Monday, April 2, 2012

Recommend Monday with a Guest Reader!

Good Monday All!

Hope you had a fabulous weekend. Our weather (with the exception of Friday's thunderstorms) has been absolutely spectacular. If it's not been good where you live, come on down to Alabama. We've got plenty of warm weather to spare. In fact, the high today is supposed to be 89, which is little too steamy, even for me!

No new recommends from me this week. I'm in the midst of creating some intense scenes between Zach and Savannah. When that happens, I don't like to read from anyone else, fearing it will color or influence my thoughts and writing. However, that doesn't mean I don't want to hear what wonderful books you've read. My TBR list can always use more recommends!

One of our regular commenters on Recommend Monday, the lovely Hope Frost, is my special guest blogger today. She's discussing an interesting and fun topic: Surprises in life and in books. Can't wait to read your comments on this post! I'll come on a little later and share mine.

That's it for me. I'm headed into my writing cave where Zach and Savannah are trying to solve a mystery and pretend they're not still crazy about each other. Have I mentioned I'm loving this couple? (:

Have a great week all! Can't wait to hear your recommends from your reading last week and your recommends for great surprises!

Now, here's Hope!

Happy Monday everyone (insert sarcasm here lol)...

Yesterday was April Fools day, I hope no one was mean to any of you and you had an uneventful day. Thinking of that oh-so-special day, started me thinking about surprises that life has thrown our way. I am one that had my life planned out from an early age, knew what I wanted to do, knew where I wanted to go to college and knew it was going to go the way that I planned....yep, it happened just that way....not so much. I ended up with breast cancer early in life (19 years old) and was told I would probably never have children (surprise #1 & 2). Because I had planned to attend the Air Force Academy, they kind of frown on having a severe illness no matter the recovery, so that was pretty much tossed out as well (surprise #3). Went to college, got my accounting degree and while working my way to the top of the corporate ladder, found out I was pregnant (surprise #4-100).

Life doesn't always go as planned, but what a wonderful ride it has been.

Have you read anything that surprised you? Could be the villain wasn't who you thought it was, or the ending wasn't at all what you expected. Or maybe your hero or heroine didn't end up with whom you thought they would. Or maybe you were just shocked that you actually liked the book. (Please be careful, and don't add spoilers.)

I have a few that surprised the heck out of me...

A-Tac series by Dee Davis - the traitor had me guessing until the end.
Hush by Cherry Adair - the villain wasn't who I expected, though I suspected but I was shocked how it came to fruition.
Dark of Night by Suzanne Brockmann - I expected the heroes to end up with different heroines based on previous books

I think authors like to keep us guessing, and I love that. I love when I don't really know the outcome until the author decides it is time for us to know. In addition to your Recommend Monday thoughts, share with us books that have surprised you (please no spoilers).


krazymama_98 said...

Hush by Cherry Adair also surprised me at the end. I did not see that coming. And cant say without ruining. I read a book some time ago that surprised me with who she ended up with. That doesnt happen often. And my husband threw me a surprise 50th birthday party. And it was truly a surprise! In the best possible way. Thank goodness for surprises.

Book Talk Romanc said...

Christy happy writing!!!!
Hope I did have a surprise experience while reading this past week.
Something about you by Julie James...the bad guy was NOT who I thought it was, and I should be embarrassed to add this....I missed it 3 times!!!! LOL I also read A lot like love by Julie James her third book to this series come out tomorrow I can hardly wait.
I have also read the I-Team series by Pamela Claire. I am loving this series. Naked Edge, the third book in this series, also has a surprise twist to it, no way can I describe it without giving it away. I am currently into the series Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor by Lori Foster. So far I am loving the first one.
I guess at this point everyone is wondering how I have so much time reading. I have Fibromyalgia with Chronic Fatigue, reading is my way of escaping when those 2 condition get bad. hmmm wonder if there is a job out there for a book reviewer!!! LOL
Have a great week. Hope have you written a book on your life inspiring it would be.

Hope said...

krazymama - I too was shocked at Hush. But I really enjoyed that ride.

Jeannie - I am currently reading the 4th in Lori's series, I loved them all, they seemed to get better with each book. No, I haven't written a book, I am more of reader than a writer, but hasn't always been easy, but it has always been interesting.

southerngirl said...

