Monday, August 25, 2014

Balancing “reader” and “writer.”

Congratulations to "Willa" and "Donna S.", the winner's in C.A.'s giveaway. Thank you to all who participated.

I have always been a reader AND a writer. I started writing my first book when I was about 8, but I didn’t finish a book, writing anyway, until I was 17. 

I tend to “binge” anything I like to do, LOL. So I will go through long periods of JUST writing, where I don’t even think about any books but my own. Or get frustrated with myself because I “missed out” reading a new release from one of my fave authors because I just had to finish the book I was writing.

Reading has always been the same for me. When I am having a streak, I can read 4-5 books a week. I discovered a new author (to me) a few weeks ago (The FAB Coreene Callahan) and burned through ALL her books in the last three weeks.

It’s harder for me to read AND write at the same time, but I find that as a person, it makes me happier when I do. 

Binging is bad.

When I do one and not the other, I MISS the other. And I find when I don’t write it’s worse than when I don’t read. I get grumpy. LOL.

So what works best for me is writing daily, then making myself see the reading as a reward for the work I got done. Sometimes works fabulously. 

Other times I just want to watch TV in my downtime, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post. LOL (I watch way too much TV!)

I feel like writers SHOULD read. I don’t know about other writers, but if I do nothing BUT write, I get too much up in my own head, if that makes sense. It just wraps me up and gives me trouble spots in my stories.

It’s good to see what else is out there, what other awesomely creative people are doing. I love it! And I love to explore different genres.

Some authors will tell you not to read the genre you write, but I personally will read anything as long as it’s a good story. 

Historicals (especially Scottish Highlanders) are one of my fave things to read. And I love to read paranormal, and of course a fab romantic suspense, almost as much as I like to write it. 

Balance seems to be key for me in anything I do. Blame it on being a Libra, I dunno. Just seems when I have balance I function better, especially with reading and writing.

How do you find balance? When you read, do you prefer one genre over another, or are you good-story-driven like me?

Two winners will be selected from all the commenters, and I will give away an ebook to each! Winner’s choice of Collision Force (Crossing Forces Book One), Chance 
Collision (Crossing Forces Book Two) OR Calculated Collision (Crossing Forces Book Three)! Please make sure you leave your email with your comment!


Special Agent Lee Dawson has secrets. Secrets that forced her from Dallas to New York City in disgrace two years ago.

Dallas County Assistant District Attorney, Nate Crane, visits New York and witnesses the brutal murder of a friend. When Lee is assigned to the investigation, her personal and professional life collides. She can’t avoid the man she ditched six months ago. 

She’s the one Nate can’t stop thinking about. The one he let get away. He’s determined to get her back, no matter what she thinks she wants. Being a witness in her case puts them close—and Nate intends to keep it that way.

After Nate’s attacked at a safe house, Lee knows there’s a leak – a dirty FBI agent working with the human trafficker her unit has been hunting for years.

Can Lee protect her witness and resist the heat between them or will she succumb to her desires and throw them both into danger?


Sweat broke out on her brow and Lee gripped her Glock tighter instead of wiping the moisture away. She bit back a curse.

What’s taking so long?

They should’ve already heard shouts of “Federal agents!”

She hated being in the back. Being back-up. 

Lee and her partner, Clint Downs, were the lead agents of their unit, and usually headed raids.

Not today. 

Their boss, Special Agent Olivia Barnes, wanted them—Lee in particular—to take a breather from going hard and fast. 

Nothing wrong with the passenger seat, right? 

Maybe if she kept telling herself that, it’d sink in.

Hard and fast was all Lee knew. How she got the job done. But even her partner had reminded her there were twelve members of their human trafficking unit. They were all partners. 

Ugh. She’d rather hang a ‘Doesn’t play well with others’ sign around her neck. 
“You good?” 

Her partner’s gravelly voice made Lee tense. “Yup.” She didn’t look his way.
“You seem shaky.”

“I’m good.” Flexing her fingers on her gun’s grip, she inched forward. “Wanna get this done.”
Downs didn’t have a chance to answer. The battering ram exploded the door in front of them and wood splinters went flying. 

Collective shouts of “Federal agents!” coupled with “FBI!” surrounded her and she rushed forward behind her teammates. In correct formation, head in the game.
We’re doing this.

