Book Binge!


Having just turned in my next book (hooray!) I took a few days to reward myself by diving into my TBR pile. This past year has been a whirlwind of writing deadlines and I cannot begin to count the books stacked around my TBR1office waiting to be read. I figure with all the words that pour out of my mind, reading isn’t just a joy–it’s a necessity. Having been at least seven months since my last reading binge, I was ready to turn off the internal editor, unwind and let go. When I’m in the binge zone, there’s no pulling me back—it’s a few days of blissful, obsessive-compulsive, book-after-book reading.

I started my book binge with our own Geralyn Dawson’s historical, HER OUTLAW. What a fun read and intriguing plot twist with the hero—I’ve loved the whole Bad Luck Bride series and had read HER SCOUNDRAL and HER BODYGUARD during my last binge. TBR2  

Next was a contemporary romantic suspense, TRACELESS by Debra Webb—first book I’ve read by this author.  I don’t like anything too heavy in a romantic suspense (CSI creeps me out sometimes) and this book fit my reading preference—fast-paced, action-packed and a wonderfully tortured bad-boy-with-a-good-heart hero.  

TBR3Linda Lael Miller’s new historical western THE MAN FROM STONE CREEK was a great change of pace. I loved the rich western dialogue in this book.  While her historicals always have wonderful western flair, the hero’s way with words really stood out and rang true to me and added an additional colorful element to the story. 

Elizabeth Lane’s THE STRANGER was another treat for my western cravings. I do love strong tortured heroes and Caleb’s heart is on tenterhooks throughout this story.  So was I, as his past started to creep up on him, creating a powerful and touching reckoning for him and his heroine.

TBR4 Elizabeth Lowell’s RECKLESS LOVE was one of the books in my very first romance novel binge about seven years ago.  When I saw it as a reprint in February, I had to buy it—I never owned the first one, it was simply in the giant box of books my mom dropped off after I called her up and said, “Hey, I think I’m trying to write a love story—can you bring me some of those books you read?” (boy was that a life-changing moment—and the start of a month-long binge *g*) Still one of my favorite westerns—full of gripping dusty adventure and steamy emotion.

Maureen McKade is another first-time read for me. A REASON TO LIVE and A REASON TO BELIEVE have me looking forward to A REASON TO SIN.  I love series books, getting to visit with old friends while meeting new ones, and when that series is a western—I’m tTBR5here! 

The last book on this binge was a paranormal/fantasy romance, LORD OF THE FADING LANDS, first book in the Tairen Soul series by debut author C.L. Wilson.  Beautiful world building, a touch of magic and a wonderful blend of intrigue, emotion and humor—I have to say, this is one of the most romantic books I’ve ever read. 

Eight books didn’t put much of a dent in my TBR pile, but I did manage to get a slight mix of genres, though hopelessly outnumbered by westerns  🙂  I’m hoping to fit another binge in before buckling down with the next deadline.  I have to carefully time my reading sessions due to my no-self-control reading tendencies.  I’ve always been a binge reader. When I open a book it’s like turning on a Cowboymovie—I can’t stop in the middle—I have to finish it.       

Anyone else here with teetering stacks of TBR’s?  What’s in your pile?  Are you a book binger or do you savor books by reading bits at a time? 

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54 thoughts on “Book Binge!”

  1. Stacey, a book binge sounds wonderful. I haven’t been reading near enough lately. 🙁 I did read A Reason to Live, however and have the next one at the ready. I wished I could have clicked on your book pic to enlarge it, but it didn’t enlarge. Are those your books or a pic you found??


  2. Stacey – I’m in awe of how many you can binge at one time! I’ve got writer’s guilt – if I read one book and thoroughly enjoy it, I feel I need to get back to my story immediately. Before I began writing, it was easy for me to knock off 4 books a week. I do make exceptions for a few authors. I’m hooked on Stefanie Plum, (no-really on Morelli) so I always buy and read those the minute they hit the shelves. Also, anything Linda Lael Miller writes! The pics on your post are lovely.

