FALL INTO YOU is here! Happy Smexy New Year!

Just popping it to say - woo-hoo! It's release day! Grant's story is finally here!

So your instructions for today are as follows:

1. Buy FALL INTO YOU (and receive my undying gratitude and adoration.)

2. Do whatever the heck else you want to today, as long as number one has been achieved. ;)

3. Stay safe and have a fabulous New Year!

 

Here are some early reviews coming in:

“DEFINITELY and WITHOUT A DOUBT my favorite Dom by Roni Loren to date. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite erotic romance series.  When I crack open a Roni Loren book I seem to always expect a very sexy read, characters with depth and a storyline that always keeps engaged while being a bit suspenseful.  And that’s just sexy suspense done right. --Under the Covers blog

From the first scene between Grant and Charli to the last, Fall Into You is an enthralling, edgy, sexy story. It makes you hope and root for a couple that deserves to find peace and happiness. The underlying theme of this story when all is said and done, is not dominance and submission, it’s not clubs and lessons, it’s not just sex and pleasure – It’s love. ~ Guilty Pleasures book blog

"4 1/2 Stars! Steamy, occasionally shocking, and relentlessly intense, this book isn't for the faint of heart. But with fiery, emotional characters and their blisteringly passionate relationship, it is also one that isn't easily forgotten." --RT Book Reviews magazine

 

*holds all of your hands and dances around in a circle with glee* Happy Smexy New Year!

FALL INTO YOU Countdown - New Excerpt & Win My Backlist!

It's almost here! FALL INTO YOU will be out New Year's Eve! Woot! (Yes, I know my site says Jan. 1 but from all I've heard and seen, looks like it's going to be available a day early.)

So I thought to celebrate, I'd post a brand new excerpt AND have a giveaway. (See details at the bottom for contest.)

First, enjoy a little taste of Grant...

From FALL INTO YOU, Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved Berkley Publishing Group

After another round of questions from the other officer and a tour of the damage, the policemen left with a promise to follow up with her if they found anything. She watched them turn off her street and wrapped her arms around herself, trying to fight a chill that wouldn’t seem to go away.

Grant, who’d stayed leaning against his truck like some silent sentinel, pushed to a stand and stepped in front of her, his hat pulled low over his eyes. Apparently noticing her goose bumps, he rubbed his palms along her chilled arms.

Somehow the little gesture of comfort had tears that had built up from the last twenty-four hours ready to burst free. But she wouldn’t cry. She could handle this.

“You okay, freckles?” he asked.


“Freckles?” She looked up at him, trying to muster up some
I’m-totally-fine façade, even though having his hands on her had her thoughts fracturing and emotion trying to leak through. “Are you trying to get me back for calling you cowboy?”

“Just trying to make you smile,” he said, concern underlying that twang.

She pushed a finger to his chest and tried to manage an intimidating expression. “I’d normally punch a guy for calling me that. You’re lucky I’m too tired. And that you’re so fucking big.”

“Lucky, indeed.” He smiled, but those blue eyes remained serious. He grabbed her hand before she could move it away from his chest. His palm closed over her fist, the hold firm. “Now are you going to tell me what really happened last night? You’re shaking. And I know it’s over more than stolen computer equipment.”

She blinked at the change in subject and his grip on her hand. She stepped back, and he quickly let go of her. “What?”

His mouth dipped at the corners, and he eyed her in that knowing way he seemed to be so good at. “Fine. We can do this the easy way or the hard way. You can go on pretending that everything is sugar and sparkles to try to get me to go away and leave you to whatever mess you’re in alone. Not going to happen, by the way. Or you can be honest with me so that maybe I can offer some help.”

She groaned. “Look, I appreciate everything you’ve done. But I don’t need help. I’m on a story that apparently has ruffled someone’s feathers. I can handle it. After all this, I’m going to be on guard now and more aware.”

The displeasure that crossed his face was strong enough to steal breath. He crossed his arms over his chest. “Someone ran you off the road last night. And don’t lie and say I’m off base. You were yelling at them in your sleep.”