I, too, was surprised by HUSH. And I really liked that. I recently read A PERFECT STORM by Lori Foster. I really liked it but that's not a surprise. I like all of her books. I hate to even mention this but my most recent surprise was FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. I read it only because of all the publicity & didn't expect to like it at all. It's not the type of books I usually read as far as erotica & BDSM. But I did like the series very much. No, it's not my new favorite series but it was good & I'm glad I read it.

Hope said...

Tonya - I am one of the few that really didn't like the Fifty Shades of Grey book. I only read the first one, didn't work for me. I will read just about anything, I just couldn't get in to it. I didn't feel any connection to the characters. Thanks for stopping by :)

Luci said...

Hey Christy, good luck with the writing!

Hope great post!

krazymama - i recognised you!!!

Beverly Barton wrote some great twists towards the end. But the book ending that most surprised me was not a romance - Triumph of the Sun by Wilbur Smith.

Finished my reread of Pamela Clare's Surrender - super book. I adore this series.

Just started Jennifer Ashley's The Duke's Perfect Wife. Have loved the first three books which bodes well for this one too :)

oklanannie said...

"There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved."

That's how I feel each and everytime I am in the presence of my grandchildren! They love so unconditionally and freely with so much excitement and joy. I wish it could be this way for them always.

Of late, I've been reading so many books by new authors via Kindle freebies. Wow! They have definitely provided some really good and some really bad surprises! Still yet, what fun!

Curiosity caught me in the web of "Fifty Shades of Grey" as well. Didn't work for me either, Hope!

Biggest surprise lately for me in the land of reading has been Kristen Ashley's self-published group of over-the-top alpha males and their books. I didn't think I would ever adjust to her writing style and be able to enjoy her stories. Oh how surprised I am! Now, I don't even notice the writing -- the stories are just too yummy and imprison me for hours upon hours -- I've read 17 of her books since January.

Fun blog, Hope!

Crystal said...

Hey everyone! I love the topic Hope! I too was one of the surprised and not to happy reader of Dark of Night. Now after reading it and calming down a bit I could look back and kinds see where she never intended for the results to be as they were. The biggest surprise I've had this past year as a reader is finally caving to Ronlyn's insistence on reading Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series. I honestly thought there was NO WAY I would like those books, but oh was I wrong!! I was grabbed hook line and sinker. Love those books! Before I met all my books peeps (mainly through Christy) I had never really read historicals. Now it seems I read more of those than RS. I love it when I get surprised (in a good way) while reading.
Hope it sounds like your life didn't go as planned, but I know that you wouldn't have it any other way I'm sure. :)
I read The Saint the last couple days and enjoyed it. It wasn't my favorite of the series, but I did enjoy the book for sure.
Christy good luck with Zach and Savannah! I can't wait to get my hands on the book!

Hope said...

Lucu - thanks for stopping by with your recommends. I (much to my books peeps dismay) don't really read historicals. BUT, I have read Pamela's series, it rocks, yeah?

Anne - I too love Kristen Ashley. I agree it took a while to adjust to her writing style, but I really love her.

Crystal - I don't have anything to say about your reading preferences (since you already know you are going in the wrong direction.) I suggest some Dee Davis, or maybe some Kristen Ashley....or maybe....anything but the historical kick you have been on lately lol.

Elke said...

Hi Christy, Hope and All,

Good luck with Zach and Savannah this week Christy!

Hope, it seems we are a lot alike readingwise. Dee Davis and Suz Brockmann instantly came to mind when I thought about surprises in books.
I too was very surprised who the traitor was in Dee Davis´A-Tac series.
Same goes about the couples in Suz Brockmanns Dark of Night - I didn´t see that coming but I think she made the right choices .

Karen Rose often surprises me when it comes to who the bad guy is- especially in " I am watching you " and "you can´t hide" I didn´t figure it out until it was revealed.

As for personal surprises in life - one of my best childhood friends married my brother in law and so we became sisters ( I didn´t know I had match making skills, lol).

My recommend for this week is " Deadly Dance" , Dee Davis` next book in the "A Tac- series" - it was a fast paced read with some unexpected twists.

Have a great week everyone and enjoy the Easter holidays.

Mary G said...

Awesome post Hope. I had no idea you'd gone through so much! Obviously you were given the right name at birth.

I think that even when I know who the bad guy is, the surprise can be how the plot plays out & of course, what happens to him in the end.

Life surprises: I never wanted kids so I was surprised when the "I want a baby " feeling took over. Surprised again at how much I loved getting up for him, couldn't wait to see him. At 22 he still a good sleeper lol.

