Friday, June 17, 2011

Books of the Heart

We all have them. Some stories we write and for some reason they stick with us more than others. Some books we read and they grab on and don't let go. I have a couple in each category.After I share mine, I want to hear yours! I'm always looking to add to my TBR, plus talking books is just plain fun.

Reading wise, I have two books of the heart. I've read both four times and I know I'll be reading them again. That's the sure sign of a treasured favorite – that they get better each time you read them!

The first is Angels Fall by Nora Roberts. I love everything about this book. The setting in Wyoming –Nora's vivid settings are like another character in her stories –the understandably neurotic, quirky, brave heroine Reece, the sexy, strong and sometimes obnoxious hero Brody. Even writing about them makes me want to read this book again. Sinking into a Nora story is like submerging in warm, tranquil always end up just wanting to float there for a while, undisturbed. This is especially true for me with this book. Most of all I love how Brody is so afraid of committing to Reece, but at the end he makes a decision that is so heroic and so sigh worthy that I nearly swoon every time I read it. Nora's heroes are things of beauty, and Brody's one of her best.

The second is Halfway To The Grave by Jeaniene Frost. I love Cat and Bones. I can't even say exactly why I love this book so much but I do. Cat's emotional scars only make her stronger and her vulnerability attracts Bones as much as her strength. And Bones...oh, Bones. There's nothing like seeing a tough, world weary hero – even if he's a vampire assassin – brought to his knees by love.

Writing wise, I have two books of my heart so far. The first is Insatiable. Rachel and Shawn were my first ever hero and heroine that I wrote in high school, based loosely on another boy and girl in my class. Though their real life inspirations never dated, Rachel and Shawn went through many incarnations (including Rachel getting a brand new hero for a couple years) before falling in forever love. Seeing their story finally published this February was amazing!

The other is Provoke Me, which releases June 22nd from Ellora's Cave. Kelly and Spencer became real to me as I was writing them. So real that when I finished, I knew I had to write another story about them—a first for me. Promise Me will be the sixth and final book in my Unveiled series, and I admit I've already started to write it even though I haven't finished book 3 yet. I love them so much that even while I was writing the synopsis for Promise Me, Kelly's voice came through loud and clear. Provoke Me's my longest book to date and I'm still not done with those characters. Or they're not done with me, I'm not sure which. I only hope readers enjoy their story as much I did writing it—all the angst they put me through aside!

Now it's your turn. Readers, what is the book(s) of your heart? Writers, what about you? Can't wait to hear what books move you most and why!


Jen B. said...

I am going to start with my top of the pile must keep books. These are books that I devoured the whole series (if it was a series) and I spent money on each book as soon as it came out.
Jacqueline Carey - Kushiel's series and subsequent series set in the same world
Gail Carriger - Parasol Protectorate series
Sherrilyn Kenyon - Dark Hunter series up to Acheron, I thought the series lost a little steam after that. But, I love the spin off Chronicle of Nick
Karen Rose - all of her books are related
Lorelei James/Lori Armstrong - I have read everything she has written and I haven't found a dud yet (some are better than others but all are better than average)
There are a few books that I think back on regularly and I have even recommended to a few people. These stories are more haunting than books of the heart:
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson - the story is weird but the ending is...I just don't have words...uplifting?
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - it's a vampire story but not, it's literature that I think will stand the test of time but it's not dry, it's just really good
Tethered by Amy MacKinnon - it is not the best book I have ever read and it's dreary and not much happens but I can't stop thinking about it
That about does it for now. Of course, I will be thinking about these books all day! :)

Eileen said...

I don't think I can single out one or two books that are my all time favorite but I do have 2 series I love to read again and again. I love Lynn Kurland's De Piaget and MacLeod series. "Another Chance to Dream" started it all. There are some books better than others in both series but I get my paperback copy of these books because they are keepers!

Harlie Williams said...

These are mine:

Susan Elizabeth Phillips-Match Me If you Can, there is something sexy about a completely headstrong, sexy and completely out of his element man that is brought to his knees by the most unlikely woman and his complete total opposite. Read this book, I beg you...

Julie Garwood-Shadow Dance-my first Julie book and the one closet to my heart. It was set in Texas and her h/h names are the name of my hero in my WIP right now. Most everyone says they have an author that inspires them, Julie is that author for me.

Linda Howard-Her MacKenzie series

Cherry Adair-her entire TFLAC series...enough said.

Cindy Gerard-her Bodyguards series

Andrea Kane-Wrong Place, Wrong Time

Karen Rose--anything by her

Julie Leto, Julie Miller and Nancy Warren-everything they've written

sorry so long....

Harlie Williams said...


Mari Carr-Do Over
Cari-everything at least 4 times
Ms. Holt-Once Upon a Wedding
Allie-24 Hours

Anonymous said...

I recently read a series of 3 that will stick with me because of how different it was. Red Light series by Jayne Rylon. It was a beautiful glorification of a prostitute in Amsterdam. I have quite the TBR list, but 2 other series I've gotten through that'll stick are the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning bc it was just fun to read and the Wild Irish series by Mari Carr bc I loved the close family love and dynamics. I've recently met some FAB new authors and I'm still trying to make time to get their books read, but there's only so many hours in a day!

I'm not published. Yet (maybe...hopefully LOL). But I know the first book I wrote will always be my favorite. It's a story of a woman from the age of 15 to 35 and her journey through the high and rock bottom of life and her trials of sex and love. As I wrote it in first person, I laughed, I cried, even broke down a few times and other times when I couldn't wipe the $&@# eating grin off my face! It will most likely never see the light of day, but it was worth every second and gut wrenching emotion I put into it. Typing that "The End" will probably be one of few, proudest moments in life.


Harlie Williams said...

Elece, I adored Rick and Starr but too many people did. Jayne wrote a beautiful love story between them and yes, it glorified it but at the same time made you realized that they have feelings too.

She just got back from the Red Light District and will be writing a 4th book and I can not wait.

Harlie Williams said...

I forgot to include Jayne's series. I was intimidated to read them but I read all three in one day and I was hooked.

Cari Quinn said...

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by! It's so nice to read about all the books that mean something to others...really makes a writer (and almost lifelong reader) do a happy dance.

There were many names on your lists that I must check out. Jen, I've heard so much about Lorelei James! Jayne Rylon's Red Light series is also on my list. I love her work.

And Marika, you've read everything of mine 4 times? Wow...thank you! You made my day. :)