Thursday, January 15, 2015

January 15th, 2015 Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

Good Morning! One of my New Year’s resolutions was to get back in the habit of reading. I used to, on average, read three full length novels a week, and that’s while I had a full time job. You may think that is a lot, but when you chose a book over watching television, and you are a fairly quick reader, it’s not as unrealistic as it sounds. I’d curl up in bed around eight and read until eleven or so – twenty-one hours a week, 7 hours a book, roughly 50 pages an hour. See, not that impressive now that I broke it down for you.

So, in an effort to keep my NYR, I downloaded a bunch of free books on my Kindle and my phone. By having them on my phone, they’re always with me. So whenever I’m stuck waiting, I can whip out my phone and read while I wait. Perfect example, when we were headed up to Vermont last Saturday, there was a horrible accident on Route 87 which had all lanes, north and south, closed. I was literally in park on the highway. Normally traffic gets me agitated and aggravated, but this time, I pulled out my phone and read while I waited, glancing up with every page turn to access the traffic situation (you’re lucky if there are 40 words per page on your phone, so I was looking up constantly).

One of the free books I downloaded was Harper Lin’s Killer Christmas. It is the first book in the Emma Wild Mystery Series, a four book set of cozy mysteries. Emma is an internationally renowned singer who has broken up with Nick, her “Hollywood’s leading man” boyfriend, and has gone back to her little hometown in Canada for the holidays; basically to lick her wounds. She has pretty much been avoiding her town because that is where her first true love, Sterling, the boy who broke her heart, still resides and is one of the town’s detectives.

Emma is in town for less than 24 hours, when Emma is in her sister’s café, Chocoholic Café, when she is recognized by a fan. Emma graciously chats with the fan while they were waiting for their drink orders to be filled – picture Starbuck’s. They get their drinks. The fan takes a sip, exclaims, “This tastes funny”, then drops dead right in front of Emma. Turns out the fan, also named Emma, grabbed the wrong drink. The poisoned drink was intended for Emma Wild. Of course, this turn of events brings Emma back in contact with Sterling, and an old flame gets rekindled. This all happens in the first couple of chapters, so I’m really not giving much away.

When I got to the end of Killer Christmas, I did a WHAT? WAIT! WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?! ARGH!!! Then I did something I rarely do, I purchased the entire Christmas Collection boxed set – thanks to a B&N gift card I received. This required me downloading the Nook app onto my phone – no small feat for someone as technologically challenged like me, but I was motivated. After several attempts, I managed to accomplish it, and by eleven last night, I had completed the entire series. They’re not that long. However, even though the stories are not massive, each character is fully developed and relatable. A few things unfold a little quickly, but all and all, it was an entertaining read.

The entire series is narrated by Emma Wild, and the style made me think of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum. Emma is quirky, funny, sometimes self-deprecating, and thoroughly enjoyable. I recommend not doing what I did, and just get the entire boxed set right from the get-go. It’s only $5.99 for all four books. This was my first foray into “cozy mystery”, but it won’t be my last.

I hope you have a marvelous day, and happy writing!

Your Next Challenge is:

You find a strange metal object with a button on it – you press the button…

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.