Happy May Day. In the dark days of winter in the Great Lakes states, we talk about cabin fever when we've been cooped up too long. Quarantine Fever sounds appropriate for these unusual times.
Are you tired of staying home? Never thought I’d say it, but I am. Mind you, I like being home. After nearly three months, I’ve about had it with not going anywhere. Here in Michigan, we’ve had shelter-in-place for eight weeks. But I broke my foot in February, and the “cure” was staying off my foot and keeping it elevated. That equals nearly three months of only going to the doctor. Once my foot healed, I got to go to the store to pick up groceries that a “shopper” had collected. Whoopee! I haven’t even seen my grandchildren in person, except at a distance. Daughter and Daughter-in-Law decided at the beginning of the shelter-in-place that it was safer for Hubs and I not to come in contact with the kiddos. Son and Son-in-Law work in essential jobs, so the risk of their bringing home the virus is very real. Rational, but I sure do miss those hugs and kisses.
According to the ads on TV, we’re all in this together. So I’m probably not telling you anything new or anything that you haven’t experienced. I understand the reason for staying home and totally agree with it. Emotionally, I’m finding it hard.
With all this “free” time, you’d think I would get a lot done. Being confined to the recliner meant cleaning, organizing closets, etc. were not on my agenda. So what have I done? I wish I could say I’ve been writing like crazy. Unfortunately, no. I’m finding it difficult to focus on my work-in-progress, the science fiction romance that is 85% done. I wrote myself into a corner and can’t figure out how to get out.
So, if I’m not cleaning and not writing, what am I doing? Binge-watching TV and binge-reading. Since my buddy Nancy Gideon wrote about bingeing television shows here on Saturday, I’ll talk about reading.
When I find an author I enjoy, I tend to binge on his/her books. I discovered Jayne Ann Krentz (w/a Jayne Castle) back in the early 80s when she wrote for Dell Candlelight. I’ve read almost everything she’s written. Thanks to our library that loans ebooks, I’ve kept up with her latest, especially the ones taking place in the 1930s. Great romantic suspense. And I find the world-building in her science fiction romances fascinating.
Linda Howard is another favorite. Her romantic suspense stories capture my interest from the first pages of each book. Since I write romantic suspense (along with mysteries and sci-fi romance), I try to examine books in those genres to see how the author does it. With Howard’s books, I get so caught up in the story I forget what I’m supposed to do.
Veronica Scott’s science fiction romances are captivating. I’ve binged on her entertaining Badari Warrior series, featuring genetically engineered soldiers, as well as her Egyptian mythology series. She really knows how to build fantastical worlds.
Lately, I rediscovered Phyllis A. Whitney, an author I first read while in my 20s. I think she and Victoria Holt are the mothers of gothic fiction. As I read book after book, I found myself fascinated by the atmosphere Whitney creates that sends shivers down my spine. Our Nancy Gideon does the same with her vampire and shifters series. I’ve never considered writing a Gothic (or fantasy) romance, so reading them is pure pleasure. Not to learn anything, just to enjoy.
Anna Hackett develops futuristic worlds on a dystopian Earth. Her characters are strong and flawed, the alien conquerors are downright creepy, and the stories are so hot you need a fan.
S.J. Pajonas’ cozy mysteries are a delight. They feature a young woman who daydreams her way through life in rural Japan and somehow solves mysteries.
I blasted through Diane Henders The Never Say Spy series, reading one after another. Exciting with a middle-aged heroine. Did the same with Josie Brown’s Housewife Assassin books. Like I said, when I find an author I like, I binge-read their books.
So, if you’re still sheltering-in-place, I hope you’ll check out some of my favorites. Have you read any of them? What books/authors would you suggest?
Stay safe. We’ll all get through these difficult times by doing our part.