  3. I have a book case that holds most of my TBR pile. If I stacked my TBR pile one book on top of the other, I think it would go from floor to ceiling at least twice if not three times and that’s just the ones actually in the case. My stack is a mix of mysteries, romance, sci-fi/fantasy, young adult, and general fiction. During the work week I read a couple of chapters a night but on my days off I read for hours at a time. I hope to finish the book I’m re-reading today (day off) and then finish Territory by Emma Bull, a book that grips me and won’t let go so I’ve waited to finish it when I have no distractions.

  4. I have a small bookcase for my TBR pile and right now it has exactly 50 books in it. 😯 I didn’t realize I had quite so many.

    When I read, I savor them one at a time. 🙂

  5. Stacey, I’ve quite a few that you mentioned in your latest binge. I whole-heartedly agree about Geralyn’s Her Outlaw and the awesome Linda Lael Miller’s The Man From Stone Creek!! But I recently finished Pam, Cheryl, and Jenna’s anthology, Western Winter Wonderland. Yea! Loved all three of the stories. Emotion oozes from those pages. If a book really grabs me, I can finish it very fast. Then sometimes I read it a second time to catch all the tiny things I missed and really savor it.

    My TBR stack is on the brink of falling over and seriously injuring someone. 🙂 I’d say I have about 60 books patiently waiting. Right now, I’m reading another Linda Lael Miller western that’s part of a series about the McKettrick brothers. Really excellent, excellent way with words that anchor a reader back in the west in no uncertain terms. I also love her style. She’s just incredible. But I read other genres too, especially Dean Koontz’s paranormals and Debrah Williamson’s mainstreams. Debrah’s Singing With the Top Down hooked me from the first word and kept me entralled all the way to the end. I immediately bought her newest release, Paper Hearts, and read it in one day. Just unbelieveable. She wrung every bit of emotion from me and left me wanting more. I’m a big fan of Debrah’s. You have to get her books if you don’t already have ’em.

    I haven’t been able to find yours, Elizabeth Lane’s The Stranger, or Pam Crook’s newest. I’m sure I’ll have to pop over to Amazon and get out my credit card!!

    One book I’m really anticipating the release of is Jodi Thomas’s Texas Princess. It releases Nov. 1st and I can hardly wait. Her books always trap me in the chair, unable to do anything except read. Awesome talent.

    I heard someone say that reading is the most crucial thing for a writer. When she or he finishes a manuscript, their brains are depleted of words. Reading is the best way to restock and get us ready for writing our next book. I’ve found so much truth in that.

    Fantastic post, Stacey!! 🙂

  6. Hi Cheryl!

    I don’t read enough either. I always wish my reader base was broader, which is likely why I binge when I finally get the chance to read 😉

    The pictures are posted in actual size. I found them on Google 🙂 I googled “Woman reading”, thinking I’d find one or two–they had so many great pictures, I had a hard time choosing *g*


  7. Stacey, you named 3 author’s I keep (Linda LM, E Lowell, & Geralyn) & gave me 4 to check out, THANKS for the reviews! I have the golden girl reading on a jewelry box- LOVE art as well- I’m Visual. Had 2 wks off school Xmas break & read EIGHT books about Mary Balogh’s Bedwyn family of 6 (Her Slightly… series, plus, One Night for Love & A Summer to Remember) only to find there is a NINTH book! I like to read a series all at once so hold them til the final is available (short term memory challenge to keep people straight in my mind! LOL) I keep the current read in a Cherry print padded fabric cover (by 800-544-9257) since my married name is Cherry.
    Just packed 4 boxes of books around my bed that had been my TBR pile; makes it easier to vacuum
    🙁 and less to dust! now I can ROFL.
    Like Lynn, mine is a mix of mysteries, romance, sci-fi/fantasy, young adult, and general fiction.
    Richard Paul Evans “The Last Promise” and Susan Wiggs beckon, as do 3 biographies: GI JOE & Lily by Joseph S Bonsall of the Oakridge Boys fame (about his Dad & Mom); Seabiscuit- I was horse mad as a youth; & the “Lennon Sisters: same song, separate voices”.
    Char, I’m with you on Morelli & Stephanie!
    I also do book reviews so “The House That Cleans itself” in NEXT; ironic as our housecleaner came yesterday & I was off work to help- many hands DO make light work.
    I find it harder to read in bed, but have a bookcase headboard, green lawyer’s lamp above plus a triangular bedpillow. Or the couch and a roaring fire with the family reading instead of TV is appealing.

