Appreciating Authors

bouquet You probably have already heard about the Wall Street Journal breaking the story of the Department of Justice plans to sue Apple and Simon & Schuster Inc., Hachette Book Group; Penguin Group (USA); Macmillan and HarperCollins Publishers Inc for price fixing related to e-books. And you might have read their response that they only did it to keep the market competitive. And you might be rolling your eyes thinking “not another blog about e-book pricing”. And I agree with you. I am talked out on the subject. There is only so many way you can say that agency pricing is wrong. So for something new, I thought I would write an article with a positive slant. To be honest, I had planned on writing about all the things that publishers do right. But it was a very short list. Maybe it’s because when I look at things, it seems as if the publishers focus more on profits. We have seen that over and over again with gluts of similar types of books. And authors have relayed that they want to write something different but are told that doesn’t sell. However, I easily feel the love for authors. For over a year now, I wanted to have an author appreciation day on the blog.

I can’t imagine a world without books. LinnieGayl in her blog recently talked about how most of us were read to at an early age, and grew up as readers. It is almost in our DNA.
I really do stand in awe of writers that do have the ability to create wonderful diverse stories and entertain me hours on end. There is nothing I enjoy more than counteracting a nasty day outside by snuggling in bed with a good book. Of course the sun can be shining, and I can still find an excuse to stay inside and read.

Writing seems to be a solitary vocation for the most part. Authors probably spend as much time with their characters as they do family and friends. And to be a writer you have to develop a thick skin. Personally, I think that is easier said than done. No author sets down to write a bad book. Sometimes the vision and the execution don’t match but when they do, there is nothing more heavenly.

Some authors have the ability to create characters that almost leap off the page, they seem so real. Others have a talent for making us laugh or cry. Some shine in their descriptions of time and place, transporting us to a different world. For instance, lately I’ve been enjoying Jill Mansell’s writing. She is able to combine humor and angst in a way that both touches me and makes me laugh.

While we all have favorite authors, I would love for you to mention books that you have read in the last six weeks or so that really made your day and just say why. I know that we’re a critical review site, and our readers certainly don’t enjoy everything that comes along(sometimes we REALLY don’t enjoy it), but today I’d like to hear the good stuff. Spring is a super busy time of year. I have been busy with multiple projects which had cut into my reading and posting time. But let’s take two minutes to put a smile on an author’s face today. Whose books have you been appreciating lately?

– Leigh Davis

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39 Responses to “Appreciating Authors”

  1. JoAnn says:

    I somehow stumbled across ebooks by Kris Tualla and they are all Fantastic!! They are angsty historical romance books with well developed characters and interesting plots. The settings are a nice diversion from the usual – they are set mainly in Sweden. I highly recommend all 6 of her books (they are all, in a way, connected…I have read them in the order they’ve been published).

  2. LinnieGayl says:

    I’ve been in the midst of a reading slump both for review and for my mystery book group, not really liking much of anything I’m reading. So in a fit of desperation to get back the reading love I pulled out an old audio CD from the author who brought me to romance nearly 20 years ago, Jayne Ann Krentz. While driving this week I’ve been listening to her Lost and Found. The book has a smart heroine and a smart hero. They respect each other. Much of their dialog sparkles. And in the midst of them trying to solve a mystery, their exchanges frequently bring a smile to my life. More importantly, the book makes me remember what I love about romance.

    Thank you Jayne Ann Krentz for getting me hooked on a fantastic genre. And thank you Chicago Tribune for printing a review of one of her books nearly 20 years ago that caught my eye!

  3. I’ve been enjoying Rose Lerner’s In for a Penny and A Lily Among Thorns. Sadly, I suspect she may be one of the authors caught up in the mess at Dorchester since both of her novels were published by them but, to adapt an existing phrase, she’s a writer who knows how to “”Make em laugh; make em cry; make em think.”

  4. wenmc says:

    I’m currently enjoying “When Maidens Mourn” by C.S. Harris. I love a good mystery complete with “red herrings” and plot twists. I can’t say I ever figure out who the killer is (before the end), but I really enjoy the process of getting there.

