Monday, March 1, 2010

Let the Reading Begin

One of the hardest things about being a writer is finding time to read. The life of a writer, unless you are tremendously successful, is spent juggling obligations to work, family, life and writing. More often than not, this leaves little time for reading and in most cases, less than we writers would desire. My love affair with books began when I was a child, I've devoured whole series in just a few days. I would haunt the bookstore week in and week out to find new books by favorite authors while open to discovering new treasures by authors I'd never heard of before.

Still, as a writer, much of my 'spare' time is spent immersed in the worlds that I create, writing to discover what will happen next and exploring how it can be done better. This creative process can be like a fever, all consuming and leaving you aching and wanting more when you have to get up and go to work. Periodically, it can be grueling simply to separate yourself from the work in progress in order to focus on mundane matters like grocery shopping, laundry and working the day job long enough to pay the bills.

A Whole New World

The truer this is, the harder it can be to take the time to discover a wonderful new author and the world the author has lavishly and lovingly created. On Saturday, I spent most of the day sitting at a Barnes and Noble with a number of other authors who were signing their books for new readers and old fans alike. Some of these authors, I know from my local writers groups, yet I'd never seen their books before – why?

Because I just don't spend a lot of time reading new books, I miss those days when I could kick back with a book over lunch or after work. These days, my reading time is limited to the hour my daughter spends in dance class, once per week and the occasional time spent waiting elsewhere. That lack of reading time leads me to miss out on fabulous authors like Catherine Spangler, Shayla Black, Sheniqua Waters, Leslie Langtry and so many more.

So as we kick off March, I'm making a commitment to feature one new author a month that I've just heard of or discovered. I guarantee most will not come as a surprise to avid readers of paranormal romances, romantic suspense or fantasy – but for me, they are going to be new.

Shayla Black

My March pick for author of the month is Shayla Black. I have had the great good fortune to meet Shayla and she is a tremendously fun and funny woman. But her books, particularly her The Doomsday Brethren have intrigued me enough that I have the first three to read. I am about halfway through Tempt Me with Darkness, the book I mentioned in yesterday's snips and clips. In this novel we meet Marrok of Cadbury, cursed with immortal life and no release of any kind by Morgan LeFay for over 1500 years until he meets Olivia Gray, a Le Fay descendant. Their meeting occurs just as a Dark Wizard is coming back into his own power and they are in possession of a magical item he lusts for.

Can Marrok and Olivia work their problems out? Can Marrok keep Olivia alive? These are all fantastic questions for new readers.

So join me this March and check out Shayla Black. If you're interested in winning a copy of Tempt Me with Darkness leave a comment and tell me about a new author that you are enjoying, what books are best to start with and even a little about what made them stand out for you. I'll draw one winner, maybe two on March 31st!

Let the reading begin!

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