  8. Hi Charlene! I agree, since I started writing, it’s hard to make time to read. After eight months, I think I was starving to hear someone’s voice besides my own in my head *lol*. With four books in my To Be Written pile…once I commit, it will be a long while before I get to read. I do wish I could find more balance between reading and writing, but I gave up on that a while ago *lol* It’s just not in me 😉

  9. Hi Stacey! I can’t seem to find the time anymore to go on reading binges. I also have a huge TBR pile. All of Linda Lael Miller’s McKettrick books, plus The Man From Stone Creek. Haven’t even started any of them yet. Most recently I’ve read Maureen McKade’s To Find You Again and A Reason to Live. Also Elizabeth’s The Stranger. I was drawn in by Caleb and Laura’s conflict. Fantastic! Right now, I’m in the middle of Pam’s Untamed Cowboy. Love the strong, independent Carina! Haven’t gotten hold of the Christmas anthology yet, but plan to. Cheryl St. John was my very first HH ever. That was years ago and I can’t even remember the title, but it was a western historical. So, Cheryl’s the author who got me started on Harlequin Historicals. :o)

    I haven’t run across either of your books yet. Course, I live in a hole-in-the-wall small town, so will have to order them. I get most of my books by ordering them online. But they’re definitely on my must-read list. I love the covers of your “Wild” books. :o)

  10. Lynn, your pile sounds a lot like mine 😉 For years I didn’t look far beyond the authors I started out reading, Miller, Spencer, Lowell, Garwood, Garlock. I did follow Lowell into suspense, and found quite a few other authors I liked in that genre, and Susan Grant started me off in the Paranormal relm with Star King 🙂 Last fall I went on an Harlequin Historical author binge–having just sold to the line I bought every western available through the Harlequin site and was introduced to the wonderful works of Cheryl St. John, Pam Crooks, Charlene Sands, Carol Finch…and likely a few others 😉 My auto buy list is now far greater than my alotted reading time!

    My one exception for reading time is reading with my kids–it’s a must. When my kids were small we started reading a Harry Potter book together over every Christmas break–in between Potter books we’ve read the Bartimeus series and the Aragon series. We’ve got the last Potter book for this Christas break 🙂

  11. Fillies & fellow readers, when I want/need to finish a book, I’ll read at the table (a Weight Watchers No-No) and during middle/high school, walked home reading; I even once read while driving across So Dakota (a police/safety NO-NO) My alibi was no radio reception or adult conversation. When Hallmark’s Customer Service line was slow, I completed 2-300 pg novels in 2 days. I am a bottomless pit/black hole for words.

    Linda, thanks for the recommend on D Williamson

  12. Hi Linda! Hey, you were in my mix of auto-buys too 🙂 I also re-read books, or as I call it, disect books. If I really enjoy a book, I’ll pour over the pages again and again before picking up the next book–of the books I read last week, I read and reread many passages in all of them 🙂 Now I’ll have to check out Deborah’s books–thanks a lot 😉 *lol*

    I have Jodi’s Texas series on my keeper shelf 😉

    I agree about picking up a book after finishing an ms to replenish the well. Not have time with these past couple deadlines was rough. There is a very disticnt rhthym to writing, and sometimes my groove will get off—and I’ll need to pick up a book to get my brain back in tune again 🙂
    Thanks Linda!

  13. I have a TBR Mountain Range…I refuse to count and there are too many to name, but if you name it, it is probably in there (or wishes it were 🙂 ) Historicals make up the bulk of the mountain though since I only started reading and buying contemporaries a couple of years ago…but I have a little of everything in there. I think it breeds at night…it seems to be growing every day. I do manage to read quite a bit, but never make a dent…it is one of the great mysteries of the world. I might have to have a book binge this coming week…if I can stay off the computer…LOL.

