Let’s Talk with Karla Brandenburg

Hunker down with a good book month
by Karla Brandenburg

MOTM Marissa ThumbnailI don’t know about you but January is hunker down with a good book month for me. With the holidays over and the weather declining, there’s nothing better than curling up in a warm chair and reading. I do most of my binge-reading in January.

Santa brings me a book-buying gift card nearly every year, giving me the opportunity to load more books on my already loaded Kindle. I powered through all the Christmas stories, and now I can go back to the standard fare. My favorite authors or, with the power of my gift card, authors I might have hesitated to spend my money on (but now have “free” money to spend).

My reading habits are varied, but having grown up on Victoria Holt, I tend to sway toward a Gothic romance. I’ve found some excellent historical romance authors, as well, but that doesn’t rule out a John Grisham, or a Stephen King, or Dan Brown. Mysteries have always appealed to me, as well.

Do you have any recommendations? A majority of readers find new books as a result of recommendations, a book that is so good it doesn’t need to be restricted to a genre-reader. Harry Potter is a good example of that. What started out as a YA novel topped the charts for all ages very quickly. The Twilight series seems to have done that, as well, although I couldn’t quite jump into that crowd. The story was a little too teenage angsty for me, not quite as broad an audience. I picked it up because I also used to read vampire novels, starting with the original Dracula (which has a revered spot on my bookshelves). I’ve read dozens of vampire novels, but nothing quite compares to the original.

When people ask me what I recommend, I always ask what sort of books they like first (no, I don’t immediately say “Read one of mine!”). Reading is a very subjective thing. Some people don’t have tolerance for certain things in their books, like sex or violence or ghosts. For me, it’s a dangling ending. I stopped reading Anne Rice for that reason, even though I enjoyed her books overall. I get angry if the story isn’t over. I do recommend my fellow Booklover’s Bench authors’ books, but again, I always check someone’s preferences first.

I haven’t yet spent my gift card. So what’s on my Kindle right now? Blythe Gifford. Courtney Milan. Jill Shalvis. What should I add?

Leave me a comment for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card and your opportunity to try a new author with “free” money! (maybe even one of mine?)

Check out Karla’s “Mist” Series, all three complete stories in one e-book bundle.

Comments

  1. As an author, I am always asked what I like to read. So I’ve just done a blog with all my recent book reviews. Currently, I am reading the final novel in Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. It’s sad to come to the end of a beloved series, but I understand the author’s need for a change of pace. Then I have a couple of historical mysteries on my night stand.

    • Just got my RITA books to judge, so now I have a very diverse collection of reading to get through. Always interesting to read something I might not have otherwise picked up

  2. Colleen C. says

    I read a wide range usually within romance… have found so many authors from blogs like this one. For mysteries some I enjoy are Sandra Brown and Lisa Jackson…

    • Some good choices, Colleen. Do you like contemporary romances? Historical? Inspirational? Sweet? Spicy? I usually draw the line at erotica, but I’m a fan of most types of romance.

      • Colleen C. says

        I enjoy all of the above… something for whatever I am in the mood for… lately I have been on an Inspirational kick.

  3. sallycootie says

    I love getting book gift cards for the same reasons you do – it’s “free” money so I buy that special book or the hardcover rather than the paperback or ebook. Sometimes, though, it takes me forever to spend that free money because I don’t want to waste it and keep looking for the perfect purchase. If I were to spend mine today I would get a couple more cozies, anything by Lisa Scottoline, the new Tami Hoag, something from Booklover’s Bench and Jungle Red authors . . . I just love to read!

  4. Hi Karla, That’s really one of the best gifts–a card or cash to buy books! And I agree, after Christmas when things calm down a little is the perfect time to read and perhaps try new authors. I also completely agree about dangling endings. I think that’s so unfair to the reader who bought the book in good faith only to have bought and read what is essentially an unfinished book. I understand characters in a series of books and I’m a fan but each book needs to be complete. If you like cozy mysteries, I recommend M. C. Beaton. She’s a prolific author who created the Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth series. If you like detective series, I recommend the Kinsey Millhone series written by Sue Grafton. Thank you for your very enjoyable post and Happy Writing!

    • Hi Betty. I’ve always wanted to pick up a Sue Grafton, but have yet to do so. Thanks for your suggestions and I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  5. I’m currently reading Trial & Tribulations by Rachel Dylan. It deals with New Age, supernatural & the occult. Not what I normally read but I won it in a contest. It came in the mail yesterday so decided to read it instead of my usual romance.

  6. Terry Ambrose says

    What a great present for any reader! I love a good funny mystery and recently discovered Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune Mystery series. Absolutely hilarious! Now I have to decide between reading what I want to read and what I should read!

    • Humor always makes a story better for me. I’m not one to enjoy a “cry” story (like Nicholas Sparks, even though his books are very good). I like to be able to laugh! Thanks, Terry

  7. tinawhittle says

    Seconding what Maggie said — that sidebar to the right is a great place to start for anyone’s next reading material. Right now, I’m loving Ben Aaronovitch’s urban paranormal series (the London cops have a department of magical crimes — who knew?). Also just finished Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris (copy editor at The New Yorker). On the mystery side of things, you can’t go wrong with Larissa Reinhart, Laurie R. King, Tammy Kaehler (race car protag!) and Will McIntosh.

  8. Since my new series is set on a cattle ranch, I’ve been reading western-themed romances. More fun than textbook type research books!

  9. maggietoussaint says

    I have been reading a lot of dystopian books lately. Authors I like are Christina Rozelle, Sarah Nofke, Vincent Robert Annunziato, Jake Lingwall, James Morris, ER Arroyo, NW Harris, and AG Riddle. I’ve posted reviews for books by these authors and found them all to be very engaging, if you’re in that alternate mode of society recovering from something terrible mode. I also highly recommend every author here at Booklover’s Bench. I’ve read their mysteries and romances, and let me tell ya, they rock!