May 8, 2012

Welcome Guest Blogger Jannine Gallant

Why Do You Read Books?

I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. Why are some books huge successes, while others, equally well-written and entertaining, remain unknown and unread by the vast majority? Could it all boil down to luck?

What prompts you to choose a book? I read for two reasons – fun and my local book club. Let’s look at book club choices first. We invariably chose a book that is (or has been) on the best seller’s list, that is by an acclaimed author, that has a topic we can sink our teeth into, or that is the “in” book to read. Invariably, I fall asleep reading these books and don’t finish them, though there have been a few exceptions. The plot (if there is one) is generally slow to unfold; the characters are not always sympathetic. I find myself thinking, GET ON WITH IT ALREADY. Yet these books are being read by millions. By now you’re all wondering, why is she in this book club? I’ll admit, it’s a social event with great food and wine, and somebody has to have the dissenting voice at these things! LOL

When I choose a book to read, it’s to be entertained. Not to be enlightened. Not so I can have something erudite to say around the water cooler. Not because it’s the book everyone is reading. (I’m too old to cave in to peer pressure!) I choose a book with a plot that sounds fun or exciting and characters who are engaging. I want to like the people I’m reading about, cheer them on, and sigh when they get their happy ending. I do expect the story to flow smoothly, the facts to be spot on, and the grammar to be flawless.

So, why do you read the books you read?

I wrote Nothing But Trouble when I saw the call out for the Honky Tonk Hearts series with The Wild Rose Press. Cowboys, a honky tonk bar, a bull named Stud Muffin… (Okay Stud Muffin was my addition. LOL) What could be more fun than that! I hope everyone who reads Nothing But Trouble has a smile on their face when they finish and a warm feeling in their heart for the HEA ending.

A big thank you to Sarah for having me on her blog today. Happy reading everyone!

by Jannine Gallant

Chase Paladin avoids commitment like a patch of stinging nettles. He's seen how love can trample a man, and he doesn’t plan to get hitched—ever. But when Honor Jackson walks into his life, hell-bent on keeping her distance, she turns his convictions inside out.

One look at the too-handsome cowboy with laughing green eyes and a killer smile, and Honor knows he's nothing but trouble. She's come to Redemption, Texas to help an old friend, not to let another man charm her into certain heartache.

But every time she turns around, Chase is there, and the closer they get, the more she fears he’ll break her heart. So when anonymous threats make it clear that someone in Redemption wants her gone, Honor is ready to oblige. Only now Chase isn’t certain he can live without her.

Will two wary hearts take a chance on love before it's too late?


Chase reached over and gave her arm a squeeze. The imprint of his fingers on her bare skin tingled like a brand.

“I’m sure you’ll do just fine. Soon as word gets out, you’ll draw the locals like bees to honey.”

She rolled her eyes. “I’ve never heard that line before.”

“I can see I have an uphill battle ahead. Charming you won’t be an easy task.”

Leaning her head against the high vinyl seatback, she avoided his smiling eyes. “More like impossible, so don’t bother trying.”

His lips firmed. “Is it me in particular, or are you always this friendly?”

She didn’t answer immediately. Stroking the dog’s silky coat, she spent a moment composing her thoughts. “I’m sure you’re a whole lot of fun. You’re handsome and entertaining.” She let out a breath. “You’re probably a firecracker in bed to boot.”

He coughed and shot her a wide-eyed glance.

“But I’m not in the market for a fling with a good-looking cowboy.”

“Why not?”


“What happened to put you off men?”

“Life happened. I plan to work for Andee for a couple of months and get my ducks in a row before moving on. I’m pretty sure—make that one hundred percent positive—getting involved with you would complicate the equation, and I’m no math whiz.”

“What are you a whiz at, besides putting men in their place?”

Places you can find Jannine and her books:

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Rachel Brimble said...

I'm with you, Jannine! I, too, belong to a book club and read for my own entertainment and contentment too. I usually have at least two books on the go at any one time - most commonly, a contemporary and a historical - although not always romance.
I love reading all types of books but I must admit, i am one of the people who avoid the 'hot' book of the moment and read it a couple of years after all the hoopla has died down! Very often, I am disappointed.

I read for pleasure, for education and for escape - the best reason to read, surely??

Monya Clayton said...

Hello Jannine -
I'm 71 and have old-fashioned tastes. For the last couple of years I've been reading my way through Patrick O'Brian's historical Aubrey-Maturin series. Okay, I love adventure and read Biggles books as a girl. But the A-M series is special. Great stories, totally empathetic characters.
What I'm saying is a good story is above all my first and last requirement in any book. Believable, with believable people. (Strangely enough, I'm also an S.F. fan, but of the older kind, like Arthur C. Clarke, Larry Niven, Eric Frank Russell.)
Modern writing simply doesn't appeal, much of it thinks it's too clever by half. Of course that's not a blanket criticism, but no one can possibly read everything, and I need my sleep! The one recent best-seller I've really enjoyed is Water For Elephants - because it's a great story.
Everyone to their taste, and everyone's taste is legitimate, but I don't care for vampire and paranormal. Personally I think there's enough material in the history of planet Earth to keep every writer there is busy for a lifetime. I know, I'm prejudiced.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I rarely read anything on the NYT's best sellers list unless my two favorite non-WRP authors, Linda Lael Miller and Jill Shalvis, are there. Literary fiction doesn't do it for me, either.