  14. Stacey, I’m with you on reading with children. My Mom read to us in a rocking chair. I read to 2 sons til older was 10, younger 5. Younger really took to it- has read 10 of Robert Jordan’s fantasies TWICE (600 pgs plus 20 pg glossary-there’s even a short book about his imaginary world.) I LOVED being a reading helper at Elementary- have you discovered the Magic Tree House series? 40 educational, entertaining histories! We read Tonight on the Titanic with Special Educ at High school this yr. Even the boys enjoyed & wanted MORE.
    When I lost my job 5 years ago, thought I’d get to sleep in and watch TV; instead, got up at sunrise and spent LOTS of quality time on the chaise lounge on deck under a spreading Oak tree. Now THAT was paradise!! 🙂
    I set a timer or I forget chores, feeding family & cat, walking the dog, etc.

  15. ROFL, Stacey & Jennifer!! You notice I’m on the computer instead of on deck reading my ‘review is due today’ book! I’m off til MUCH later!

  16. TBR teetering is exactly right. In fact yesterday I had to start a new stack, on the top bunk in our spare room. By Christmas when the kids come home and NEED that top bunk I’ll have to do something!!!!!
    You really like Morelli better than Ranger? I’m not saying I don’t like Morelli…just that I can see Stephanie’s dilemma.
    Honestly don’t you think Morelli AND Ranger should just run for their lives?

  17. Hi Lou! Yep–we read the whole Magic Tree House series when my boys were in elementary school. My oldest, now 14 (and still loves to read with mom *lol*) is dyslexic, and reading for him was nothing short of torture. I wanted him to enjoy books, so I read to my boys ever night. We’re all looking foward to reading Harry Potter together in December. We’ll spend a few days curled up in the living room taking turns reading. Next year who knows…my boys are turning into young men 😉 But my oldest loves books! And while he mostly reads the graphic comics these days, he is reading for enjoyment 🙂 That’s so great that you’re a reader volunteer, Lou! Kids of all ages love to be read to—shoot, so do I *g* I’ll always take books over TV 😉

  18. We do take exception with the History channel 🙂 I had to ground my son last week for repeatedly forgetting to turn in his homework…to his horror, he suffered a whole week of no History channel 😉 He did remember to turn in his homework *g*

  19. I know your pain, Devon 🙁 Publishing puts a huge crimp on reading time. Makes it that much sweeter to take a couple days of pure reading indulgence 😉 I also live in a hole *lol* Most of my book buying is online. One cool thing about promoting my books is checking out the reveiw sites and finding new authors I haven’t read. Hence, my TBR mountain *g*

    Thanks, Devon!

  20. I’ve been on several reading binges over the past few months.

    My TBR pile got a little smaller after I finished Pam’s Untamed Cowboy the other day. Before that it was Michelle Willingham’s Her Irish Warrior and The Warrior’s Touch. There was your Bride of Shadow Canyon and Mustang Wild. Devon’s Angel in the Rain. Kim Whalen/Maddie James’ 6 previous novels. Yasmine Galenorn’s Witchling and Changling. I’m sure I’m forgetting some! LOL

    Right now though I have the following in the TBR-
    Restore My Heart by Cheryl Norman
    The Stranger by Elizabeth Lane
    Red Hawk’s Woman by Karen Kay
    A Reason to Live and A Reason to Believe by Maureen McKade

    This does not include the ones on my personal amazon wish list and others I have heard about but aren’t listed yet.

    It’s a shame though, because I am participating in National Novel Writing Month again this year and I’ve hit a slow down on my reading because my brain is kicking into writerly mode. Will have to pick up on the ones I have once November ends.

  21. Stacey, when you mention adults like to be read to, Little Women popped into my head: when Jo read to Aunt March- the origin of Talking Books!
    I find audio books helpful on long boring trips, especially if solo. I heard Jan Karon read her Mitford series in her soft NC accent; Bill Bryson tell his funny Notes from a Small Island (nostalgia since we made a trip to England); and no cheating to read the end of thrillers like Nora Roberts Carolina Moon! Funny story about that- my car system chewed up 1 of 9 tapes so had to wait for replacement to “get the rest of the story.” LOL
    I do love movies, but often they don’t do justice to the book (exception, Lord of the Rings trilogy & Star wars.)
    Agree on History channel

  22. Stacey, Readers Digest story told how a mom handled a related situation and I used it thus: my son forgot his retainer several times in 7th grade so 3rd time I showed up in long bathrobe (no curlers or moisturizer like lady in original.) Male teacher made an comedic announcement that someone had forgotten an item and he KNEW it had to be him. One of his friends remembered that event when I met him 4 yrs later! ROFL And Brian never forgot his retainer again! (Late papers not cured, however.) Let me know if it works.