Screams and whimpers greeted her ears. Her heart used to jump with the fears of the victims every time they did a raid, but not anymore. Instead it was steel, and her gut made of iron. 

Lee was used to seeing tears, and hearing them cry. What she’d never get used to were the bruises and skimpy clothing on kids that were less than half her age. 

Babies. They’re all babies. 

Most weren’t even sixteen, yet in a lot of cases they’d been bought, sold and forced to have sex with more pieces of scum than she could count. The lucky ones got owners that didn’t beat them, but a sex-slave was still a sex-slave. 

Bastards. They all needed to die.

The relief on the girls’ faces when they first realised they were being rescued was always a reward. Reminded Lee she was a good person—why she did the job. If only the sentiment lasted in her mind. 

A shot rang out and her instincts kicked in. She dropped to the dingy carpet and rolled to the nearest cover—a dark-coloured couch. 

Someone returned fire just as her partner crouched beside her. “Shit,” Downs spat. “It’s going south, fast.”

Lee smirked and raised her Glock. “Nah, we got this.” She popped up over the couch for a quick survey. A bullet whizzed overhead and her partner yanked her back down.

“Don’t be reckless.” 

When he flashed his perma-scowl, she almost rolled her eyes. How many times had he said that? 

Welllllllll, for today it’s probably the first time.

Orders to drop weapons went unheeded as more bangs made her ears ring. She risked another look over the couch. Other members of their unit had taken cover, but several were returning fire. 

Buylinks for the Calculated Collision:

Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon | KOBO | Barnes and Noble | Totally Bound | Are

Where to find C.A.:
Twitter: @caszarek

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Aug. 26th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. Im story driven. It depends on what I am in the mood for and as long as the story is good. Ill read it.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

    1. Me too! I don't care who the "intended" audience is, I will read it if it's a good story! :) Thank you for the comment! :)

  2. I'm a Libra, too, and maybe that's why so many genres appeal to me. Must admit, though, I'm drawn to mystery/suspense but I read just about every genre. If it's a great story with well developed characters, I'm in.

    Jonettaallen77 at yahoo dot com

    1. YAY for the fellow libra! Haha! I agree, well-developed characters are a must! Thank you for the comment!

  3. I would have to say I'm story driven, I just love a good book. I'm a big fan girl of series and the longer the better! As for genre I read them all, there's always another good story begging me to read it. Chrissy have a great day, will check back after closing on the house this morning!!

    1. YAY! Thanx for the comment Caron! I love series, the longer the better, too! ;)

  4. My favorite genre is romantic suspense. It's even better if there is a western theme to it. A very close second would be legal thrillers. In either case, the characters have to be well developed.


    1. Ohhhh, a western romantic suspense? How cool! Thanx for the comment Jo-Anne!

  5. My favourite genre is romantic suspense - love some action/murder along with the romance! I enjoy trying to spot *who dunnit* ! I also love a good contemporary too as well as a little PNR just to keep things hopping!

    willa (at) talktalk (dot) net

    1. I also have a question! Are your books linked or can they stand alone *Willa who is anal about reading in order*

    2. Thanx for the comments Willa! I love romantic suspense and fantasy equally, I think. ;) They are stand alone, but the characters from all the books show up in the each other books ;) I am a stickler about reading in order, too. Even tho the plots don't require it, I think it's best done in order. They go COLLISION FORCE, CHANCE COLLISION, CALCULATED COLLISION, and then COLLISION CONTROL will be out in Oct. There is a FREE short that is technically after CHANCE in the timeline, but it's only about Andi and Cole (from the first book) and it's a Christmas Story so it doesn't matter when you read it, but its a spoiler if you read it first. ;)

  6. I read pretty much anything... I look for a good story and as long as I can get lost in it, there's nothing that I won't "believe" :) thanks for sharing! That was an action packed excerpt!

    1. A good story is a must, I agree! Thank you for the comment, Erin!

  7. I read across all genres. I just need a great story.


    1. Me too, Mary! Thank you for the comment!

  8. Depends on the story

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. I agree, BN. The story has to draw me in! Thank you for the comment!

  9. I love the many genres within romance... something for whatever mood I am in at a time... I enjoy a great romantic suspense for the bit a danger and mystery... try to figure things out as I go... I look forward to a good book and a bit of an adventure or journey with characters...