  5. lisaione says:

    I have been on a Karen Rose kick lately. I came across Die For Me a couple of months ago and LOVED it. Some romance, a mystery, a lot of bodies and although all stand alone the characters appear in other books so you get to revisit old friends and look forward to the stories of favorite minor characters.

    Since then I have been working on finding and then devouring her back-list. I recently shared with my sister who now asks every time we speak if I have finished another one.

  6. Pamela says:

    I just finished The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley last night. It was a book that sneaks up on you, slowly drawing you in, but all the while enjoying the characters and mood of the book.

  7. Lori says:

    I have been really lucky in reading some awesome books in the past few weeks. Dance With Me by Heidi Cullinan, Abercrombie Zombie by K.Z. Snow, Fire Balls by Tara Lain and always a winner with me – Josh Lanyon’s A Ghost of a Chance. They are all M/M and were excellent reads, but other than that different themes and story lines.

  8. farmwifetwo says:

    Read so much and lots of it not that great…. Some of the latest one’s I’ve read and enjoyed (3 to 4 stars/5)

    Shelly Laurenston’s Bear Meets Girl was fun.
    Thea Harrison’s Oracle Moon
    Dana Marie Bell Bear Necessities
    Lisa Kleypas Rainshadow Road
    JD Robb Celebrity in Death
    Lauren Dane Insatiable

    My reading is all over the place. I have a library (hold’s list) and home tbr I’m trying to clean out and stop simply ordering books or grabbing them cheap somewhere but actually check reviews first and get favs only.

  9. maryann says:

    I’m currently very much enjoying reading Penny Vincenzi’s Windfall. I love all of her books and can’t wait for her new book, More Than You Know, to be loaded onto my Nook April 3.
    I just finished The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne, and that was fantastic as well. I’ll probably read My Lord and Spymaster soon.

  10. JFTEE-Auburn says:

    I had started and didn’t finish Kinsale’s For My Lady’s Heart several times. I finally just dove in and was masterfully rewarded. Her depth of characterization and medieval setting were rich and colorful. Oh my, she can write and she touches me with each different book.

    When I am in a slump I’ll pick up favorites and just read selected sections that I love. For example, my copy of Kleypas’s Devil in Winter is falling apart.

  11. bungluna says:

    @farmwifetwo -we must be reading from the same list! I’ll substitute Patricia Brigg’s “Fair Game” for the Bell book in your list and be done.

    @JFTEE- I’m a great re-reader. I’m thankfull for all the great books I have which allow me to wallow in a good story and forget about any disappointment I may have encountered.

  12. Karenmc says:

    I just re-read Connie Brockway’s All Through the Night, one of the first dark and angsty romances I ever read. It was wonderful all over again. Now I’m about halfway through Meredith Duran’s At Your Pleasure, which is like eating dense dark chocolate. It’s been a good reading week for me.

  13. Ash says:

    I’m currently reading Tessa Dare’s latest books “A Week To Be Wicked” I’m only halfway through but so far I love it! Its a road romance with wonderful characters and dialogue that had me breaking into a big smile every few pages.
    In my opinion most of us develop reader ennui after reading several books in the same sub genre hence becoming more critical but every once in a while we stumble upon a book that reminds us why we started reading romances in the first place, for me this is one of those books :)

    I remember a while ago we had a thread on the forum about whether you had ever felt like sending an author an angry letter. I don’t know about angry but after reading this blog post I’m starting to think we really should make a practice of sending authors appreciative letters. After all they pour their hearts and souls in to writing a book and letting someone know that they got it right would probably make their day, Just like a good book makes ours. :)

  14. Tee says:

    I’ve been in a reading slump, too. The libraries have tightened up their purchases, resulting in books coming in slower; and many of them lately have been DNFs for me when I do begin reading. However, I devoured “I’ve Got Your Number” by Sophie Kinsella recently and it was wonderful. Totally brightened the couple of days it took to read it. “Redwood Bend” wll be arriving in a few days, and I am really looking forward to that one. Robyn Carr still delivers for me in this series, with some stories being better than others, but all definitely interesting and readable.

