June 7, 2017

the monster at the end of the book

It's been a while, but please join me in the trust circle as I reveal one of my deepest, darkest secrets...

I don't remember how it happened the first time. Actually, I don't even remember the first time I did it. But once upon a time, I picked up a new-to-me book and found myself flipping to the final pages for a little skim.

It always starts as a skim.

I just want to make sure everyone lives till the end. I hate when my favorites don't make it till the end.

Of course, I mostly read romance--and romantic comedies at that--so it's kind of rare for me to encounter a major bloodbath in a book. Still, even romances can have bad endings.

I'm just checking to make sure this ends well. I need to make sure there's a happily ever after--and that its a good one. 

When you have a to-be read pile that grows faster than you can keep up with--and you're a re-reader to boot--there's an added pressure to make sure you're in it to win it before you read a story. At least, that's one of the many other excuses I tell myself as I check the last couple of pages.

Still, the last couple pages alone don't do much. A few key words or phrases will pique my interest, and I'll find myself desperately needing the context. So I flip back a few more pages. Maybe just to the last chapter. By now, I'm not even skimming, I'm full-fledged reading. And I'm full of questions, so I find myself flipping through other pages. Again, it starts as a skim, but I end up reading full passages, even chapters, before I've really even started the story.

And, yes, while we're at it, I am one of those people who looks up spoilers for TV shows. I do remember the first time I did that. It was the last season of Gilmore Girls, and I felt like I had no ability to enjoy the show as long as I didn't know everything was going to work out (the way I wanted) in the end. Then came The Bachelor spoilers and Bones and Parks and Recreation and so on.

It's disgusting. I know. It's depraved. I get it. I've been told as much by teachers, friends, and fellow readers. "How can you spoil the ending of your story?" "As an author, how could you do that to another writer--ruin their story by reading the ending first?" "Why are you this way?" "What's wrong with you?"


The short answer: I don't know.

I really do hope I'm not destroying any other authors' lives out their by admitting that unless I'm listening to an audiobook, chances are better than not that I've at least read the final ten pages of their books before I've finished the first chapter. And I wish I knew why I did it. Because even with the explanations I've given, I can only think of a few cases where reading the ending put me off of picking up the whole book in general.

Maybe it's just a character quirk. Kind of like someone who always blows a kiss at yellow lights as they speed through before it turns red. (That's another one of my quirks, actually. One I stole from a friend.)

I'm guessing it's something more telling. That it says something about who I am as a person.

I'm not really one for surprises. Or rather, I enjoy a surprise if I don't know there's one coming. Like, a year ago, when my good friends teamed up with my sister to surprise me with a trip to Disneyland. That was a fun surprise. One I loved. But I've never really liked knowing that something was coming (even a good surprise, like a Christmas present) and not being included on the details. That's not even hating surprises. That's more like a serious case of FOMO. Maybe I'm just super controlling.

I also like to know where I'm going. When I get into my car--or arrive at the airport--I like to know my exact destination, when I need to be there, and what other obstacles might arise along the way. If something comes up, I can--and will--adjust, but I still have to know where I'm headed. I have to have that goal to look toward.

Perhaps it's some combination. Like, with all the uncertainty we face in the world, I like to control--and know--what I can. Even if it takes away some of the fun. Whatever it is, that's one of my deepest, darkest secrets. I wish I could say that now that this is out in the open, I'll change my ways. But who am I kidding?

Are any of you end-of-the-book-reading monsters like me? Why do you think you do it?

*** Let's keep in touch! You can find out what's going on in my world between blog posts by following my daily adventures on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. You can subscribe to my monthly newsletter here. You can also find out more about my books by visiting my website, www.laurachapmanbooks.com. Whew. ***

June 5, 2017

romantic summer reading challenge

Hey, book lovers! Remember those summer reading programs from when we were kids? You would read a certain number of books and get a pizza. Or maybe if you completed a list of books you received a certificate and a prize from the librarian. Why should the fun end just because we're adults? Join us this summer for the inaugural Romantic Summer Reading Challenge

Now through midnight (CDT) September 4, read all ten books on our reading list to win prizes. This year’s featured books include:

How does it work? When you finish each book on the list, leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Then, once you are done with all ten, copy the links on the entry form, complete the rest of the information, and submit it. After September 4, everyone who completes the challenge will receive a free ebook from one of the authors’ backlist. You will also be entered in the drawing for a chance to win one of ten prize packages created by the authors (valued at $20 each) and the grand prize of a $100 Amazon gift card. (No purchase necessary to win. Prize packages limited to U.S. residents only this year.)

What if you’ve already read one (or more) of the books on this list? It still counts. Just post your review and share the link on the form.

If this sounds like fun way to discover new authors, score a free book, and enter for a chance to win prizes, please join us! You can also follow the Facebook page, which will include author takeovers that give you a chance to interact with authors and other readers throughout the summer.

*** Let's keep in touch! You can find out what's going on in my world between blog posts by following my daily adventures on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. You can subscribe to my monthly newsletter here. You can also find out more about my books by visiting my website, www.laurachapmanbooks.com. Whew. ***