Eight days and no blogging….I hadn’t realised that it was quite so long. But I have been writing – my second novel is now over one third written. 3,059 words yesterday – a record I think. I had only the vaguest notion of where it might go when I started and have wondered a few times whether I might run out of story but the characters decide to lead me down a different path and off I go again. It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But when a writer creates people, they develop a personality and that determines how the person acts andwhere they go, and sometimes they just won’t let the writer take a break. That’s my excuse for the lack of a recent post, anyway!
I’m standing my ground today – time to blog. I did have a subject in mind but its been taken over by a Facebook post I read yesterday evening, which led me to a previously undiscovered blog. If you like reading, this is a blog that you will LOVE! The author’s dislike of certain ‘genres within genres’ (my phrase, not Jill’s) resonates totally with me. Jill’s Book Cafe offers reviews, author interviews and loads of recommendations. I scrolled back through several month’s worth of posts last night and it was truly a delight. Jill’s latest post looks at loads of Christmas themed novels and is well worth a trawl through if you enjoy some lighthearted (and more serious) Christmas reading. With well over 100 books and a brief synopsis of each, there’s something here for everyone and to make it even easier to find ‘the one’ they are categorised into several types so whether it’s animals, wartime stories or Cornwall that float your boat, Jill has done all the ground work for you. You can join Jill here:
With Lockdown limiting activity to such an extent this year, it’s not surprising that many of us have been reading more than usual. I have found that, at present, I need uplifting books – ones which transport me to somewhere where I know I can look forward to a happy ending. Right now I don’t feel able to cope with the likes of The Kite Runner or A Fine Balance – old favourites but full of angst and man’s inhumanity. Something else that Lockdown has done for me is force me to use my Kindle more. I have always maintained that whilst useful for travel, I prefer a paper book to an electronic one. However, reading in bed had become quite difficult with a real book as I find the print too small and can never get the lighting right. I suppose the cataract has much to do with it. Anyhow, I’m very grateful for Kindle right now – and of course the books cost SO much less and the amount I’ve been buying would be costing an awful lot in paper form.
Last years big discovery for me was Mike Gayle: The Man I Think I Know will, I’m sure, stay with me as one of my all time favourite books. I’ve read several of his other books (preferring the later ones) with a couple left to go. This year I’ve discovered several more new-to-me writers. I especially like series, which usually mean stand alone stories but linked. Too often I miss the characters in a book when I finish it so knowing that there are several more is a real joy.
Alison Sherlock – If you enjoy Jessica Redland’s books, you’ll like Alison’s Willow Tree Hall series too. Four books and well worth a read. The first book in her Riverside Bay series is available now with the second due to follow in May 2021 (and yes, I’ve pre-ordered this one too).
Nicola May – The Cockleberry Bay series – 4 books including the new one. It’s publication date was shown as 4th December but it popped into my Kindle inbox last week so I can only assume that pre-ordering means getting it earlier – suits me! All four books can currently be purchased on Kindle for £3.99. I also thoroughly enjoyed Better Together, a stand alone. I’m looking forward to Nicola’s new Ferry Lane Market series – book 1 is due out next July.
Helen Pollard – La Cour des Roses series (3 books) centres on a guesthouse in France, and a stand alone book – The Little Shop in Cornwall is great too.
Jessica Redland – Of course, you already know that I am a fan and I’ve read every book she’s written and love her setting of Whitsborough Bay. The second Hedgehog Hollow book is out in January and I have it on pre-order.
I’d strongly recommend reading each of the above series in order. Amazon makes it clear which is book 1, book 2 etc.
Hilary Boyd – I love that Hilary writes about women of my age (I think many of my readers are ‘of an age’). She is a romance novelist who first got published in her sixties – hope for me yet then!
I recently read the first book in the Hope Cove series by Hannah Ellis and will read the rest (five more!) soon, but for now I’m currently reading an excellent book, very different to the above (gone off piste as my friend L says). Mr Doubler is a potato grower and what he doesn’t know about potatoes isn’t worth knowing. That anyone could write such an engaging book about potatoes is testament to the imaginative, beautifully crafted prose of Seni Glaister. Superb!