  15. Victoria S says:

    Am currently reading “A Week to be Wicked” by Tessa Dare and so far so good. Just finished “Taming An Impossible Rogue” by Suzanne Enoch also very good. And in between, I have been re-reading books that are not e-books, to get my paper fix. I have re-read many of J.D. Robb’s “In Death ” books, Jayne Ann Krantz “Arcane” books ( I find that when I read on my Kindle, I do a heavy physical book read or re-read to get my paper craving back under control).

  16. TerryS says:

    I do love authors, and admire anyone with the tenacity to take an idea in their head and create a wonderful story for others to enjoy.

    My last six weeks have included the very first three books in Robyn Carr’s Virgin River Series – I think they are my favorites, “Virgin River,” “Shelter Mountain,” and “Whispering Rock.” I particularly like Preacher and Paige’s story and I know Mel annoyed many readers, but “boy, howdy,” not me.

    I also finished my recent discovery of Linda Winfree’s, Heart of the South series. It was like eating cashews – I couldn’t stop until I reached the end. My favorite was number 7 “Fall Into Me” about the youngest deputy, Troy Lee Farr. I was impressed how the author tied many threads up in the last installment, “Uncovered.” I am sorry that Ms. Winfree does not appear to be writing more books, but I know I will be revisiting this series again.

    I finally read Elizabeth Hoyt’s “The Leopard Prince,” which I thoroughly enjoyed. Harry Pye was a wonderful hero and this is definitely on my keeper pile.

    I also discovered, thanks to AAR readers, Cecilia Grant and her book “The Lady Awakened.” I can’t wait to read another of Ms. Grant’s books.

    There has definitely not been any slump in my reading material. Thank you, authors.

  17. Carrie says:

    In the past 6 weeks some of my favorites include some well-known and appreciated authors such as Jayne Ann Krentz (and all her permutations), Jennifer Crusie (Faking It), Lois McMaster Bujold (Komarr–can she write a bad book?), SEP (Match Me if You Can- a relisten), Linda Howard, and Jill Shalvis.

    I’ve also been blessed to discover a few new-to-me authors, such as Karen Robards (One Summer) and Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night). And I need to thank a writing team who always produces winners, Ilona Andrews (most recently, Fate’s Edge).

    My sincere thanks for the many hours I spend each week lost in a good book.

  18. WendyL says:

    Its been a good book week for me, too. I walked into my library yesterday thinking I’d waitlist Lover Reborn and the new CS Harris mystery. Instead I found both of them on the shelf, plus Terry Pratchett’s new one, Snuff, and the latest Anne Bishop. Four excellent authors with new books that I can’t wait to read! Yay!!!

  19. Kathryn says:

    @Ash I am not big on reader/author contacts. Doubt that I will ever go to a book signing ever. But in the past year I sent a short e-mail of thanks to two authors, listing specifically what I enjoyed about a book of theirs. I was shocked to get replies within the day (one in 20 minutes!), both stating that the feedback helped them at a time that they were struggling to sit down and write. It felt good to complete the circle, but I would only do it in very special circumstances.

  20. Marjorie says:

    Karin Slaughter is a new-to-me author. I love her books and am hunting them down and devouring them.

    Although I’d read most of the Virgin River series by Robyn Carr, I only found the first book- Virgin River- a couple of weeks ago. So I read it, re-read Shelter Mountain and continued on with the newer books of the series. This afternoon I finished Redwood Bend and I loved it! I also re-read Robyn Carr’s Blue Skies. I enjoy the strong, funny and independent women Robyn creates… and the men who appreciate their strength.

    Now I need to dive into the TBR pile and decide where to go next.

  21. Kayne says:

    I just finished Woman on the Run by Lisa Marie Rice. I really enjoyed the humor and suspense. I also just finished Maggie Robinson’s new one, Master of Sin about a male prostitute turned gentleman and Gemma, a daughter of a courtesan, hiding out in a remote spot in Scotland. The pace at the ending tied things up a little too fast for me but the characters hooked me in and I enjoyed the story. I agree with the happy comments about Sophie Kinsella’s latest, I’ve Got Your Number, what a crack-up. I am looking forward to the new Kate Noble next week!

