The summer months are here and my excitement is bubbling under the surface as if it's barely contained by a solid barrier of rock. Not only am I basking in the days of drama free teenagers (well...except for an occasional bout from my own two daughters) and no more "meeting after meeting after meeting," but the fact I can read and read until my heart bursts is pure bliss.
Granted, I read throughout the year, but not as much as I would like due to grading papers, carting the girls around and attending my own activities. However, during the summer, I can absorb words without feeling guilty that I should be updating my grades, calling parents, or creating new and improved lesson plans.
There are so many books on the market - all types of genres that I cannot begin to list them all. I have my "intellectual" friends that must read the latest political topic or a serious book on the commentary of a life's epiphany. I am happy for them that they are reading something they love, but I don't want to tie my brain up into knots of complexities. My desire is to read about the one thing we all seek and that is love.
My genre has been and always will be the romance book.
Stop cringing. Yes, I have a MA on teaching and I instruct advanced language courses but that doesn't mean I am "lowering" myself because I choose to devour the world of romance. If you are one of my friends that is actually shaking your head and feeling sorry for me, than shame on you. Romance books are "more than meets the eye."
We all seek the same thing in humanity: LOVE. Yet some of you balk at the very books that explode with this and it amazes me. I think we all have "Barry Manilow readers" out there - do you know what I mean? You LOVE his songs, but you are too full of pride to admit it. I've met some men that are chagrined to confess they do read romance, and you know what guys? You are the fellows that make us women melt. Believe me.
There are different types of romance: inspirational, paranormal, series, contemporary, suspense, chick-lit, futuristic and fantasy, historical, erotica,...the list continues. You just have to find what intrigues the mind. I never stay with just one type: it depends on my mood. I must stress that I tend to choose authors that have strong plot lines with men who are masculine yet are soft toward their women, but I love the strong female type as well. Here is a list of some authors that I highly recommend this summer. You'll notice that I have not written much about them except for a few. You need to visit their web pages and come to your own conclusion, but with my personal experience, they are worth the read!
Let's start with a few home grown Kansas Ladies:
1. Starla Kaye: erotica, humor....sizzling summer! http://www.starlakaye.com/
2. Roxann Delaney: warm, feel good cowboys! http://www.roxanndelaney.com/
3. Penny Rader: historically driven. http://www.pennyrader.com/
4. Nina Sipes: love in a futuristic world http://ninasipes.com/
5. Joan Vincent: regency http://www.joanvincent.net/
6. Patricia Davids: inspirational romance - Amish series as well http://www.patriciadavids.com/
Now, onto some others!
1. Maggie Shayne: She has written a variety of stories but she is best known for her vampire series. Some scenes are steamy, but her stories are written in a way that you become connected to her characters and feel their pain. Her newest series revolves around witches and the release of "Mark of the Witch" is due out in September of this year. Check her out at http://www.maggieshayne.com/ You won't be disappointed.
2. Maya Banks: she is very well known for her erotica books and I will admit, this isn't my line of reading, however, she has a line called the "KGI Series" and it's geared around the six Kelly brothers that have been in all the branches of the military. They are hot, gorgeous and protective of their women. You will laugh at the humor and feel your heart wrench at the appropriate times. Many other characters are spawning off more books, coming in the future. Check out her website: http://www.mayabanks.com/ I am waiting for the release of book number five, out this July.
3. Cherry Adiar: wow. Another hot and steamy writer full of action, suspense and emotion. If you like those tough and ready guys, she's another keeper! http://www.cherryadiar.com/
4. Susan Mallery: fun stories! True to life! http://www.susanmallery.com/
5. Debbie Macomber: several of her books have been made into TV movies! http://www.debbiemacomber.com/
6. Stephenie Meyer: vampires and science fiction. Edward? Hello?!! http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/
7. Diana Palmer: ride 'em up, cowboy! http://www.dianapalmer.com/
8. JD Robb: ever heard of Nora Roberts? This is her, but these stories revolve around a futuristic, strong female cop and her rich, sexy lover. http://www.jdrobb.com/
9. Nicholas Sparks: just reading his dedication page to his wife will kick your heart into overdrive. A Walk to Remember? The Last Song? http://www.nicholassparks.com/
10. Sharon Sala: lots of suspense here. http://www.sharonsalabooks.com/
11. Elle Kennedy: Action paced, steamy scenes. http://ellekennedy.com/home.html
12. Jill Barnett: from historical to contemporary...always a thrill! http://www.jillbarnett.com/
13. Jo Beverly: luscious historical reads... http://www.jobev.com/
14. Heather Graham: if you like mystery and suspense? http://eheathergraham.com/
15. Iris Johansen: suspense with a capital "S"! http://www.irisjohansen.com/
16. BJ Daniels: a western backdrop http://bjdaniels.com/
17. Christina Dodd: she writes it all! http://christinadodd.com/
18. Christine Feehan: welcome to the paranormal! Steamy! http://christinefeehan.com/
19. Elizabeth Lowell: suspense at its finest. http://www.elizabethlowell.com/
20. Sherrilyn Kenyon: dark romance, young adult, paranormal - possible movie? http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com/
21. Rachel Lee: set in Conard County - suspense and mystery http://www.conardcounty.com/
22. E L James: Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy http://www.eljamesauthor.com/ Yes. I loved it.
You truly need to check out these authors. I would love to hear from you, though, about your favorite reads. This is not my entire list. It would take my entire summer break to write about all of the ones that I love. If you didn't already know it, several of these authors have a Facebook page. If you fall in love with one, join his or her page. Sometimes, the author will directly answer, but you will be able to keep up with their books and upcoming news.