Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mood Reading

Does your mood dictate what you read?

Those who visit Thoughts in Progress know I enjoy reading murder mysteries. What you might not know is that for a long time I wouldn't read cozy mysteries. In fact, there were a number of years the only type of murder mystery I read had to be a true story. There were so many true murder mysteries, I saw no sense in reading something that was made up.

The true murder mysteries were usually written by a reporter that had covered the case first hand. That's one aspect that intrigued me. At the time I was a newspaper reporter who had covered quite a number of murders. They were unique in their own way and several had slightly bizarre twist to them.

While reading only true murder mysteries, I also read romance novels to give me a little balance.

Somewhere along the way I finally read a cozy mystery. I don't remember why nor do I remember what it was. I only remember thinking I had been missing out by narrowing my reading focus. Over the years since I have tried to read various genres of books. Some I've enjoyed and some I haven't. But if I didn't try, I'd never know what I'm missing.

The one area I haven't gotten into is YA books and children's books. Having no children I've never thought much about this genre. I now have several cousins under the age of 11 and this is an area I'd like to learn more about to help encourage them to read.

I've tried not to focus this blog on just one genre. I want to experience different books and share them with others. As giveaways become available to me, I want to share those as well. These giveaways will also vary in genre.

With that in mind I have two new giveaways to announce. In addition, I have a video to share featuring upcoming guest blogger Sherrill Bodine and her book giveaway on Jan. 18.

The first giveaway is for "Countess of Scandal" by Laurel McKee. This is a 368 page, paperback book (ISBN: 9780446544788) and is scheduled to be published Feb. 1.

Thanks to Anna and the Hachette Book Group (HBG) I have five copies of this book to giveaway. To enter the contest send an e-mail to Put "Win Countess of Scandal"  in the subject line and include your name and address in the e-mail. The contest is open to residents of U.S. and Canada only and no post office box addresses will be accepted. The deadline to enter is Feb. 3.

As children, Eliza Blacknall and William Denton ran wild over the fields of southern Ireland and swore they would be friends forever. Then fate took Will away to England, while Eliza stayed behind to become a proper Irish countess. Years later, Will finally makes his way home-as an English soldier sent to crush the Irish uprising. When he spies the lovely Eliza, he is captivated by the passionate woman she has become. But Eliza's passions have led her to join the Irish rebel cause, and Will and Eliza now find themselves on opposite sides of a dangerous conflict.

When Ireland explodes in bloody rebellion, Will's regiment is ordered to the front lines, and he is forced to choose between his duty to the English king and his love for Eliza and their Irish homeland.

The second giveaway is for "Dare to Surrender" by Lilli Feisty. This is a 352 page, paperback book (ISBN: 9780446541930) and is scheduled to be released Feb. 1.

HE MEETS HIS MATCH. SHE MEETS HER MASTER. Art gallery curator Joy Montgomery has never liked her body's generous curves. And she's always been too shy to explore her wild side. But tonight, everything is going to change . . . Desperate to save her job, Joy approaches bad-boy artist Ash Hunter and asks him to exhibit his erotic work at her gallery. Ash agrees on one condition: Joy must pose as his model. But business soon turns to pleasure, as Joy experiences a passion beyond her wildest imaginings and Ash finds more than just inspiration in his voluptuous new muse.

Thanks to Anna and HBG I have five copies of this book to giveaway.To enter the contest send an e-mail to Put "Win Dare to Surrender"  in the subject line and include your name and address in the e-mail. The contest is open to residents of U.S. and Canada only and no post office box addresses will be accepted. The deadline to enter is Feb. 3.

Now for the video showcasing Sherrill Bodine's "A Black Tie Affair."

Do you like to read a different genre than your norm? What is your favorite genre to read?


  1. My mood sertainly plays a key role in how I write. I need to be aware of how I feel so that I can work on particular sections. I don't want to work on a sentimental scene when I'm agitated.

    Stephen Tremp

  2. Mood does play a part in what I read.

    I do read different genres, I always have. I am afraid I will miss something if I don't. :)

  3. If I'm writing (which is all the time lately), then I won't read cozies...makes me feel too insecure in comparison to the well-edited, published book! I'll read police procedurals, lit fic, nonfiction, or thrillers.

    Mystery Writing is Murder
    Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

  4. Absolutely my mood dictates what I read. If I'm feeling unstressed, then I'll pick up a long Stephen King novel. If I'm in the mood for a little levity, I'll pick up a YA coming-of-ager, etc.

    I write mystery/suspense, but I like to read science fiction and horror, too. (Cookbooks, too, sometimes.) You know, it depends on my mood!

  5. Stephen, mood does come across when your writing without you realizing it. I know some of the articles I've written when I went back and read over them again, they didn't read the way I wanted them to because I hadn't been concentrating on the subject.

    Teresa, your right. If we don't read different things we miss out. Sometimes when I read a "dark" murder mystery it helps me to read a romantic story next to get away from that dark feeling.

    Elizabeth, I can see where it would be hard to read in the genre you're writing, especially at the time you're writing.

    Alan, I think by reading all the different types of books it makes us well-rounded people. By reading other genres, authors can give their characters more depth too.