How small the Internet has made this world. I'm still in awe that I can talk to people around the world anytime and our common language is books.

Hi Christy! Happy writing.

Hope said...

Elke - I have Deadly Dance, and I am afraid to start it because I know I will devour it, and then I will have to wait another year for the next one to come out. I am a dork lol.

Mary - I too love how you can chat with people all over the world and have friends with your common interests just because of the internet (and Christy Reece lol).

Ronlyn said...

*dashing in real quickly before Hope starts threatening to track me down and tickle torture me*

Surprises...I'm trying to think.
Well, for life surprises, yesterday was the 9 year anniversary to finding out I was pregnant with our oldest. Considering I was on birth control to help with my endometriosis and had been told I'd have a tough time getting pregnant when we were ready, that news was quite a shock. ;-)

For books....Karen Rose has a way of leaving me breathless. Even when I know who the villain is, I'm still wondering why.

The day job is being demanding, so I'll pop in later too...

Alison said...

Hi Christy! Hi Hope!

I love a good surprise! When I moved to Texas my friends in Missouri shocked me with a surprise going away party. It was amazing!

One of my favorite things about RS is trying to figure out who the villian is. Kylie Brant, Karen Rose, and Shiloh Walker with her Ash trilogy had me guessing till the end.

My recs this week are Trouble Me by Laura Moore, Games of Heart by Kristen Ashley, and Rock Chick Reckoning by Kristen Ashley...loved all 3 of these books!

Have a good week everyone!

krisgils33 said...

Great job Hope!

It's Spring Break for us. My daughter had a sleepover over the weekend and I took the girls to see Mirror Mirror. It was a fun movie. My daughter also wants to see Hunger Games, and though she's not quite 10, I'm considering it.

I'm off today and we just got back from shopping. Tomorrow is a Red Sox baseball game. Later in the week is another sleepover, more shopping, and mani/pedis. I love being able to spend extra time with my daughter and being able to take advantage of the time to get caught up on things that need to be done.

My recommends for the week are A Perfect Storm, Lori Foster and Dying Wish, Shannon K. Butcher. I thoroughly enjoyed both books.

ShellyE said...

Hi Christy & Hope!

Sorry I'm so late stopping by - work is kicking my butt today! I can't think of any books I've read that "surprised" me, because I can never figure out who the bad guy is until it's obvious from the beginning. My brain doesn't do that sort of puzzle very well. Last week I read Luke by C McCray, Remember Me by L Moore, Dream Warrior by S Kenyon & Hidden Away by Maya Banks. I enjoyed them all very much. I am so excited to hear of your progress with Zach & Savannah Christy!! My biggest personal life surprise is that I am not a multimillion by now, but such is life. I guess I will have to settle for being beautiful HAHA!

Hope said...

Ronlyn - *tapping foot* all I have to say is its about time you showed up (oh, and happy anniversary lol)

Alison - I haven't read that one by Kristen Ashley, I will have to put that one on my list.

Kris - I watched the Hunger Games this weekend, it was very graphic. If she isn't phased by that kind of thing (basically kids killing each other), it was a good story.

KC said...

I'm not really a fan of suprises good or bad, at least in life. Now when it comes to books bring it on.
I agree with many of the suprises in the books mentioned- Hush, Karen Rose. I recenty read Midnight Sins and Deadly Sins by Lora Leigh. Midnight Sins got really bad reviews, but I wanted to read the series and I have to read series in order. It was hard to follow, and the timelines where off, little details were changed. But I liked the second one much better. Last week also read Taking a Shot by Jaci Burton, cute, fun read.

Alison said...

Hope - Games of the Heart is part of her Burg series. Another KA series I really like :)

Hope said...

KC - I have that one by Lora Leigh in my TBR pile, but I too have heard the bad reviews and it keeps slipping down the list of ones to read. Which is really said because I have loved a lot of her stories.

Kara C said...

Hey Hope!

I thought I'd drop by for a change. Surprise! LOL!
Thanks to some very unpleasant surprises, things here have been crazier than usual. Hopefully though, things will be looking up soon.
In books, I'd have to agree with most of the ones noted here, plus I'll add our own Christy Reece. RESCUE ME had more than one surprise for me. At times I wondered if 'that author' would be able to pull off a HEA at all. Thankfully, she did. :-)
Good luck with the writing. Can't wait to check out Zach and Savannah's story!

Hope said...

KK- you have been on a lucky streak with happy surprises lately, good for you!! I agree, Rescue Me did have a few surprises that made you say....huh??