She glanced away and took a sudden interest in a crack in her driveway. “It was probably just kids messing around.”

“You don’t strike me as a stupid woman, Charli. Don’t talk like one.”

She clenched her jaw, frustration building. Who was he to make demands on her? Being a Good Samaritan gave him the right to a thank-you but not some right to all her business. But before she could lash out and take out her stress from the last twenty-fours hours on the man in front of her, another truck pulled into her driveway. A very familiar one.

“Son. Of. A. Bitch.” Her simmering frustration boiled over into outright anger. She sent a fiery look Grant’s way, as a ginger-headed man climbed out of the truck’s cab.

Grant shrugged. “Sorry, darlin’. He would’ve done the same for me.”

Suddenly, all the warm and fuzzy feelings she’d been harboring toward Grant earlier that morning dissipated into a red haze.

 

Read the entire first chapter here

Or, even better, pre-order it so that you can have it next week! I will love you forever. ;)

 

Giveaway: I'm giving away signed print copies of CRASH INTO YOU and MELT INTO YOU to one lucky commenter (U.S. and Canada only). Leave a comment answering the question below and include your email address below. I'll pick a winner on Monday.

 

FALL INTO YOU Review Copies Available: If you are a book blogger and would like to review FALL INTO YOU, please email me at ronilorenbooks(at)gmail(dot)com with the subject REVIEW. There are NetGalley and print options. Please let me know which format you would prefer and include a link to the site where the review would be posted.

 

QUESTION: What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2013?

Fill-Me-In Friday: Best Links of the Week

Photo of the week: This ornament keeps trying to knock down the tree

The title of this one is a bit of a misnomer. I haven't done a Fill Me In Friday in a while, so this is more like the best of the last three weeks. :) But there are definitely some great ones in here. Enjoy!

On Writing/Publishing:

 

On Social Media/Marketing:

 

Bright, Shiny Randomness:

 

What You May Have Missed Here:

 

That's all I have for you. I'm not sure I'll be posting again until after Christmas so I hope you all have a lovely holiday! 

 

My Unforgettable Reads of 2012

So as it stands right now, I've read 41 books this year. Not quite there on my 50/50 Challenge, but close. And frankly, there are a few half-read or almost-finished-but-lost-interest books in the stack.

However, I thought today would be a good day to go through my read list from this year and pull out my top reads. These are the books that I can still remember when I look back at the list. Others, though I may have enjoyed them, fade and become murky. So the ones I can still remember certain characters and scenes get put on this list. Enjoy!

New Adult

So I've been on a big New Adult kick lately and I've found some winners (including one I just finished this week and loved.)

Easy by Tammara Webber

Really likeable characters you were pulling for.

 

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

One of those you cannot stop reading. Worth it for the Facebook updates alone.

 

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

Sexy and angsty and an Irish hero--hello.

 

Women's Fiction

More Like Her by Liza Palmer

Funny in parts, tearful in others.

(Warning - there is a school violence scene in this one)

 

The Reason Is You by Sharla Lovelace

A little romance, a little paranormal, and lots of memorable characters.

 

Erotic Romance:

An Ordinary Girl by Barbara Elsborg

Very angsty and a tragic backstory but really enjoyed it.

 

The Principal's Office by Jasmine Haynes

Super smexy. And liked that it was an older heroine.

 

Sheltered by Charlotte Stein

Ignore the weird cover. LOTS of sexy tension in this one.

 

The Theory of Attraction by Delphine Dryden

A geeky, dominant hero. Need I say more?

 

Dark Erotic:

The Angel by Tiffany Reisz

One of my favorites of the year.

 

Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts

Very, very dark. I blogged about it here.

 

Male/Male Romance:

Hot Head by Damon Suede

Soooo much sexual tension. Gah. Loved this one.

 

Horror/Thriller:

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Think And Then There Were None meets high school.

 

The Harrowing by Alexandra Sokoloff

College, empty dorm, ouija boards. Scary fun.

