Reading Challenge

Writers read, right? Well, mostly, but sometimes writers get so involved in writing that they forget to read.


Yep. Forget to read.

And this is right where I have found myself lately, reading nothing but my own writing. Now I love my stories, otherwise I wouldn’t write them, right? But I need to branch out. I need to read something else.

So I came up with my own reading challenge. And I was hoping you might join me. Here’s how it works. We have the rest of the year to read 10 books. 10 *different* kinds of books. I have devised a list with choices. (There are more than 10 so if one type just doesn’t do it for you, you can choose another.)

Once a month, I’ll come back and tell you which book I marked off my list and how I feel about the book. Not necessarily a review but sort of. You can come on and comment and tell me about the book you read and perhaps we’ll get some new ideas and find some new authors.

If something happens and you miss a month, never fear. We’re not keeping score. This is for fun as well as to keep me…er, I mean us, focused.

Okay…here’s the list

1o book reading challenge

  1. A book recommended by a book seller or librarian
  2. A book published in a different decade
  3. A book you’ve already read before
  4. A book you should have read in school
  5. A book that has been banned before
  6. A book from a genre you don’t normally read
  7. A book that intimidates you
  8. A book you’ve been meaning to read for a while
  9. A book you quit reading once before
  10. A book published before you were born
  11. A book recommended by someone close to you
  12. A book published this year
  13. A book about another century
  14. A book you’ve never heard of before
  15. A book recommended by amazon/internet/cyber friend

So are you ready…? Then go!

BTW–I’m reading 50 Ways To Ruin a Rake by Jade Lee. (and I’m loving it) It’s my  number 13. :)

What are you reading?

reading challenge


Jaded: A Book Review

When I had the opportunity to read Jaded by Varina Denman and review it on my blog, I was very excited at the prospect. I love helping new authors, but I was also very interested in reading the book. It deals with a sensitive subject matter, especially for those who write for the Christian market. The concept of us against the church. I was anxious to see how Varina handled the situations and the lessons learned.

Ruthie can remember exactly when she and her mother stopped going to church, but she didn’t know what happened. The circumstances surrounding their break with the church are eventually revealed along with secrets that have been kept for many, many years.

The first thing that stands out in this novel is the author’s understanding of small town life.  All of the relationships, the intertwining lives, secrets kept and held, gossip, and general slow-paced bustle that can only happen in tiny rural towns.

I enjoyed the characters, how they dealt with one another, the histories they shared and how they coped with it each and every day. That’s not to say that all of the characters are lovable. But isn’t that the way of life?

All in all, the book was an easy read. I found the pages flying by as the story of Ruthie, her mother and father, and all that happened all those years ago was revealed.

Yet Jaded is more than that. It’s the tale of the new preacher coming to town, a little unsure of his talents and a lot unsure of how he fits into the church/town dynamic. It’s the tale of a convicted felon, recently released from prison, coming back for a second chance. But more than anything, it’s about understanding and trust.

With such well-defined and well-developed characters and a touching tale of love, forgiveness, and second chances, Jaded is a story for everyone. I loved every word.

Here’s a little bit about Jaded and Varina Denman.

jadedAs a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed—unearthing a string of secrets which threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside-down.

Jaded is the rare novel that is both love story between a woman and man … and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness and restoration, it will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart … and a thirst for hope.

Varina Denman writes stories about the unique struggles women face. She teaches creative writing and literature, volunteers in her local cooperative, and is a home educator to her five children. She resides with her family in North Texas. This is her first novel.

Get your copy of Jaded on AMAZON and B&N

4 Stars from RT Book Reviews

Just received word that Saving Gideon received 4 stars from RT Reviews!!! Here’s a quote:

“A sweet love story with characters who are grieving for different reasons but are brought together by chance and, in the process, help each other get over their pain and deepen their faith in themselves and God. Amy Lillard is a wonderful writer and honors the Amish and their faith with her novels.” RT Book Reviews

Yep. You got it. I’m walking on clouds!