  22. Jessica says:

    I just re-read Masques of Gold by Roberta Gellis. It had been years since I read it and I forgot just how good it was. One of my all-time favorites. I also just read the new J.D. Robb, which was great. More of a regular case book after the last couple.

    I have When Maidens Mourn waiting for me at the library (woohoo!), and I’m looking forward to Jodi Thomas’ new Harmony book, Just Down the Road, which comes out next week.

  23. leslie says:

    I also enjoy Jill Mansell’s novels. I am fortunate in my local library, it carries a wide variety of novels by British writers. Marcia Willet is good and I just adore Gil McNeil, Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Rowan Coleman.

  24. kathy says:

    I love Sherry Thomas. “His at Night” was so funny. He spills food on himself, talks inappropriately. He’s wonderful!!

  25. MaryC says:

    Victims – Jonathan Kellerman
    Home Front – Kristin Hannah
    Poison Flower – Thomas Perry
    When Maidens Mourn – C. S. Harris
    Afterwards – Rosamund Lupton
    Celebrity In Death – J. D.Robb

    Rereads
    Frederica – Georgette Heyer
    Now You See Her – Linda Howard

    A heartfelt thanks to all the authors who have given me so many hours of pleasure.

  26. willaful says:

    I had a loss recently which had made it hard for me to concentrate. When a book comes along that can hold my attention, I appreciate the hell out of it! Most recent was Laura Lee Gurhke’s Trouble at the Wedding, which restored my pleasure in historicals.

  27. Barb says:

    I have been listening to the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series and absolutely loving it! I had tried reading one or two of the books in print format a few years ago and for some reason they didn’t grab me. I think it may have been because they seemed to be a collection of anecdotes or short stories rather than novels. While there is some truth to that, this meandering quality disappears for me (or becomes part of the charm, not sure which!) when I’m listening, and I have become a real fan of Mma Ramotswe.

  28. Mark says:

    Appreciated in the last 6 weeks:
    Rereads:
    Romance:
    The Bridal Season by Connie Brockway
    Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer
    F&SF:
    The Stone That Never Came Down by John Brunner
    The Reluctant Swordsman by Dave Duncan
    New reads:
    Romance:
    Howl for Me by Dana Marie Bell
    Demon Night by Meljean Brook
    Hot Flash by Kathy Carmichael
    Unlucky by Jana DeLeon
    Chaos Tryst by Shirin Dubbin
    Oracle’s Moon by Thea Harrison
    Double Play by Jill Shalvis
    Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale by Christine Warren
    F&SF:
    Timeless by Gail Carriger
    Dog and Dragon by Dave Freer
    A Rising Thunder by David Weber

  29. Anne W says:

    My appreciation for their hard work and endeavors, along with a huge THANK YOU is sent out to all those authors who have provided me with the many, many hours of reading pleasure I’ve enjoyed throughout the years.

    In the last six weeks or so, here is a list of those who’ve done an excellent job in keeping me entertained:

    Laura Moore – Trouble Me (last & favorite book in Rosewood Trilogy)
    J.D. Robb – Celebrity In Death
    Marie Force – Hoping for Love (McCarthys of Gansett Island Series)
    Kristen Ashley – (3) Games of the Heart, Heaven & Hell, and Law Man
    Shiloh Walker – If You Know Her (exceptional finale to Ash Trilogy)
    Inez Kelley – Sweet As Sin
    Tracey Garvis-Graves – On The Island
    Robyn Carr – Redwood Bend
    Ruthie Knox – Ride With Me
    Theresa Weir – Amazon Lily (a little gem in an older book)
    Tessa Dare – A Week to Be Wicked
    J.R. Ward – Lover Reborn (finally some peace for Tohr!)

    Leigh, I enjoyed your blog! What a delightful and much deserved gift of appreciation for the authors we all adore!

  30. Mark says:

    I forgot to list Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston earlier. I just read it last night & hadn’t logged it yet. This another of her violently hilarious shifter stories.