  6. Mason - I enjoy several different genres, and my mood (or, better to say, the state of my life) often has a lot to do with the book/genre that I choose. My main interest is mystery/crime fiction, but I also love historical fiction (think James Michener or Edward Rutherford). I can't say that I'm that much for romance novels, but I can certainly see why one might be.

    I agree with both you and Alan that the more variety we read, the better able we are to write in an interesting way.

  7. I read a lot of different genres, but it does depend on my mood as to what I'll pick up on any given day. I won't read anything that's too dark or heavy. I would like to explore some genres that I haven't ventured into yet,though. I tend to avoid paranormal because I'm easily creeped out, but there've been a couple you reviewed here that are on my TBR list now. It's one of the many reasons why I love blogs so much, it exposes me to a lot of books that I otherwise might never even consider.

  8. My mood affects what I read, as well. I'd rather read true crime when it's bright and sunny and daylight. I've begun to read YA some. Probably, the Potter books got me started. They've certainly changed since I was a teen!

    Straight From Hel

  9. My favorite genre to read is romantic suspense. I can read it no matter my mood. But sometimes I do want a good thriller or mystery. I read authors new to me on a regular basis, but I'm not as faithful about trying different genres, although I do venture out every once in a while. It's something I should do more.

  10. Margot, I think we all choose books depending on how things are going in our life. Books are the best way to escape for a few hours.

    Ingrid, blogs do help to expose us to other genres that we might not have tried before. I know I've come across some interesting authors I didn't know about and have since checked on their books even though they aren't my usual type reading. I've been pleasantly surprised.

    Helen, the YA books are something I haven't tried. I do want to check on children's books and become more aware of what is being offered.

    Carol, I think I would have to say I enjoy a romantic suspense over just a romantic book most of the time. Guess it's hard to get away from the mystery no matter what I'm reading. :)

  11. My mom read romance books but my favorite genres are mysteries, thrillers and romantic suspense.

  12. I read a wide range of genres. Last fall, I discovered that I loved YA after reading The Hunger Games, so I'll read more of that. I write mysteries, so when I'm writing I can't read them, fearing I might pick up that author's voice and lose my own.

  13. I'm not a very moody person - kind of a "middle way" zen practitioner in that regard. So I read books of all genres (well, not big on YA romance novels or Chic Lit, lol) at any time.

    Marvin D Wilson

  14. I read everything. I'll switch back and forth, depending on my mood. Historical? Excellent. Light and funny? Bring it on. However, when I'm writing my mysteries I tend to stay away from reading them. If I'm reading for recreation I need a change of pace.


  15. Dru, I enjoy the romantic suspense too. They give you the best of both worlds.

    Deb, I'll have to check on The Hunger Game - sounds interesting. I can see it would be easy to lose your own voice when writing if you were reading someone's book in the genre.

    Marvin, now if you don't try the romance novels you'll never know what you're missing. :)

    Elspeth, a change of pace is a good way to relax and enjoy reading.

  16. Mood affects my reading choices, too. And book club selections! I have to say, there are many excellent YA books that are great for Full Adults, too. I just read A Great and Terrible Beauty (bought for me by my son for Christmas) and it was really great. You don't have to have kids to love them, at least in my opinion.

    I find I read less and less genre fiction, but when I do, it tends to be a cozy mystery or a funny romance (like Julia Quinn).

  17. Misa, I think reading YA would help us all stay a little younger (at least in our way of thinking). Funny romance books make for good reading too.

  18. I like the book cover for COUNTESS OF SCANDAL. Seems very inviting :) (in more ways than one) although I don't really like the blurb :)

  19. I tend to read in a few genres - always have. The big trend is that I've read less "heavy" books as I've gotten older. I don't have as much time to dedicate and I've seen a little too much of the real world to appreciate the heavies at the moment. Maybe later on. I do enjoy rom-susp, rom, scifi, fantasy, murder, cozy, detective...

  20. Dezmond, book cover seem to be more intriguing than ever. But that's the point, to catch your attention and hopefully you'll pick it and want to read it. :)

    Jemi, sounds like what you do enjoy is interesting. Those are some of my favorite genres.

  21. Mood definately plays into it-sometimes it is for something with depth and other days light and fluffy.

  22. Esme, I like the light fluffy days best.

  23. By all means, mood dictates what I pick to read. Of course, once I start a book, I'll stick with it, even if my mood changes. I do try to mix things up -- mostly romance, romantic suspense, and mystery. Not big on techno-thrillers, but a good author will have me trying just about anything. Am reading Barry Eisler's Rain series now. I didn't get into them when the first came out because they were billed as thrillers, but having read Fault Line, and having met Barry, I decided to start with the Rain series.

    I'm not big on contemporary romance, or historicals, or anything Oprah-esque. Not much for the "literary" stuff.

  24. Terry, I think sometimes we are put off from books because they are billed as a certain type then later find out maybe there was more to them than we realized.

  25. Mood plays a role in what we read - I love reading holiday romances near the holiday but my fave genre is mystery.
    msboatgal at

  26. i enjoy reading many genre's...come to think of it, i guess my 'mood' does influence the type of book i the time.


  27. please enter me


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.