 

So those are my picks. What were some of your favorite reads of 2012? 

 

The Next Big Thing...And Boy Is He Big

Six-Seven, in fact. That's how tall Grant, the hero in FALL INTO YOU, is. What? You thought the title was referring to something else? ;)

So I've been tagged by both Leah Petersen and Paul Anthony Scott on the Next Big Thing blog hop, and I kept forgetting to do the post, lol. It's been a crazy few months. But anyway, I figured today would be a great day to do it--ya know, before the end of the world comes or whatever. So here goes...

 

The Next Big Thing Questions:

What is the title of your book?

FALL INTO YOU

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’m a huge college football fan. So I watch lots of documentaries about the sport. (Yes, I’m a nerd.) So, the football scandal that Charli is investigating in the story is loosely inspired by the Southern Methodist University football cheating scandal in 1987. It rocked college football and landed the university with the “death penalty”–a cancelled season, no scholarships, no bowl games. If people ever doubted that football was a BIG deal in Texas, this proved how serious it could get. So I figured it wasn’t a far stretch to believe that Charli’s life could be in danger if she revealed a similar scandal.

What genre does your book fall under?

Erotic Romance with BDSM

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

He's not an actor but the visual inspiration for my very tall, very dominant cowboy hero is country singer Blake Shelton.

And Charli is a red-headed tomboy, so I think Emma Stone would be fantastic for it--awkward, sarcastic, and funny.


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

I'm cheating and putting the blurb because I'm bad at the one sentence thing. :p

When tomboy sports reporter Charli Beaumonde loses a dream TV job because she’s not girly enough for primetime, she’s determined to land a big scoop and prove her boss made a mistake. But when she gets too close to a football scandal and finds her life threatened, Charli accepts an offer from family friend Grant Waters to hide out at his place—even if Grant predicts nothing but trouble from his buddy’s hard-headed, uncompromising, irrepressible, younger sister. There’s one more problem…

Grant’s “place” is The Ranch, a BDSM resort in Texas, and he’s used to being in charge —even if that means trying to keep Charli in line. But much to Grant’s surprise, she’s intrigued—even envious—of his trainees. They’re the epitome of what she’s never been: sexy, beguiling, and totally irresistible to a man. Still, Grant doesn’t believe for a minute that the sharp-tongued Charli has it in her to be anyone’s submissive. But Charli’s already on her knees vying for the chance to prove that even the Master can be wrong sometimes.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I've honestly forgotten since I've written two other books since. I believe 3-4 months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Just like the rest of my books in the series, if you like Shayla Black, Maya Banks, Cherise Sinclair, Sylvia Day, etc., this will probably be your kind of thing. :)  But I've also been known to convert those of you who *think* you won't like erotic romance. I'm like a gateway drug--just try a little and see. ;)

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I got the idea for the heroine, Charli, when I was in the crowd at ESPN’s College Game Day at the SEC Championship game and saw Erin Andrews reporting. It made me wonder if a girl who loved sports but was more tomboy than supermodel could get that job. Plus, I was a tomboy growing up, so I channeled a little bit of that. : )

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

This is probably my most personal story so far because I was a tomboy growing up, taller than most of the boys, and never felt "cute" or "girly". Just awkward. I still struggle with this at times because even now my idea of high fashion is wearing my good jeans and pair of cowboy boots. If I never had to wear heels again, it would be too soon. And I yell at the TV for football games like a dude. So I can relate a lot to Charli and how it feels to be seen as one of the guys. :)

So that's it! FALL INTO YOU is out January 1st. You can read the first chapter here.

Now, I'm not going to tag others but feel free to consider yourself tagged if you'd like to participate on your own blog! 

 

 

A Year Of Book Buying in Review: Did Social Media Influence My Choices?

What does a year say? Today I was reading Janice Hardy's blog about having too many Twitter followers (and I agree, go read it. It's a great article.) But she linked to an older post by The Intern on author social media presence and if it makes a difference. Does all that tweeting/blogging/spinning plates in the air really effect book sales? 

