Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What I'm (not) reading

Okay, so today's Tuesday. Which, along with being publication day for my long delayed New Orleans romantic thriller, is the day I'm supposed to be talking about what I'm reading and share insights.

Well, here's the deal. After I jumped publishers in December, I started worrying that because No Safe Place was now going to be an orphaned book, it wouldn't be getting all the publisher support it might otherwise. So, although I usually shy away from publicity stuff, deciding I perhaps should do something to help, I started agreeing to all the late February, early March chats, guest blogs, website author of the month appearances, and interviews I was invited to participate in. While all that seemed like a good idea at the time, it didn't occur to me that the first book of a trilogy I thought up quickly (can we say overnight?) to pitch at publisher meetings in NY would be due May 1.

Of course, RITA books also arrived to be read. Then, last week NAL sales and marketing wanted numbers for previous titles to start preparing their big campaign push to announce my arrival at my new house and hopefully sell bunches of books. But I have not exaggerated all those times I've insisted that the only way I've learned -- for me -- to stay reasonably sane in this business is not to pay attention to the numbers. Any numbers. In fact -- and I am not making this up -- within weeks after verbally agreeing to a contract, I always have to ask my sweetie (a former math major whose career was in insurance and who actually LIKES numbers) what the total amt I'll be receiving and breakdown by book actually is. This questioning continues over the course of each contract.

Three more problems are 1) aol will no longer acknowledge my password, so I can't get to all my old agent and publisher email I left stored there when I switched to mac mail. 2) Did I mention I also switched agents last fall? Which means that all my old information is at my former agency, and although they've been very gracious about my leaving, there's only so much I want to bother them with. And finally, 3) Louise Burke, Pocket publisher, tended to send "real" letters rather than emails. So, finding the letters about print runs and ship numbers in the massive amounts of Pocket correspondence, has been, to put it mildly, challenging.

Fortunately, USA Today archives their bestseller list, and I did have print outs of the weekly numbers for all but one of the NYT books. This made my agent happy, so I assume it also made the NAL folks happy, as well. At least I hope so.

But my point. . . and I do have one!. . . is that although I usually enjoy two or three novels a week, reading for pleasure has pretty much become an unknown thing. On my bedside table right now are: Obsession, The FBI's legendary profiler probes the psyches of killers, rapists, and stalkers and their victims and tells how to fight back; The Anatomy of Motive; Sexual homicide patterns and motives; The Criminal Mind; Shadow Wars, Special Forces in the New Battle against Terrorism; and Roberts Ridge, a Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan.

Anyone want me to chat about these?
I didn't think so. *g*

So, here's the deal. Because I need all the help I can get, with a chat tomorrow night on Novel Talk, a day of guest blogging with the Fog City Divas, and a gala booksigning for Anderson News and Food City at the Knoxville Women's Expo yet to go, I'm going to invite y'all to share what you're reading.

Oh, and what will I be doing to celebrate No Safe Place's publication day, you ask? Since my sweetie has jury duty, I'll be -- sigh -- spending it with my dentist.


Samantha Hunter said...

Yikes... I could barely keep up with reading about your schedule -- can't imagine how you actually keep up with it. ;) Kudos.

I'm currently reading Charlene Teglia's The Gripping Beast, and love it. Charli is great, and this book is so much fun -- it's reminded me how wonderful reading a truly fun book is. It sexy and romantic, but mainly, it's fun. This is a huge revelation to me. I have ready many good books lately, but few of them have been completely fun.

I've finished my RITA books, and next on the TBR are three of our own Eileen Wilk's books, Mortal Danger, Tempting Danger, and Bloodlines, and then Amny Knupp's Superromance, The Boy Next Door, and then I have 3 Blazes and a LUNA stored on my e-reader.

Unfortunately, my reading has also slowed down, so I sometimes start two books at once, but often don't read anything in less than a full week. So the TBR will certainly grow by the time I make my way through these, but I think that's how it's supposed to be.


Helen said...

Congrats on P-Day, JoAnn. My cheerleaders are out doing their boogie!