Anonymous said...

Hello Everyone,
I am brand new to this site and this topic of surprises seemed so appropriate to me. The biggest surprise that I have had in the last year is that I have again found my absolute LOVE for romantic suspense and most romance novels. I used to be an avid reader of romance books. Then seven years ago, I divorced and couldnt pick up a romance novel at all. I continued to read, but if a book had more than a hint of romance, i quickly put it away. All the enjoyment of those types of books was gone. Then a couple of months ago, my friend almost forced me to read RESCUE ME, and i was HOOKED!!! Christy, I totally love your entire LCR series. And now, I cant devour enough RS. I have sooo much catching up to do. My TBR pile is growing beyond belief. I know this sounds silly, but I have found so much joy in reading again, I cant even describe it. Christy, I thank you so much for your incredible writing that helped me find joy in books again. I have been reading this blog for the past couple of months, and have read many of the recommendations and have really enjoyed them. Thanks Christy and to all! However, my bank account is thnaking no one! Please keep the great recommendations coming!

Hope said...

Anonymous - so glad that you piped up and chatted with us today. Christy is one of those authors that will just suck you in, that is for sure. After you finish her series, I have several other recommends for your RS pile.... Dee Davis' A-Tac Series, Maya Banks KGI series, Stephanie Tyler's Shadow Force series....hmmm, there are more, let me think....Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooter series (I liked the first 11 or so of those). Anyway, if you are ever at a loss for what to read next, pop on over to Recommend Monday, the gals will get you fixed up.

Carla Swafford said...

Well, I came over to visit Christy and I found another sweet lady filling in for her. :-) Hey, Hope.

I'm rarely surprised anymore but the last two books to do are:

Victoria Dahl's A RAKE'S GUIDE TO PLEASURE. I had gotten so tired of reading regencies, but received the book in a goody bag at a luncheon. Since I loved Vicki's contemporaries, I gave it a try and loved it! It was different enough (with a nice twist in it) to hold my interest. I went out and bought the first one,TO TEMPT A SCOTSMAN.

WHAT I DID FOR LOVE (the cover caught my eye - beautiful dress). Now Christy had been telling me for years how wonderful Susan Elizabeth Phillips's books are, well, I believe her now. Then over the next six months I bought her whole backlist.

I have Lori Foster's A PERFECT STORM and can't wait to read it. It's my reward for when I finish something. So it will be probably August before I can read it. :-)

Now I need to write down the other recommendations for future rewards.

Hope said...

Carla - so glad you popped over. Many of us are fans of your books too. I can not wait for your next "Circle" book. (Circle of Danger). Thanks for your recommends too. I haven't really gotten in to SEP but I know we have some big fans of hers here as well.

Carla Swafford said...

Thanks, Hope. ::blush::

Christy Reece said...

Hey All! Wow, absolutely love all these wonderful comments. Thank you again, Hope, for a fabulous blog.

I love surprises in life (well, the good ones, anyway) One of my biggest surprises is that I get to make up stories for a living. Until a few years ago, I never thought that would happen. I've met so many wonderful people, both real and fictional, in my short career as a writer. I'm very blessed!

In books, I think authors are always trying to surprise us but one thing I've learned is that we often surprise ourselves. I can't tell you how many times I've been writing and a character will do something or go in a direction I never anticipated. I love it when that happens!

And I'm not sure I've ever read a book and wasn't at least a little surprised. For me, that's one of the many joys of reading--not being able to predict exactly what's going to happen. That said, a couple of books come to mind that made me go: Oh. My. Gosh! LOL Love that! One is Linda Howard's Death Angel--the middle of the book so stunned me, I went back and read it 3 times to make sure what I thought happened, actually did happen. I was stunned and I adored that book!

Another one is Pamela Clare's Naked Edge. For those who have read it (and I think most of us here have) you know which scene I'm talking about. Absolutely 100% shocked me. And I adore that book, too!

Might have to go back for a reread of both these soon!

Thank you all for the good wishes on Zach and Savannah. I'm so loving these characters and I can't wait to introduce you to them.

Special thanks to Anonymous (wish I knew your name!) I'm so glad you discovered reading again. Getting carried away in a story is one of life's greatest pleasure and I'm so happy to have helped with that. What a lovely compliment. Thank you!

Have a fantastic rest of the week, everyone! And if any surprises come your way, I hope they're the wonderful kind! xoxo