I've talked about the topic before from my own perspective as an author. However, I thought it would be interesting to look at my own book buying habits as a READER over the past year to see if all that social media book buzz made me buy books. 

*Now, the caveat here is that since I am in this industry, I am dialed in to social media and the world of authors, book bloggers, editors, and such. Readers like me are probably a very small segment of the book buying population. But I still thought it'd be interesting to look at my personal stats.

So here's a look at my 2012:

Format...

 

Number of ebooks (not including free) bought this year: 80

Number of print (not including free) bought this year: 23

Thoughts: Wow, I've definitely become an ebook junkie. But this is probably less about a preference for ebook than it is the sale factor. All those ebook sales get me. Plus, I get LOTS of free print books from conferences so I only have so much room.

 

How'd I find out about the books I acquired?

 

On Sale (not including free): 35

Discovered Online through someone other than the author (book blogger, twitter rec, etc.): 22

Free ebooks: 17

Favorite Authors/Auto-buys: 16

Heard About Online Directly From Author: 14

Random purchases: 5

Free print books: A lot, probably at least 50.

Thoughts:

-On sale is clearly an effective strategy for me BUT there were a lot more sales I passed up. Often those sales were paired with an online mention/rec by a book blogger or someone I know. So the sale alone is often not enough.

-Yes, I discover most of the books I buy from online soures, BUT it's rarely directly from the author. It's more word of mouth via other authors, readers, and book bloggers.

-The authors who I bought based on directly hearing about their book from them are almost 100% people I've already built relationships with online. So they are friends. These were not purchases from random authors who I've never chatted with who just happened to put out a "buy my book!" tweet. That absolutely is white noise to me. I don't pay attention at all unless I already know the person.

 

Now, those are the books I've bought, what about the books I've actually READ?

 

Books discovered via online recommendation by someone other than the author: 17

Books by Favorite/Trusted Authors: 13

Books bought on Sale: 10

Books I heard about directly from the author: 4

Random: 2

Free ebooks: 0

Free print books: 2

Thoughts:

-So even though books on sale got the most buys, they didn't get the most reads. Why is this important? Because a sale gets an author their first buy, but a read gets an author their NEXT buy. And the only FREE books I've read this year are two print books that I got at a conference. I've read 0 of the free ebooks I've downloaded.

-Online recs from book bloggers and online friends I trust clearly are effective for both what I purchase and what I read.

-Favorite authors get moved to the top of the pile for reading. I bought 16 of these and read 13. And the three that are unread are only unread because I just got them. So this is stil the strongest bought to read conversion.

 

Overall: So it looks like YES, my book buying is highly influenced by my online connections. It's the thing that most gets me to buy books because even the sales are discovered via social media. BUT I discover new books and authors through other people not through the author herself. The only books I've bought directly from my connection with the author are people I'd already developed a friendly relationship with.

So what does this mean for authors on social media? 

In my opinion, it means that you should focus on building genuine friendships with people. Trying to sell your books directly to your followers is probably not going to be very effective. But if you build real relationships with people, entertain and help with your blog/tweets/etc., then maybe those people who have gotten to know you will be the people to spread the word on your behalf. And THAT buzz is what actually gets me, as a reader, to buy...and probably many other people as well. But also realize that many, many readers are never going to dial into the online book community, so it's still a small lake in a big ocean. So don't kill yourself trying to be the social media master. Do what you can and write more books.

 

What are your thoughts? Where do you find out about the books you buy? What's your biggest book buying influence?


From Debut to Multi-Published: What I've Learned In My 1st Year as a Published Author

Signing books at the B&NIn a few weeks, my third print book, FALL INTO YOU, will hit shelves (also CRASH INTO YOU and MELT INTO YOU will debut in print in the UK.) This will all be happening almost a year to the day from when CRASH INTO YOU first released. Last year at this time, I was frantically preparing for my debut, unsure but totally excited by what the year would bring. What exactly would it feel like for a dream to come true?

