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Monday, September 19, 2011

Keep Me Hanging On

So I'm reading this fabulous book. The characters meet, interact, have sex for pages and pages...and suddenly declare their love for one another and vow to live happily ever after. The End.

(Sound of screeching tires)


Whoa; back up a minute. When was the last time you met a stranger, or reconnected with a past lover, and after a night of passion, lived happily ever after?

'But wait, Kenze...this is fantasy!'

Yeah, I know. But what I love is a little realism mixed in. I want to know what happens after they clinb out of bed and let the Real World know of their connection. What happens next? What happens when the hero returns to his apartment and finds a letter from an old girlfriend? Or the phone rings and he has an emergency and can't see his new lady love for another twenty-four hours? What happens if she calls her best friend and bubbles over with her good news, only to be met with 'Are you out of your FREAKING MIND?'

Yes, it can happen. I want to know that the two people I'm reading about will have a lasting relationship, and they would walk through fire in order to be with each other.

Now I've never stopped reading books by authors who do this, and I've never stopped reading a series simply because characters were killed off, or unbelievable circumstances arose; I've only stopped reading one particular series because by book #3 I was so disgusted with the general plot, writing, etc. I think the author could have done better. And the only other reason I'll stop reading a book is if I find myself skimming the pages, not really reading. If it's not holding my interest by chapter 2 or 3, forget it. I'll likely put it down and maybe try again in a year or two...or ten, when I come across it in a box somewhere. Or in the case of e-books, if I can't remember what it was about and open the file. It all depends on my mood at the time I'm reading.

And now you know why Gone With The Wind, Centennial, Hawaii, and books by John Jakes, Herman Wouk's Winds of War, and The Woman of Substance series are my all-time favorite print books to read. (Running a close second would be Lavryl Spencer, Nora Roberts, and Marion Keyes.) E-books? Too many to mention.  I meet new authors every year, and the books I keep on my e-reader changes quite often.  The last time I went to my e-library to reload a few books, I chose Cindy Spencer Pape's Curses; Kathleen Coddington's Witch Ball; Jean Hart Stuart's Druid's Daughter; and Emmie Graham's North Atlantic Nights.

What are some of your most loved books?


Unknown said...

I agree. Characters should face the real world and show readers they can thrive. My only disagreement is if you're writing a quickie, then sometimes the story doesn't allow time. :)

Tina Donahue said...

Too many to mention. I love the classics and the contemporaries. :)

Molly Daniels said...

LOL Amber....This was before I understood what the 'quickies' were all about:) But sometimes I wish a sequel would many times I'm left with 'what happens NEXT???'

@Tina: I posed this question on my blog once: If the house was burning down, what books would you save? (not counting e-books)

I'd need a box so big it would take a crane or a forklift to get it to safety.

Katalina Leon said...

My list of favorite books changes almost everyday or every time I'm reminded of how good a special book really is...
Note to the reading world on Quickie erotic romance, the goal is to provide as much emotional and sensual stimulation to the reader as possible in a very brief word count, while providing just enough of an excuse to be respectable.
Often the action has to start right away (on or before page 6!) and be sustained.
In a perfect world we could all suspend belief with erotic short fiction and view it as a tasty treat, like a chocolate truffle, instead of a heartier romance that reads like a full meal and can answer deeper questions at its leisure.
Great post Molly! Best wishes to you on your many upcoming releases.

Cara Marsi said...

Molly, I agree with what you said about coming to a screeching halt. I too want conflict and want the h/h to fight for their HEA.

I love the John Jakes Bicentennial series and Herman Wouk's The Winds of War. My all-time favorite book is Green Darkness by Anya Seton. I have too many other favorites to list them all.

jean hart stewart said...

Loved your post, and not only because you were kind enough to mention Druid's Daughter. I'd be hard put to grab my favorite books. Maybe I'd better make a list of those that are out of print, since the others could be replaced. When I get the time! (HA!)

Molly Daniels said...

@Kat: Love that analogy! I'll have to remember that.

@Cara: I loved The Bastard and a few of the others in that series, but my all time Jakes fave is the North and South ones:)

@Jean: Out of print ones: ABSOLUTELY! I would die if anything happened to my mom's old mysteries or any of my Louisa May Alcott books.

Tabitha Shay said...

There have only been four books that I've read, that I read several times over. Kill and Tell by Linda Howard, The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss,Dark Secret, by Christine Feehan, and Something Wonderful by Judith McNaught. I love a lot of other books, but these are the ones that stayed in my mind and demanded a second, third and fourth read...Tabs

Harlie Williams said...

Hi Molly! I want the conflict, the tension, the buildup. Call me old fashioned.

I have too many to list but right now, I'm re-reading all the Cougar Challenge books from EC. Its not like I haven't read them all at least a half dozen times.

Harlie Williams said...

Also now I have Kim Wylde's song stuck in my head!


Molly Daniels said...

@Tabs: My copy of Flame and the Flower is missing the cover and half of the first page!

Molly Daniels said...

@Harlie: There's an RP series I like, but am still missing two of the books. Hoping I can one day buy them to round out the series:)

And you're welcome! Yeah, I had that song stuck in my head as I was writing it....

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