Branching Out

There are times in a reader’s, even in a writer’s, life where one is forced to branch out. Not because what we read (or write) is suddenly boring, or because our favorite authors have suddenly become lame. Mostly because, if you’re like me, you’ve already read all the books that you like and suddenly find yourself with the prospect of either going without (OH! The Horrors!), re-reading favorites (which can be fun in and of itself) or branching out.

Let’s branch out for a bit. Not a whole lot, but just a wiggly little bit.

Enter Scrapbook of Secrets by Mollie Cox Bryan (release date February 2012, Kennsington Mystery). I like scrap booking, and I like funny mysteries so I decided to give this one a try. And really, who can resist any novel that begins with “For Vera, all of the day’s madness began when she saw the knife handle poking out of her mother’s neck.” (Never fear, her mother is a force to be reckoned with all throughout the novel). As a matter of fact, most of the novel revolves around Vera, her mother, and a newcomer to the area, Annie. I really identified with Annie, trying to balance being a wife and mother along with a need for some professional (writing) release. Although the novel is set up so that you think the author is extremely unsubtle about who did it— it was a surprise when the whodunit was revealed. And all the clues were there! I give this one a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

And let us not forget Austentatious by Alyssa Goodnight (release date February 2012, Kensington Books). Nicola James is an engineer with a list, a plan, and… a fairy godmother? With the appearance of a diary that gives her advice ala Jane Austen as fairy godmother, Nicola’s life goes from left-brain logical to a walk on the whimsical side. Especially when Fairy Jane decides that she needs a gentleman that decidedly does not fit in with her plans. Not only a good read, but the author appears to have had a rollicking good time writing it. I love books like that, where the author’s passions come out. Another four out of 5 stars.

In personal news, it’s early Sunday morning. Ray is out back playing. I already have my laptop on and thanks to my friend Rie, I have a great idea for a short story on a hoarder of a wizard. So I’m off to get that written. Have a great week, my lovelies! Hopefully I’ll have more to post by about midweek. I’m in the middle of a Sheryl Woods and have another in the stacks waiting to go.

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