What I'm currently reading. Hmmm. Nancy MacDonell Smith's THE CLASSIC TEN: the true story of the little black dress and nine other fashion favorites (research), John Gorgan's MARLEY & ME, Nora Roberts' MORRIGAN'S CROSS, John Van Epp's HOW TO AVOID MARRYING A JERK (research), HARLEY-DAVIDSON MYTH & MYSTIQUE (research).

Doesn't sound very exciting, does it? lol There's a taller stack, but we won't go there!


Mona said...

Hi JoAnn,

Didn't really think a writer might be shy to do blogs and chats but if I were you I'd feel the same way. But looking at the bright side through chats you'll get to know how people react to your writing, it's like an open channel.
Not reading anything important at the moment just something I open occasionally to read a few minutes before going to sleep

Nancy Morse said...

JoAnn,aren't you the busy one. I felt worn out just reading your post.

Lately, I'm so up to my eyeballs with my day job and writing that reading has become something of a luxury. The only thing I read on a daily basis is the newspaper. My honey is in NY for 5 weeks which means that everything pertaining to house and dog is my responsibility which also cuts into reading time.

Kate Davies said...

Hey, Helen -- I'm reading Morrigan's Cross, too! Not going as quickly as I'd like, since the new day job is eating into my reading time.

And I have to finish it tonight, because I get to go to a bookstore today (yay!) and pick up No Safe Place.

L. Faye Hughes said...

Hi, JoAnn!

First, I'm with Nancy on this - I'm exhausted just reading about your schedule. lol. Still, I have complete faith that you will pull it off beautifully, just as you usually do.

As for what I'm reading, I'm finishing up my last RITA books, plus I have Allison Brennan's latest SPEAK NO EVIL on my TBR stack, along with a couple of fun mysteries from Lori Avocato that I can't wait to start.

Mega congrats on your baby's release!

Faye, tossing handfuls of glittery gold confetti into the air and generally making merry

bamabelle said...


Bless your heart! I am tired after just reading your post lol. I think I need chocolate now. Good luck getting through everything.

Let's see, I just finished Challenging Carter by Kate Davies (ebook). It was a very hot and also touching friends to lovers story. I'm reading Ex, Why, and Me by Susanna Carr right now. It's very quirky and funny so far.

Hugs all!

Carol DeVaney said...

JoAnn. You are so busy. I'd say slow down, but that won't happen.

I have several TBR books stacked in the den. I keep a book in the kitchen, den, my deck and read when time allows.

Rarely do I have the time for a complete read through. Once I reach the middle of the book, then I finish one before going on to the next. When I get my hands on No Safe Place, I'll give my undivided attention.

Finished Sisters by Nancy Robards Thompson. The three I'm reading now are The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs, Fall from Grace by Kristi Gold and The Perfect Daughter by Anna DeStefano.

Good luck at the dentist.

Sierra said...

JoAnn, from what I've seen, you're a woman who thrives on change, so I trust you to make the most of your current juggling act!

I'm reading my last RITA book, so I can say no more about that one ... but recently, I sneaked in an "unscheduled" read between the ones I'm judging. It was DANCING ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS by Linda Cardillo, the first release in the new Harlequin Everlasting line. (I've been curious about the line, so I couldn't wait.) For my money, they're off to an ambitious start. The book is very gently paced, but I like that. And it builds and builds emotionally ... let's just say I was impressed. I hope the line continues to aim that high!

Sierra said...

P.S. Does anyone else experience the phenomenon of having to enter a password twice before the blog will post your comment? It seems to happen to me every time ... I keep being afraid I'm going to double-post!

Ann Marie Bradley - Author said...

Congrats on NO SAFE PLACE'S release, JoAnn! I'd send chocolate, but you'd have to tell the gals on your fitness loop and I'd be in trouble. LOL

What am I reading at the moment? THE PASSENGER by Joie Lesin, from Vintage Press. Wonderful book! Great storyline, dialogue, and a ghost. You know me and my love of ghosties!