Well, I can tell you, it's been fantastic. A weird journey of super exciting jump-up-and-down kinds of days, days where I questioned it all (like, yanno, my ability to put words together and make any kind of sense), and every kind of emotion in between. It's a cliche, but the whole roller-coaster analogy really is apropos here.

So I thought I'd look back over the year and share what I've learned along the way. (And btw, this is coming from a traditional publishing perspective since that is my experience, so not all of it may apply if you're on a different publishing path.)

What I've Learned Year One:

1. Working under a deadline is intense and a completely different writing experience.

Doesn't matter if you've used self-imposed deadlines in the past like NaNo. That's good practice, but having people counting on you and a legal contract make things totally different stress wise. And sometimes every month is Nano. I wrote 95k in two months this year and have to write another 50k in the next 6 weeks. I've learned to write faster and have "trained up" because of it. But I won't lie, earlier this year, the first deadline book locked up my creativity because I was panicking. I had to learn to work through it. No putting things to the side until inspiration strikes. You have to go hunting for the muse with a stick.

2. Some reviews will tear you open and spit on your self-esteem if you let them.

Learned this the hard way. When CRASH came out, I got probably 97% positive reviews. But it was that one or two that were particularly biting and/or personal that crushed me. Yes, I'd been shredded by crit partners before. Yes, I'd gone through tough revisions with my agent and editor. I thought I had tough skin. Nope. Reviews can eff with you if you let them. I don't know if there's a way to prepare for this. It may be one of those things you just have to go through (because who is going to resist reading reviews on their very first book.) But it took me a while to figure out how to deal with these. My skin *is* tougher now. Doesn't mean a bad review won't sting, but they no longer make me question my ability to write or make me so angry that it ruins my whole day. If you have a book coming out, I talked about The 5 Emotional Stages of a Book Launch and I think those stages hold true for most of us.

3. The BIG BAD publisher is not your enemy. Surprise, they really want you to do well, too. Duh.

I get so tired of seeing people bash the big publishers as if they're enemies to writers. This hasn't been my experience. My editor has been lovely, supportive, open-minded, and accessible. She wants my books to do well. She's excited about my series. Yes, publishers--all publishers--are a business, and I know that if my sales don't hold up, they won't keep buying my books. But that's just business.

4. Everything is REALLY slow until it's breakneck fast.

Patience is the name of the game. Hurry up and wait, hurry up and wait. You won't hear anything for months, then you'll have a pile of copyedits to do in a week, back cover copy to rewrite, and a new book due. It's one of those things where you have to learn to go with the flow.

5. You don't know your sales numbers...no really, you don't. 

People are prone to asking how the books are selling. Frankly, I don't have a specific answer. I only get an impression. Bookscan numbers only capture 50-70% of print sales, so it's a guess at best. And ebooks aren't captured at all, so all you can do is watch your rankings on Amazon and B&N for that. Yes, you get royalty statements about 8, yes, 8, months after your book comes out. But they are not so easy to read since there are things like returns and such factored in. And I won't lie, it's hard not to know specific numbers for so long. It drives my obsessive brain a little crazy.

6. You are now Professional Author first, and you can't speak as freely as you're sometimes tempted to.

For those of us in the blogosphere before we're published, we're used to chatting pretty freely. But once you're published (and really even before) you have to be aware that you are now a public figure (even if only ten people have read your book so far, lol.) You are a brand. How do you want that to be perceived? 

Another aspect of this is that you are now Author first, Reader second. This has been a tough one for me because, of course, I was a reader before I was ever a writer. But being published changes this. You are seen as something different in reader/reviewer forums (i.e. you're not to be trusted because you're now kind of like the principal listening in on student conversations). And now when you review books publicly, you're kind of walking through a minefield. Review them positively, and people assume you're doing a favor for an author friend. Review them negatively and you might burn a bridge with another author. I've chosen to only publicly review books that I loved (and FTR, I would never give something a good review if I didn't like the book, even if I knew the author.) If I don't love a book, I keep my opinion to myself. And that is HARD because I like discussing books with others. But it's not worth the drama.

