit one.  My stack of books is getting bigger and bigger.  I could do with another bookshelf soon (my room’s too small so I can’t and because I rent I can’t spread out of my room- damn).

I didn’t do much reading over the festive period.  The book I’m reading is good, so I would have liked to, but there just wasn’t the time.  As we’re so quiet at work today, we’re taking really long breaks, so I’ve already got some reading time in today – will have loads more by the end of the day.  As it’s pouring with rain I doubt I’ll be going out so it’s reading all the way for me! 

I gave three copies of the first draft of Italian Infatuation away for Christmas.  One to my mum, one to my step mum and one to my boyfriend’s mum (see a pattern there?).  My boyfriend offered to print them at work, but also got them properly binded.  They looked pretty cool.  I was really impressed.  Hopefully so will they be.  I’m just waiting for their comments now…  Ony 3 days until I let myself touch it, yay. 

When I start editing, I think I’m going to read through it all not touching it to start with.  Then once I’m happy with the story as a whole, I’ll go through it with a fine tooth comb.  I’m not sure if that’s the best way to do it.  I’m open to suggestions if anyone else thinks another way is better!  I think I’ll set the end of March as a deadline to revise it.  Having never done this before I have no idea if this is a realistic target or not, but it’s a target and that’s what I need. 

I also haven’t done any writing since last week.  It was Christmas – I’m letting myself off.  I’m getting back on it today.  Not sure what I’ll write, but I’m sure something will come to me!

The other thing I gave away for Christmas was the first draft of a children’s story (well three very short stories).  It/they were inspired by my boyfriend, so he got a copy of that.  I don’t know much about children’s stories, so not sure where that will go.  He’s not read it, so I’m waiting for his reaction, but my mum has – it made her cry.  Not sure if that’s the reaction I was looking for, but it is quite sad to start with so guess I should expect it.  I didn’t think it was that sad though.  Think I need to look into children’s stories.  I’ve got a friend who has illustrated a children’s book which is about to be published – she said she’d love to do a few pictures for mine, yay!