I have another week of writing ahead of me (hoping for 10k, but I’ll take whatever I can get). When I’m done, I’m planning to indulge in the mother of all reading blitzes, and I’m on the hunt for recommendations.
RWA National is a couple of weeks away (yay!). Last year was my first time, and I had no clue what I was doing. We were in the middle of the final McDaniel module with deliverables to submit, I’d decided to rip my book apart and start again from scratch, and I was hip-deep in family problems at home. I had fun, but everything passed in a blur. This time around, I know what to expect. Everything’s good on the home front (touch wood!), I’ll have half a dozen McD alumnae to swap notes with, and I’ve started to draw up a plan to make sure I get the most from my three days.
This year, I’m going to start with my batteries fully charged. San Antonio is a long and expensive trip from the UK, so my husband is coming with me and we’re taking a week or so before the conference to relax and do some sight-seeing. We’ve only been to Texas once before, to stay with friends in a small town on the Gulf coast, so we’re looking forward to experiencing something new and exciting.
I’ve decided to get in the mood by reading some Texas romance. The only one I know is SEP’s Heaven, Texas, starring Bobby Tom Denton, a football star with an outrageous wardrobe and a tendency to play up his accent and use his origins to disguise a razor-sharp mind, and who receives a much-needed attitude adjustment at the hands of homely heroine Gracie. We spent so much time at McD arguing about Bobby Tom and Gracie that I don’t think I’ll be ready to read the book again for another decade, so I’ve been looking for new stories.
Here’s what I’ve bought so far:
Lisa Kleypas: Travis Series (Sugar Daddy, Blue-Eyed Devil, Smooth Talking Stranger)
Contemporary romance set on both sides of the tracks in another small town – Welcome, Texas. I haven’t read any contemporary Kleypas, but these books have a slew of four and five-star Amazon reviews using phrases like emotionally compelling, witty, satisfying, warm, wise, tales of family, friendship, love and hope.
Sandra Brown: Texas! Trilogy (Texas! Lucky, Texas! Chase, and Texas! Sage)
I haven’t read any Sandra Brown, but since she has over 80 million books in print it’s clearly time I remedied the deficiency. These stories sound fun and relaxing classic romances, just the thing I need to get into the holiday spirit. I was sold when I read this review on Amazon: “Being a native Texan, this book was a joy to read … Very true to life in the description of all things Texas.”
Lucia St Clair Robson: Ride The Wind
According to the blurb: “In 1836, when she was nine years old, Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanche Indians. This is the story of how she grew up with them, mastered their ways, married one of their leaders, and became, in every way, a Comanche woman. It is also the story of a proud and innocent people whose lives pulsed with the very heartbeat of the land. It is the story of a way of life that is gone forever….”
This novel is based on a true story. It has 230 five-star reviews on Amazon.com and is apparently in its 27th print run. It sounds great. I like the sound of the author and plan to try more of her books if I enjoy this one.
My purchases sound like a good start, but I feel I’m missing out. Shouldn’t there be cowboys and cattle barons, as well as billionaire businessmen and oilmen and Native Americans?
I haven’t had a good book binge in ages, and I read fast, so I’m looking for ideas, please. Thanks!
(-: The only thing that came to mind was a series about a Texas girl who goes to Manhattan and finds her place in the supernatural world she discovers there. Enchanted, Inc is the first book in a series, and the romance doesn’t progress very quickly, but it’s darling in the first book. More of a coming-of-age book, but because it was a series (and a first series) I don’t think the author knew quite when to start the arcs to completion. I think she winds up back in Texas in Book 4 (or something), on one of the steps of the Campbell’s Hero’s Journey.
But it’s not quite what you’re looking for!
If you don’t mind a big read, I’ve heard a lot of good things about Lonesome Dove. Which is a Larry McMurtry buddy book — and was turned into a mini-series. So, again, not quite what you are looking for. (But it won a Pulitzer prize! I remember the mini-series being engaging.)
I dunno. I look forward to what other people say. Some of the very best stories are in short country music songs. A real oldie: “There’s a yellow rose in Texas, I’m going there to see. No other fellow knows her, nobody only me. She cried so when I left her, it almost broke my heart. And if we ever meet again, no more we’ll ever part.” Oh, boy, I doubled-checked the lyrics at Wikipedia, and I think the backstory will knock your socks off, Jilly! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Yellow_Rose_of_Texas_(song)
Here’s wishing all of you going a productive and happy conference!
Holy moly, Michaeline, THANK YOU for that link. My socks are absolutely knocked off. You have made my day, and it’s not even 10am yet 🙂
If nobody’s written that story, they really ought to!
I remember learning that song at my grandmother’s knee. I would bound around her house belting it out at the top of my three-year-old lungs. Good times.
I can’t recommend any romances that feature Texas, but I think this is essentially a subgenre of its own. Surely if you search on the Harlequin or Carina sites, you’ll find buckets.
Last years RWA host (name escapes me and I’m at the beach right now with just my iPad) writes Texas stories. Quite funny. I met her at the Desert Dreams conference and she’s a sweet lady. There’s also a book called “The Cowboys Email Order Bride” or something like that. Not Texas, but definitely western ranching stuff. She’s got a couple books like that. Short, frothy reads, but still fun.
Short, frothy and fun … sounds perfect, Justine. Thank you, and enjoy the beach!
I’m into frothy and fun this week, too!