  31. Gale says:

    Lois McMaster Bujold – The Sharing Knife: Beguilement
    Lois McMaster Bujold – The Sharing Knife: Legacy
    Lisa Kleypas – Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor
    Anne Stuart – Ruthless
    Anne Stuart – Reckless
    Anne Stuart – Breathless
    Anne Stuart – Shameless
    Joey W Hill – Vampire Instinct
    Stieg Larsson – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
    Stieg Larsson – The Girl Who Played With Fire
    Brad Thor – Full Black

  32. Janet W says:

    Leigh, what a WONDERFUL opportunity! Thank you so much. You know me, I’m always swimming in books, old, new and in-between but a big Loved It to the new Miranda Neville … Confessions from an Arranged Marriage. The latest Stephanie Laurens was fun and reliable, as always and I’m sorry to kick the already battered can, but I loved the Fifty Shades trilogy and it’s a joy to see so many new folks every day get interested in a very unusual story.

  33. Kathy W. says:

    I too am listening to Lost and Found – it was on the shelf in the library – and is a re-listen for me. Thank you to Jayne Ann Krentz for a fun listen.

    I am re-reading Nonnie St.George’s Courting Trouble – one of my favorites. I wish she wrote more…

    I am looking forward to SEP’s next release in July too…

  34. Leigh AAR says:

    Willaful, I am so sorry for your lost. I just experienced it also in December and it does make it difficult to concentrate. My thoughts are with you.

    Kathy W, I definitely will be reading SEP’s new release. Although to be honest I enjoy her quirky heroines better than her straitlaced ones.

    Janet W – you are always so sweet. I haven’t read Fifty Shades yet. Too behind in my reading.

    Gale, I enjoyed Bujold’s Sharing Knife series too.

    Anne W – Just now finished Trouble Me by Laura Moore. Thank you for the complement.

    Mark, I have read your re-reads but nothing else. Heyer is one author that I can always enjoy.

    Barb, I have credit at Audible so I will check out No. 1 Detective Agency. Thanks.

    Mary C, I have looked at the Hannah book.

    Kathy, it takes me a while to try out new historical authors but Sherry Thomas is on my list.

    Leslie, thanks for the other recommendations. I will definitely check them out.

  35. Jo-Ann W. says:

    I haven’t read Pat Conroy in years, but I’m currently reading Beach Music. I’d forgotten how beautiful and poetic his prose is. A turn of a phrase can bring tears to my eyes and make my heart skip a beat. He’s a stunning writer and this is a wonderful book. Thanks, Pat!

  36. Leigh AAR says:

    JoAnn, it is wonderful finding a new author.

    LinnieGayl, every couple of years I do a re-read of Jayne Ann Krentz’s books.
    JFTEE-Auburn while I haven’t done much re-reading lately, it is always comforting picking up a book you know you love.

    Laura Vivanco, I hope Rose sees your post. Even if she is not dealing with a big mess, it always nice to know that people love your books.

    Wenmc & lisaione – I enjoy taking breaks from romance books and reading mysteries too.

    Pamela – I have the Rose Garden by Kearsley in my TBR stack

    Lori – it is always great when you have one good book after another.

    Farmwifetwo & bungcoincidence a concidence that you both almost have the same list.

    Maryann I am glad that you like Penny Vincenzi. I signed up to review More Than You Know. After looking at the page count, I wondered if I was crazy for reviewing a new to me author on a 600 page book.

    Karenmc – sounds like you have had a great reading week.

    Ash, I completely agree about letting authors know when they get it right. Kathryn, how great that you sent the e-mail and it gave both authors that needed encouragement.

  37. Lynne says:

    I thank Beverly Jenkins for writing books that teach me about a part of history that knew nothing about, along with great romance stories.

    I too, have re-listened to Jayne Anne Krentz on CD, her Eclipse Bay series makes me appreciate how a good writer can describe simple everyday things and make you feel like you are there with the character.

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  39. Patricia Patterson says:

    I have spent this week rereading my Kathleen Eagle collection.
    Tonight Reason To Believe was a breathtaking journey of betrayal and redemption. It is based on The Memorial Ride to Wounded Knee. Amazing dedication by the riders and their supporters. Her insight is such a precious gift.

    Last night was Fire And Rain….absolutely brilliant. Unforgettable describes so much of her work.

    Tomorrow I will read You Never Can Tell. I guarantee Kole will make you drool. Ha

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