I make my living as a writer and editor, but as an aspiring novelist, I must say that one of the most important things I do each day is read! For some time now, I've been wanting to know what *you* are reading in the way of books, and I'm not above bribing you to tell me! So if you'd like to be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card, just leave a comment by Friday at 7 a.m. EST telling me the last book you read, the current book you are reading, or the book you would like to be reading! (Overachievers may feel free to share all of the above.) The winning entry will be chosen by a random number generator and announced on Friday.
In case you're curious, I thought I'd go first and share what I'm currently reading! Although I didn't photograph my Bible, technically that's the first book I read each day. As columnist Cal Thomas once said, he likes to read his Bible along with his newspaper each morning so he'll know what both sides are up to. I agree!
And now, my reading stack for the week, from top to bottom, includes:
• "Death Crashes the Party" by Vickie Fee. Since cozy mysteries are what I'm trying to write, I try to keep a cozy in my reading stack at all times, and I just finished one over the weekend (which I didn't really care for), so I'm hopeful about this new series. Plus, the author is a former journalist, like me, so I'm betting I'll enjoy her book!
• "Now Write! Mysteries," edited by Sherrie Ellis and Laurie Lamson. This is a book of writing advice for mystery writers of all stripes, and I'm allowing myself to read just a chapter or two at a time. Lots of meaty stuff here.
• "Breathing Life Into Your Characters" by Rachel Ballon. I've decided some of my characters are a little dull, so I've been reading this book to learn more tips for making them more likable, readable, relatable, etc. This book feels like homework, but I rather suspected it would.
• "Soul Harvest" by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Remember when everybody was reading those "Left Behind" books years ago? I didn't. I have this real ornery streak where I don't like to read what everyone else is reading (unless it's a tea book; then I don't mind). But then I read Jerry Jenkins's excellent book of writing advice, "Writing for the Soul," in which he critiqued some of his own early writing in those books. Out of sheer nosiness, I was going to read just one book to see if it was as bad as he said. (I didn't think it was.) And now I'm hooked and have to read the whole series.
• "Medicinal Herbs" by Rosemary Gladstar. My friend Deberah gave me this book for Christmas, and I was so happy to get it because even I know that Rosemary Gladstar is a rock star of the herb world. There are also instructions for making a number of herbal teas in this book, so you may be hearing about this title again before the year is over.
• "Sisters on the Fly: Caravans, Campfires, and Tales from the Road" by Irene Rawlings. I have this idea for a character who buys and restores a vintage camper, so I'm reading this book to learn more about the sort of women who inspired the vintage camper craze. Research is one of the most fun parts of writing for me.
So that's what I'm reading this week. Your turn — and don't forget, comment by 7 a.m. EST Friday and you could have $25 toward your next Amazon purchase of tea and books. (And please make sure I have a way to get in touch with you if you're the winner!)