Wednesday, December 12, 2018

My Updated Reading List

By Tim Smith

When last we tackled the subject of “What are you reading,” I listed several books that were in my to-be-read pile. I thought I’d provide an update, along with some comments in case anyone wants to read these books.

I recently finished “Dead Last” by James W. Hall. While this Florida-based thriller generally measured up to Hall’s previous work, I must admit that I was slightly disappointed. A couple of intriguing plot twists were dropped in about halfway through, but they weren’t fully resolved. Also, there was no real satisfactory motive given for why the serial killer did what they did. Still an overall good read, though.

In progress now is another of his books that I’d never gotten around to reading, “Red Sky at Night.” It’s off to a good start, and I’m already hooked. The same with a book by another fave author, Carl Hiaasen. I’m reading “Nature Girl,” and so far, so good.

I previously listed a new novel called “Ohio,” by Stephen Markley. I had high hopes for this one but sadly, they weren’t realized. I lost interest several chapters in, mainly because I found the author’s narrative hard to follow. I may go back to it someday.

The same problem arose with “His Guilt,” by Shelley Shepherd Gray. This Amish romance sounded promising, but again, I found it tough to maintain interest. 

I did finally finish “Dirty Money,” by Richard Stark (aka Donald E. Westlake). No disappointments here. Westlake delivered another home run with this story about the professional thief named Parker, who only wanted his cut of the money after his cronies ripped him off and left him for dead. Time to root for the bad guy again.

What I’ve mostly been reading lately, though, is my own next novel, “The Neon Jungle” (Nick Seven Number 6). I plan on releasing it this next year, and I’ve been busy doing rewrites and revisions. I’ve found that this is the fun part of the job, adding little bits of atmosphere, making the characters more lifelike, and fine-tuning the dialogue and plot points.

While I have the floor, allow me to plug my newest holiday-themed romance, “Cupid Says Happy New Year.” It was recently released by Extasy Books. This is a sequel to last year’s “Santa Slept Here,” but like all of my series books, they don’t need to be read in order. Both of these stories are lightweight rom-com stuff like you see on Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel this time of year, but with more heat. Actually, let’s be honest—they are both classified as erotic romances. You’ve been warned. 


  1. I LOVED Nature Girl! Hilarious and vivid!

    Funny that you enjoy re-reading and editing your own books. That's the part I like least, I think.

  2. Lisabet, I actually don't mind this part of it since I tend to write the rough drafts quickly then go back and fine-tune. The part I dread is when that's all done, I've collaborated with my editor to make changes, then I have to read it several times over, very carefully, word by word, to make sure we didn't miss anything. THAT'S the tedious part of the process for me.

  3. I'm with you, Tim. When I'm revising my own stuff, I feel like I'm in the room with a bunch of friends, and I'm trying to help them make their opinions and memories more clear. The grammar stuff is a necessary evil, which I was never very fond of, or very good at...until I had to teach it to the kids I tutor. Now I feel like an expert! Now I not only know how to revise something, I know WHY it's wrong! TMI, I know. I want that tee shirt that says, "I'm silently correcting your grammar."


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