Great interview. Great story. Great hero.

Joanne Stewart said...

I'm usually very picky. I know what I like and what I don't like, and I'd rather just skip on something I might not like rather than either a) getting bored, or b) wanting to throw someone's hard work against the wall, because it's outside of my comfort zone. But I have to admit that lately I've taken to trying those books I might have passed up before. It's because I had a book gifted to me by an author a few months ago. It was a genre I wouldn't have picked up on my own and honestly, the cover doesn't do much for me. I ended up discovering a treasure. It was not what I expected. I loved it. So I'm sitting here wondering if maybe there other people like me. Who aren't trying books, because they're sure they won't enjoy them. Maybe there are a lot of undiscovered treasures out there that nobody's willing to take a chance on.

I also wonder if sometimes the blurbs and covers are a little lackluster. I know I've read books where the blurb didn't accurately capture the book.

Great post, Jannine! And great cover and excerpt, too!

Kathy Cottrell said...

I have to be honest. . . I have so little time to read for pleasure these days but when I pick something it's the author's track record that entices me. right now I'm into Elmore Leonard becuase I've discovered the FX channel's "Justified". His characters are incomparable. And Timothy Olyohant is not bad either!
Kathy Cottrell

Jannine Gallant said...

I'm up, I'm up! California time, here, so it's early. LOL What a great discussion.

Rachel - I'm with you on letting the whoopla die down on the hot books. But still, I frequently wonder what it was about. One exception was The Help - loved that book.

Monya - Our group read Water For Elephants, but before I joined. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing your likes with us.

Vonnie - literary (or what people think is literary) fiction generally translates into yawn fest for me! Sorry, but it has to be exciting to keep me awake at the end of the day!

Joanne - I, too, tend to stick with genres I know I'll enjoy. Once in a while I'll venture out when I've read something else by the author and enjoyed it. That's one thing I like about book club - it makes me expand my horizons and I occasionally find a gem.

Jannine Gallant said...

Kathy - Like you, I don't have nearly enough time to read. A sad, sad, sad state of affairs for a writer! I also rely heavily on the author's previous books when making a choice.

Karyn Good said...

I pick books much the same way, Jannie. I read our book club picks and the ones I choose for entertainment! And yes, the last book club pick was one of those slow moving type of books covering five generations of men and I didn't enjoy it. But I'm still glad I read it because I think there's much to learn about writing by reading all kinds of books.

I also plead guilty to picking 'it' books of the moment. Lots of those would be book club picks! And sometimes I just can't resist seeing what all the talk is about :)

But I love to read romance the most. For entertainment, for escape, and for great writing!

Jana Richards said...

Hi Jannine,
Romance will probably always be my favorite genre to read. I read for the story, the emotional impact, for entertainment and escape.

But Joanne makes a very good point about book club picks. I don't belong to a book club at the moment, but when I did, one of the things I enjoyed was finding books I might not have picked up on my own. I enjoyed most of the choices. Some I couldn't get into or couldn't finish. In the past I tried reading some of Oprah's book club picks and they were so depressing they made me want to curl in a ball and cry for three days. Not my idea of a good time! So I guess the lesson here is to choose books you can enjoy and get something out of, be it enlightment or entertainment.

Jannine Gallant said...

Karyn - You can learn a lot from some of these slow moving books. They frequently illustrate the points are editors are always making - back story dumps are boring!

Jana - Oprah does like the depressing ones! Life is full of problems. I want my HEA!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jannine! Tried to leave a comment earlier, but google seems to have a problem with me.

I like adventure, thrills and romance in the books I read. I don't even look at bestseller lists and don't read literary fiction. Too depressing.

I read genres I like, authors I like and if a great blurb catches my eye, I'll buy the book.

Congrats on your new release!

Katherine said...

I agree with you, Jannine. When I'm reading on my down time, which I have precious little of, I want to be entertained. I find a lot of the books on the best seller lists aren't to my liking -- too depressing most of the time so I don't read too many of them.

Jannine Gallant said...

Hi Susan and Katherine,

Isn't it funny that most of us think a lot of best sellers are depressing. Hmmm, maybe we're not at the top of the charts because our books are too cheerful!!

Calisa Rhose said...

We read for much the same reasons, Jannine. Except that once in a great while I do deliberately pick up a book just to be enlightened. That's not to say I finish said enlightenment. lol

I can't wait to meet Stud Muffin!

Brenda Whiteside said...

You hit it on the head, Jannine - to be entertained. That's why I read - when I find the time! Great excerpt.

Jannine Gallant said...

Calisa - Stud Muffin is quite a character, just not the usual sort. LOL

Thanks, Brenda, glad you could stop by.

Sarah, it's been fun visiting your terrific blog. Thanks for having me!