My Reading Challenge

I’m starting a new reading challenge next week. For those who follow me on Twitter, you know I like to write. For those who also write and are trying to get published, you know how hard and draining the process can be. Sometimes you just need to take a break and regroup. For those who work in publishing, you likely understand how hard it can be to find time to read outside of your workload. While I’m between writing projects, I decided to make a dent in my library wishlist. At this point it has something like 70 books on it and it grows every month.

One of the best ways to improve your writing outside of well, actually writing, is reading. Since I work as an editor and literary assistant, I try to read widely to get a handle on what’s hot, what’s been overdone, and what I wish would be written. I’ve also been working hard at trying to improve my own writing. As such, I’m planning to read 1-3 books a week for a minimum of a month across multiple genres outside of my work hours, which alone include at least two unpublished books a week. I like to write fantasy and historical, so there will be a lot of that included. I plan to include adult, young adult, and some historical non-fiction.

I’m also going to review every book I read on my blog and every book will be available through the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. And heads up Pennsylvania readers, as long as you have an Access PA library card, you too can get a Carnegie card as long as you live somewhere in PA and have proof of residency. The only downside is you have to visit a Carnegie library in Pittsburgh in person to get a card. But if you are a voracious reader and on a strict book budget, the amount of ebooks they have can make it worth a road trip.

How_the_Irish_Saved_Civilization

First up is a non-fiction book about Ireland. Irish myths have always fascinated me and I’m eager to learn more about Irish history. Most of what I know is about Ireland under English rule, so hopefully this book will enlighten me on earlier history.

For those curious about my latest writing project, it’s a historical take on the legend of Elizabeth Bathory AKA the Blood Countess. I made the goal of improving  my writing this year and so this is the book I’ve been working on to do so. Usually my editing and other job duties force writing to take a backseat. Here is a quick summary of my book.

Legend claims Countess Elizabeth Bathory killed over 600 servant girls and bathed in their blood to retain her youth, but legends aren’t always true.

Born to a prestigious Hungarian noble family in the sixteenth century, Elizabeth marries Ferenc, the Black Hero of Hungary. While he leads the king’s army against the Turks, she enjoys her independence running the family estates and practicing her healing knowledge. When several of Elizabeth’s servant girls die of mysterious causes rumors begin to circulate about Elizabeth and the blood on her hands. Thankfully the rumors of Elizabeth turning into a murderess are quieted by her husband, but they don’t stay gone for long.

Ferenc’s death leaves her a vulnerable widow in a world run by men. Men who owe her large debts they have no intentions of paying back. Without Ferenc to protect her, Elizabeth is alone and surrounded by greedy enemies and family eager to get their hands on her wealth. The growing rumors of murder are the ammunition they need to bring her down with false accusations, but Elizabeth is prepared to fight back until her last breath.

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