  23. I have such a small stack of TBR books because I devour the book asap. Never have been able to put a book down once started. Also cannot understand people who do not care to read.

  24. Hi Estella!

    Taryn, Wow, I didn’t know it was National Novel Writing Month–how great that you’re particiapting–wishing you much inspiration and happy writing 🙂

  25. LOL, Lou! We tried to cheat with the Harry Potter book over the summer–we bought the CD’s and took them to the beach house with us. Surprisingly my guys didn’t like it, so we bought the book and are they’re until December—but *I’m* still listening to the CD’s *lol*.

    I’m in complete agreement with all your comments on movies 😉

  26. Hi Connie! Sounds like you read the way I used to 😉 I totally agree about non-readers. My mom bought this cool wall decoration that is the mold of a book, pages open, a bookmark rippled across one page, and on the other page is engraved: “I cannot live without books.” Thomas Jefferson

    Oh so true 🙂

  27. I visit the book binge quite often. I love keeping up with my fave authors and these books sound great. I’ve already got so many books to read and there are still more that I want to get.

  28. >

    Hi Kimmy! Same here 🙂 Keeping up with my fave authors is exactly why my TBR piles are teetering. Once I have them, I know they’ll get read eventually–I’m always prepared for the next binge 😉

  29. I want to thank one of our readers who sent me a private note to point out my misuse of the words “tender hooks” in my comments about THE STRANGER. The correct spelling for this expression would be ‘tenterhooks’. I had only heard the expression, and in my mind’s eye I visualized these steel hooks pierced through the chest, and I thought, “Oh, that would be tender.” *lol* Oh, the deceptions of a visual mind. 😉

    I do love to learn (and hate to be wrong *lol*)—so THANK YOU! 🙂

  30. Stacey, I know what you mean about having books stacked all over the place begging to be read. lol With writing, coordinating contests, taking care of grandchildren…You can see where I’m going with this. lol I’ll be gone for most of November so I intend to catch up on some long overdue reading fix.

  31. Stacey, I thought that should have been Tenterhooks but didn’t bother to check so good to know my “spelling genes” are still working. I use spell check to correct my typing as much as my spelling!! LOL And had to make 4-5 corrections in this short space!

  32. Thanks Stacey, for wishing me luck. National Novel Writing Month is in November. It’s a challenge for writers to complete a 50K word novel between the 1st and 30th of November. Last year was my first attempt and I ended with an 80k complete first draft. It was inspiring to get that much done in a month’s time, especially considering that it had taken me 10 years to finish my first novel. I did a personal one in July/August and finished my 3rd (first draft) novel. NaNoWriMo this year will be my attempt to write and finish my 4th.

    Thanks again!

  33. “I use spell check to correct my typing as much as my spelling!! LOL And had to make 4-5 corrections in this short space!”

    🙂 Glad I’m not the only one, Lucky Lou!

  34. 80k in a month–WOW, Taryn! That’s more than inspiring, it’s amazing! CONGRATULATIONS!! What wonderful motivation 🙂

    I wrote MAVERICK WIILD in a little over three months, and it nearly killed me *lol*

  35. Awww…Stacy, I’m touched. I have been away from the computer for days–well, away from the internet as I try to get caught up on my wip so I’m just now reading this. My computer is now permanently attached to my hands, I feel like. THANK YOU for the ever so kind words about my work!!!!

  36. No problem, Geralyn, I answer to just about anything 😉 And THANK YOU for the hours and hours of wonderful reading! OMGosh, Kat’s first visual of Jake, standing in the water, muscles flexing, his earring twinkling in the sunlight…*sigh* A permanent vision in my mind 🙂 No way I was putting that book down until I’d finished it.

  37. I also have books all over the house. I read all the time, all types of romance books. I work in a library so I have access to books in a big way.

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