The incredible Melanie Friedman at challenged me to a book tag post.  Before I go on to do that, I want to commend her for being my very patient, very insightful editor.  My  books are much better because of her.  And her blog is terrific.

She heard about book tag from Addicted to Romance, then tagged me.  Here are the questions, which really made me think:

What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Pride and Prejudice.  It’s my favorite book of all time, the one I’ve re-read the most and one I’ll never tire of.  I also love both the Colin Firth and Keira Knightley film versions.

What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?

I’m cheating on this a bit, giving you the answer which was true when I was first tagged Saturday morning.  My last book was re-reading Candace Camp’s A Gentleman Always Remembers.  It’s part of her Willowmere series and sublime.  All three books are truly amazing.  They’re Regency and about four American sisters who come to England in search of their cousins.  I love this series.  If you haven’t read them, please do so immediately.

The current book (at the time I got this) is Lisa Kleypas’s book Devil in Spring in her Ravenal series, but it’s also a distant relative of her wonderful Wallflower series since the hero is the son of one of the Wallflowers.  I was a little nervous going into the book, because while Lisa Kleypas has been one of my all-time favorite authors, she, uh, did a few clunkers in recent years.  But this was great, though it kinda went in an odd direction about two-thirds of the way through the book.  But I loved it enough that I’ll be reading the rest of the Ravenels.  And, again, if you’ve never read the Wallflowers, put them on your list.

The next book (which I’m actually reading now) is Stephanie Laurens’s The Lady by his Side.  I was really, REALLY nervous to read this, but since it’s about Devil Cynster’s son and the Earl of Chillingworth’s daughter, I knew I had to read it.  And, while I’m only about halfway through, it’s great.  The reason I was nervous is because even though two of the top five romance novels I’ve ever read have been written by Stephanie Laurens (Devil’s Bride and Captain Jack’s Woman), her novels have become a bit repetitive, not just in repeating plotlines, but in making the love scenes way too long in kind of an over-the-top manner.  But so far, this book is more like the originals.

What book did everyone like but you hated?

The Devil in the White City.  It’s the non-fiction account of two historical events happening at the same time:  the Chicago World’s Fair and the killing spree of America’s first serial killer H.H. Holmes.  I checked it out from the library and returned it when it was due, only halfway through.  This book needed an editor.  WAY too much minutia.

What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read but you probably won’t?

Hillbilly Elegy.  It’s a non-fiction look at the U.S. political landscape of the last election.  I checked it out and back it went.  All my friends say it’s great, but….

What book are you saving for retirement?

I don’t think I’ll put off reading anything, but I know one thing I’ll be re-reading:  The Harry Potter series.  I love those books so much.

Last page:  read it first or save til the end?

Read it first, though that doesn’t happen as much now that I do most of my reading via Kindle.  But I don’t like surprises, which is one reason I can’t get into watching sports.

Acknowledgement:  waste of paper and ink or interesting aside?

As a writer, it’s vital because there are so many people to thank.  As a reader, I only read it if I really liked the book.

Which book character would you switch places with?

I don’t think any, though I’ve certainly read Bridget Jones so often I think I am her.  If I could be one of the heroines in one of my books, I think it’d be either Rosalind, Liam Kellington’s wife or Ava, Colin Emerson’s wife.

Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

Probably Bridget Jones’s Diary, which I first got while I was still dealing with my divorce.

Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

Nothing really comes to mind, other than I’ve had a couple boyfriends who gave me “deep” books in hopes of making me read more serious material.  It didn’t work either time.

Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

I was a volunteer at a hospice in a nursing home and gave away all the books I’d written to the really lovely lady who was married to one of the patients I got to know.  She gave me the best compliment I’ve ever received when she said she loved escaping into the books for a while.  I think that’s what books can do for all of us.  Who doesn’t want/need that from time to time?

Which has been with you most places?

Pride and Prejudice.

Any required reading that you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

All of Shakespeare, particularly the dramas.  While I almost never listen to books on tape (I just don’t comprehend that way), I listened to King Lear in college while reading along and it brought me to great sobbing tears.

Used or band new?

I am paranoid about picking up bedbugs, so brand new.

Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Yes.  The DaVinci Code.  He’s a great storyteller with terrific pacing.  But every once in a while I would pull back and remind myself I didn’t really care what kind of relationship Jesus and Mary Magdalene had.  But then I’d get sucked in again.

Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

The fifth Harry Potter book, The Order of the Phoenix.  He was so irritating in the book,  but the movie was dark and wonderful.

Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

I am the opposite of a foodie.  So, no.

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

Melanie Friedman!

Is there a book outside your comfort zone you ended up loving?

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.  It’s set in World War II America (one of my favorite eras).  It’s wonderful, funny and heartbreaking.  I loved it, but will likely never read it again.  Heartbreaking isn’t something I’m fond of.

Okay, now I get to do the tagging….

Felicia Denise at

Danielle Gorman from Ramblings from this Chick (

John Heldt at

Those are all terrific blogs.  Please check them out!