7. Be careful complaining publicly even when the job gets tough.

Complain about how hard deadlines are, you'll get a slew of aspiring writers with "I wish I had deadlines like that" comments. When you're published, you're seen as living the dream to those who have the same goal. And you are. That doesn't mean the dream isn't a JOB that has some really tough and stressful moments. But complaining about them makes you look ungrateful for what you have. Vent to your friends who are in the same boat as you and who understand.

8. Here there be green-eyed monsters.

Jealousy. It's ugly. It's inevitable. At some point in your journey, you'll find yourself looking to other authors who maybe are similar to you and see that they're getting (insert thing to be jealous of)--more attention, more sales, bigger advances, more buzz, more swag, whatever. Get over it. Every writer's journey is different, and sometimes all those things that look so bright and shiny aren't all they're cracked up to be. For instance, that writer who got the giant advance, now has a giant advance to earn out. If they don't, they won't get another contract. But maybe you had less sales and a lower advance, but you earned out. Now you have more book deals and time to grow a readership. Be thankful for what you have. Strive to get what you want.

9. Marketing is a mysterious, ever-changing challenge. 

I nearly killed myself with that first blog tour. Did all those guest posts, interviews, contests make a difference? No one really knows. My gut says--meh, not that much. And all that touring shut down my creativity and left me late on my next book deadline. Now I've trimmed down my launches. I do review-only tours where I send out the books for reviews but it doesn't require me to do a post. I do think reviews sell books--even if it's on a small scale. I also do one-off guest spots and interviews on reader-targeted sites. 

Does blogging/social media sell my books? Yes. On a big scale? Probably not. But I know anecdotally that many people who have tried my books have tried them because they got to know me online first. I've built relationships and friendships and I think that beats traditional marketing any day.

10. Nothing is guaranteed. Getting a 2nd book deal is sometimes harder than the first. 

I've been lucky. Since my first two-book deal, I've sold four more books, a novella, and an e-serial. I'm eternally grateful that readers are buying my books and are allowing me to continue my series. But I know more than a few author friends of mine who had fantastic books but didn't get that next deal for sales reasons. And those decisions are made early. Writers often don't get much time to prove their sales.

11. For most of us, money doesn't roll in anytime soon.

Money is sloooooooow. Payments are few and far between during that first year. Don't quit your day job when you get a publishing deal. Well, unless you get E.L. James kind of money or something.

12. I have more control over the details than I imagined.

I'd heard the horror stories of having no control once you sign a publishing contract. That has not been my experience. Any edits I don't agree with, I can discuss with my editor. If I don't like the back cover copy, I can rewrite it completely. If the copy editor does something that changes my voice, I change it back. The only thing I don't get much control over is the cover. I can give input for that, and some things have been changed, but usually it's just tweaks.

13. Having a few good writer friends who you can say anything to (privately) is priceless and sanity-saving. 

Make sure you have these, seriously. And it's good to get to know a few other published authors or reach out to people who are debuting with you so you can vent about specific publishing things. *waves to Julie Cross*

14. Write one book a year? Two books a year? Yeah, try 3-4.

Depending on your genre, the expectations for how much you write in a year are changing. Will your publisher MAKE you write more books than you want to? No. But the writers who can be more prolific are going to build an audience faster, get the opportunity at special things like anthologies or new formats first, and get more deals.

15. Realizing I can't do it all.

For those of you who have followed me for a while, you know I was a blogging machine. Five times a week for years, then three times a week. Responding to all the comments. Visiting others' blogs.  And I love to blog and continued my schedule throughout most of this year. BUT when I got to the deadline crunch in August of this year, balls started dropping. And I realized that blogging DID take up some of my creative energy, and I did write less on my WIP on those days. So I had to accept that I couldn't hold myself to that schedule if I wanted to take on all the writing projects coming up. So I've relaxed my schedule with blogging. I blog when I can. Sometimes that's still three times a week, sometimes it's just one.

