I really should have titled this "What I've Read on My Summer Vacation," but actively disengaged fits so well.
I've been at the beach this week, desperately trying to keep away from the Internet, from work, from the incessant deadlines that seem to plague me. And for the most part, I've done a good job. I have the beginnings of a wicked tan, have indulged in adult beverages in the middle of the day, have seen more flesh than is humanly possible, and have read four books. And of course I'm typing this blog, because I couldn't get everything I needed to done before I left for vacation. I haven't been able to stay away from the television, mostly because we were dealing with the remnants of Thunderstorm Kaye when we arrived, and are now fretfully watching Gustav, scared to death for our friends in New Orleans.
Since 14 came out this week, I've also been doing press -- interviews and guest blogs, phone interviews, all the attendant public relations that goes hand in hand with a book's release. I went to Barnes & Noble and Bookland to visit the book Tuesday, a heartening experience considering they asked me to sign all the stock. Every time I crossed out my printed name and slapped my signature on the book, I felt a little lighter. It's utterly surreal to have published a book. To have two books on the shelves is a bit overwhelming.To be able to walk in a bookstore, a grocery store, a drugstore and see my name of the cover of a book is craziness.
I think I'm lucky that I use a pseudonym -- like I've said before, I can separate J.T. Ellison from me, which lends this slightly warped perspective to my daily life. It's hard trying to keep the two halves of my world separate. I don't like JT bleeding into me, and I don't like me bleeding into JT. It's difficult to keep the two apart, especially when you're working on vacation. Bah.
It can be especially hard for me to disengage the JT part of my brain when it comes to reading. Turning off the writer side off and letting my inner reader reign supreme can be tricky. But this week, the books I chose to take with me have let me to be a reader, to glory in the story, to read without analyzing writing style, without that little niggling voice that usually reads a line and say oh, I wouldn't have said it quite that way.
I started with Zoë Sharp's FIRST DROP -- I'm telling you, Taylor and Charlie Fox would get along very, very well if they ever had a chance to meet in person. The story rolled along at a breakneck pace -- I always love books where there's a real chase on -- and kept me up way to late the first day we were here. Add to that the setting, miles from my current environs, and I was totally hooked. I'm moving on to SECOND SHOT by the end of the week.
Next up was Kristy Kiernan's MATTERS OF FAITH, a brilliantly nuanced story of love, loss and family relations. Kristy's books are always lyrical and stunning, and I was so completely sucked into the story that the real world faded away. It's one of the best books I've read in a long time.
I finished Alex Berenson's THE FAITHFUL SPY last night. I've been saving this book for months, knowing it wouldn't disappoint. I was right, it was stunning. Scary as hell, too, considering our political climate and the war on terror. I have his new book, THE GHOST WAR, and will hopefully get it done in the next week.
I've also nearly finished Dave White's THE EVIL THAT MEN DO, a wonderful followup to his debut Jackson Donne novel WHEN ONE MAN DIES. Dave writes with an assurance well beyond his years, and I can't wait to see where this series goes.
So in addition to the second efforts of both Zoë and Alex Berenson, I've got CHASING HARRY WINSTON by Lauren Weisberger. Had to do it. Don't apologize for a second. Can't wait to dive in. So there.
At the bottom of the stack is the creme de la creme, the book I've been waiting to read for months. Lee Child's NOTHING TO LOSE. I can't wait.
This is only a tiny crack, a baby fissure in the stacks and stacks of books I need to catch up on. I'm taking September off from writing, will be doing research for book 5, THE IMMORTALS, reading for pleasure, and touring. Catching up on playtime. At least for a few weeks.
So let's just have fun today. What are you reading?
Since I'm in the land of margaritas, daiquiris, crashing waves and soft sand, let's skip the wine this week and do something called Chases' By The Beach - raspberry liqueur, vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice and orange juice. Yum! And how about a glass of Prosecco to toast our 13th wedding anniversary this past Tuesday. Nothing like have a book drop on your anniversary : )