Sorry you have to go to the dentist. I'm scheduled for a filling tomorrow too. Have had the appointment for a month and have worked up quite a scare!

congrats on another great release, keep 'em coming!

Nancy Morse said...

Yes, Sierra, I am experiencing the same thing. Sometimes I have to enter my password 2 or 3 times before the darned thing kicks in. I tried to respond to the comments to my post yesterday, and I felt like I was from another planet. It kept telling me my p/w was invalid, so I eventually threw in the towel and skulked away.

Kate Davies said...

Just popping in again to say Bamabelle, you totally made my day! So glad you liked CARTER.

Kate, grinning madly...

Sonja said...

I've just discovered Dorothea Benton Frank. I read 'Plantation' and am now almost halfway through 'Pawley Island'. Great reads. Also reading the 'Love and Logic' parenting series since my eldest boy has one foot in puberty--sigh.

Tori Scott said...

Got my copy of No Safe Place today, so it's on top of my 2bRead pile, but first I need to finish High Crimes by Joe Finder. Read Allison Brennan's Speak No Evil last week, and Tess Gerritsen's Vanish before that.

Congrats on your release day, JoAnn! Hope the dentist visit wasn't too painful.


Kelly Cournoyer said...

Hi JoAnn,

I'm reading 3 books right now. Kill me Twice by Roxanne St. Claire, The Long Night of Winchell Dear by Robert James Waller and Citizen of the World, the life of Pierre Trudeau by John English. I have about 8 others sitting on my desk waiting their turn.


Cathy said...

Joann, I've got to ask, do you actually read those books on your bedside table BEFORE you go to sleep at night? Yikes. And my current book is White Lies by JAK, then I am starting Deadly Game by Christine Feehan.

JoAnn Ross said...

Thanks to all who bailed me out today by sharing their reading lists and special thanks to all who bought No Safe Place!

And yes, Cathy, sad to say, I do read all those books before I go to sleep (it's my only free time!) which can lead to some really strange dreams!

Also, not only did my sweetie give me flowers, the dentist appt. went well. Unlike my former Marathon Man dentist, this one seems wonderful. At least I hope so because we're going to be spending much of March together.
Which means I expect everyone at the PASIC conference to appreciate my pretty white teeth, lol!

Allison Brennan said...

I have one more RITA book and I just finished my last Thriller for ITW this afternoon. Whew! That was a chore, normally I would love getting all these wonderful free books :)

I have the last two JD Robbs in hardcover to read. Isn't that sad? I usually read them the weekend they come out because I'm a huge Robb fangirl :) I have a bunch of books by friends I want to read. But like JoAnn, my "pleasure" reading is more for research. I got this great book, JOURNEY INTO DARKNESS by John Douglas, one of the original FBI Profilers; THE LAST VICTIM about serial killers, THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR; and my new "treat" -- the CRIME CLASSIFICATION MANUAL. I also just got the new Robert Crais book in the mail, along with A WICKED SNOW by my friend Gregg Olsen and STIGMA by a great guy named Phil Hawley. Oh, and HIDE by Lisa Gardner (my mom loved it) and KISS HER GOODBYE by Robert Gregory Browne . . . okay, my TBR pile has grown exponentially over the last few months!!! I can't really talk about the thrillers until we announce the finalists, but there were two book that really, really wowed me. One author I've read all her stuff, and a new-to-me author who I now love.

Sierra said...

Say, when can we talk about our RITA books? Is after the March 7th deadline fair game?

Christie Craig said...

Hi JoAnn,

I'm tired just reading about all you are doing. WOW! I hope when my turn comes, I can juggle everything as well as you do. You seriously amaze me!

About what I'm reading.... Well, I'm playing catch up with the Rita books -- that I can't discuss yet. Then I'm reading an old nonfiction book that a friend picked up from a yard sale. It's called, JUMP START YOUR BRAIN: A PROVEN METHOD FOR INCREASING CREATIVITY UP TO 500%, by Doug Hall. It's a great nonfiction read, too.

Anyway, good luck JoAnn on getting everything done. You inspire me and awe me.