And now the super fantastic stuff... 

16. Walking into a bookstore and seeing my book on the shelf makes me giddy every time.

I want to stop everyone in that aisle and be like--"Psst, hey, I wrote that. Yeah, the one with the half-naked cover." : )

17. Seeing how much readers love your books is THE BEST.

Hands down, totally as awesome as you imagined it would be. Never. Gets. Old. *group hug with everyone who's read one of my books*

18. Writing for a living IS a dream come true for me.

 I freaking love my job--even on the hard days. There are times when I'm out doing fun things and am dying to get back to work. How crazy is that? I never, ever take this for granted.

19. It is all worth it.

Promise.

 

Damn, all those things and I couldn't get to a nice round number like 20? I'll try not to throw in a fluff one just to make it twenty.

So if you're published, what have you learned? If you're not at that point yet, does any of this surprise you? And if you have any questions I didn't cover, feel free to ask them in the comments.

 

My Crazy TBR Pile & My Tough Love Rules To Cut It Down

The free books I brought home from RWA Nationals this year - I've read two so far.So this weekend I decided to do a little house cleaning when it came to my books. This involved organizing my Goodreads list into shelves and culling some of the herd. This also meant going through my physical bookshelves and taking inventory of what I haven't read yet. And the numbers, my friends, are rather insane...

Right now, I have exactly 100 unread novels/novellas on my Kindle and over 200 print books on my shelves waiting to be read. 0.0 I knew it was bad, but...well, I didn't realize it was that bad.

And I have a true addiction because I CAN'T STOP BUYING BOOKS. I see someone tweet about something awesome or I see one of those Daily Deal posts and I'm all click, click, click. Buy, buy, buy. Plus, if I have friends or favorite authors that put a new release out, I want to support them and buy it when it comes out. I know the buying won't stop--though I may be putting a lockdown for the month of December since I need to be buying Christmas gifts for someone other than myself. :) But I realized I do need to come up with a plan to start working through some of the books languishing on my real and virtual shelves.

So here's what I'm thinking. I have admitted in the past that I am a chronic finisher. Meaning, I have a really hard time giving up on a book unless the writing is just outright horrible. But this habit slows down my reading. If a book isn't completely sucking me in, I put it down and then don't read other stuff until it's done. Not good.

And even though I've abandoned more books in this past year than I have in the past, I'm still pretty hooked on trying to finish things. But I realized as I'm staring at all these unread books that LIFE IS TOO SHORT and there are too many FANTASTIC books to waste time on a book that's just okay.

So here are my new Tough Love Rules for the coming year:


1. If a book hasn't completely captured me (i.e. I don't want to put it down and can't stop thinking about it) by the end of chapter 3, then I'm moving on. 

As a writer, it's beat into us that we have to hook a reader from page one. I work hard to write books that do that from the first line. So why am I accepting less as a reader? Yes, sometimes page one is hard, but by three chapters, you should have me.

2. If I'm enjoying a book, but I'm just not in the right mood for it at the time, I will move it onto my new "Limbo" shelf on Goodreads.

Sometimes I'm just not in the right headspace for a certain book. For example, it may be a light, fun romance but I'm in a dark mood and want something grittier. It's nothing wrong with the book per se, just not the right time.

3. If there are books on my TBR shelf at this time next year that have been there for at least 2 years, I'm donating them to the library or a hospital. (Or holding a massive blog contest.)

I tend to hoard books. "Ooh, it sounds good. I'll probably read it one day." Yeah, if that hasn't happened in two years, it will probably never get read.

 

We'll see if these three things help me. I'll update next year and let y'all know. And in the meantime, if you want to follow the list of what I read. I'm active on Goodreads and I keep a running list of what I read each year here.

So what's your TBR pile look like? How do you go about picking your next book to read--i.e. is it my method (Ooh! New! Shiny!) or do you have a more organized way to go about it? And how long do you give a book before you move on for good? Anyone else have a "limbo" type shelf?