Tag Archives: jude deveraux

Confessions of a Story Binger

Hello, I’m J Monkeys.   I’m a story binger.   Phew.   Boy, it feels good to get that out.   They say you can’t solve a problem until you recognize you have one.   Well, I do.   I binge on stories.   Only good stories, by good storytellers…but still.   I’m a story binger.

You may wonder what brought me to this point in my life.  Lots of things, really.  Specifically, Julia Quinn, Lynn Kurland, Jude Deveraux, Aaron Sorkin, Eric Northman, Temperance Brennen, Piper Halliwell, Jack Bauer, Benedict Cumberbatch, the fellas of Ripper Street, the ladies of Downton, Walter White and Francis Underwood

Back in the days before Netflix, I binged mostly through books.  In my high school and college years, I’m not exaggerating when I write that I read at least a thousand romance novels.  It’s a good thing I’ve had a job since I was 8 years old, to support my habit.  And I discovered second hand book stores about the same time I learned to drive.  very handy, that. 

When the last couple of Harry Potter books came out, my boys weren’t born yet, so I declared each of those days “Harry Potter Day” and nobody was allowed to interrupt me until I had finished the book.  I recall wandering the house, cooking and eating all while sobbing my way through the end of Book 6.

the west wing castIn my 20’s I would occasionally by a season of 24 on DVD, then watch the whole thing in 36 hours or so.    And Mr. Monkeys bought me wonderful Valentine’s Day gifts a couple of years in a row, the complete series of The West Wing and Charmed.  Not together, that would be a strange combination, but two different sets.  Charmed comes in it’s very own book of shadows.  ;)

I’ve had to limit myself to not watching episodes in order, because that leads to another one and another one until half a day has gone by with me watching shows that I can probably recite.  Sigh. 

And True Blood?  I’ve bought the last few seasons and watched the whole thing in less than two days.  Pretty much every moment that the children were unlikely to walk into my office, I was sitting at my laptop, with my headphones on watching the show.  If you are unfamiliar, it’s the kind of show that you never know what someone might say (HBO – f-bombs galore – and that’s not the worst of it!) or what might pop up on the screen in the time it takes to hit pause on the remote. 

bonesBut now, Netflix is enabling me in heretofore unheard of ways!  I watched 7 seasons of Bones in a month.  A MONTH!  That’s like 7 episodes a day.  I watched all of Breaking Bad in a few weeks.   I watched so much 24 in two weeks that I had to take a break from it.  House of Cards, the whole season in a weekend!   I’m chomping at the bit for the next seasons of Sherlock and Ripper Street

Is it any wonder that I seem to have trouble finishing writing projects?!   Okay, I’ve admitted my problem.  Now it’s time for a solution.  Here’s the one I’ve come up with: I vow to stay away from all stories (but my own) until I have written 500 words every day.   No word-y, no story.  That’s my new philosophy. 

Anybody else have this problem?

What is in a name?

Hello Scribblers!  J Monkeys coming atcha from inside a snow globe.  Or at least that’s how it looks from my office window.  A fresh batch of snow fell last night and everything in view is covered – trees, roofs, even the sky is white, matching the gently falling flakes.  Quite a contrast from the book I’ve been reading this morning.

How do you select a book at the store?  Usually, it’s one of two things that prompts me to pick something up – either a cover that attracts my attention, or the author’s name.  When it comes to authors, naturally, it’s repeat business for me – I’m buying books by authors I’ve read before and enjoyed.  Lynn Kurland, Julia Quinn, Julie Garwood, Jude Deveraux.  Sometimes it’s a new book written by a friend or acquaintance – especially when they are written in a genre that isn’t typically my cup of tea, but where I know from experience that I’ll enjoy the ride – Kristan Higgins’ contemporary romances, Katy Lee’s inspirational romances or Casey Wyatt’s urban fantasies, for example. 

This morning, I’m reading a book that I chose based on the author, but it isn’t an author whose work is familiar to me.  In fact, the book I’m reading is his debut novel.  Nor was the book/author recommended to me by a friend.  I’m reading Dracula the Un-Dead written by Dacre Stoker – great grand nephew of Bram Stoker.

dracula-the-un-deadI’m almost exactly to the half-way point in the book and it’s a delight!  It’s not scary, which is a good thing for me because I do NOT like scary stories.  Mr. King’s The Shinning still haunts me 25 years after I read it!  While I loved The Stand, there were parts that I found creepy – I remember reading it while sitting in a corner, hidden from any ghouls lurking in the ether.   But Dracula the Un-Dead seems more like a drama than horror as I think of it today.  It’s written as a sequel to the original book.  In truth it’s co-authored by Dacre Stoke and Ian Holt apparently written (according to Wikipedia) “Because of the Stokers’ frustrating history with Dracula’s copyright, Dacre with encouragement from screenwriter Ian Holt, decided to write “a sequel that bore the Stoker name” to “reestablish creative control over” the original novel.”  What an interesting idea.  I don’t know the extent to which it would reestablish copyright – but hey.

But if you’ve enjoyed the rise in vampire stories in the last decade or so, you might want to take a look at this homage to the original.  It’s well done (at least the first half!) and worth a few of your hard earned dollars.  And, again according to Wikipedia, they wrote it based on Bram’s original notes and stuff pulled out of the original novel.  Again, a cool idea. 

Today’s secret: Dracula is Un-Dead and available at the bookstore once again.  :)  Oh and by the way, they have begun filming season 6 of True Blood, speaking of popular vampires.  The delightful Mr. Skarsgard has revealed a spoiler-ish something from filming.  Click here to find out what.

Today’s question: how do you decide to buy a book?  What changes you from a browser to a buyer?