Today, I’m offering praise to just plain old ENTERTAINMENT. HH and I are meeting another couple at the Arena Dinner Theater tonight to see the play Who’s In Bed with the Butler?–a farce. I’m not looking for any deep meaning, any social message or tension or drama. I’m looking for FUN. And sometimes, that’s all I want from a book, too.
I’m halfway through a paranormal mystery, DARK, WITCH, AND CREAMY (book one in the Bewitched by Chocolate series by H.Y. Hannah), and at the end of the day, I can’t wait to sit down to read it. Because it’s funny and surprising, a page turner because I never know what’s going to happen next, and whatever worries I had through the day go away. Books like that are hard to come by.
Sometimes, I read an author because of her eloquence or use of language. Elizabeth George, Alice Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen, and Mae Clair come immediately to mind. Sometimes I read because of complicated, complex characters, rich settings, and intricate plotting. Then I reach for William Kent Krueger, P.J. Parrish, Anna Lee Huber, and J.D. Robb. And sometimes, I just read for fun, so I’ll scroll through new titles for Lynn Cahoon, H.Y. Hanna, Molly MacRae, and C.S. Boyack. When I need a kick-ass character, battles, and tension, my go-to is Ilona Andrews. But every once in a while, nothing will do but a Regency. Then I download Julia Donner, Darcie Wilde, T.E. Kensey, or C.S. Harris (along with Anna Lee Huber again). And then, every once in a while, all I want is a witch.
I have to confess, and I refuse to analyze this overly much, that for some reason, I’m drawn to witches as protagonists. Maybe that’s why I’m still writing the Muddy River series. The idea of magic intrigues me. I’ve read and written about other supernaturals, but vampires are a little too bloodthirsty for me, even though they featured prominently in the Fallen Angels series I wrote as Judith Post. I avoid zombies completely. They gross me out. I’m pretty fond of shifters, like the ones in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. Most of my family and friends shy completely away from all things paranormal, but not me. I’ve been fascinated by witches since I met the three hags stirring the cauldron in Macbeth. Which means, of course, that I’ve read a variety of books with witches as protagonists, and I’ve enjoyed most of them. H.Y. Hanna’s Bespelled by Chocolate series features a witch who’s caught up in a murder mystery, so there’s a double dose of happiness for me, since I love a good mystery. Amanda M. Lee’s Spells Angels books combine witches, shifters, and mysteries, too. A great mix. And like H.Y. Hanna’s books, they’re just plain fun. Sometimes, that’s more than enough to make them a win for me.
How do you pick the books you read? What do you look for?