I never know how to answer the question, "Are you a reader?"
Compared to my sister who always seems to be reading a book, I am a long way off from being able to say I am a book-lover. But, compared to other people, they would find ME to be the book-lover.
I loved, actually still do love, the Harry Potter series. JK Rowling has long been my favourite writer of all time. It has been hard for me to find other stories that hold my interest the way the Harry Potter books captivated me.
Last Friday night, my grown up children were all off doing their own thing, and after a very long, tiring week at work, I was in the mood to put my writing aside for the weekend to just kick back and relax. I really wished I had a book to read, but even though I sometimes visit my local library and more frequently visit local bookstores, I haven't found any title that compelled me to part with cash enough to buy one. (I'm a little on the broke side as a result of a few larger than expected bills, spending more to eat a healthier diet, and supporting my children through some of their financial woes at the moment - hopefully, I'll recover from all this now that Christmas is over and my car rego and insurance is almost out of the way!)
Every now and again, I scout Amazon.com in search of free Kindle books, but, to be perfectly honest, I am sick of only getting Romance, Erotica and non-interesting non-fiction titles, of self-publishing authors who have not perfected even basic punctuation. (I'm not against self-publishing, being an aspiring novelist myself, but please, proofread your manuscripts and put a bit of time distance between the best thing you ever wrote and submitting it for self-publishing: you'll be amazed how many errors you can catch a month, three months, six months later when you re-read your supposedly error-free manuscript!)
So, last Friday night, I scrolled through my iPhone apps, and remembered I have iBooks, and better still, six months ago I put $30 credit into my iTunes account because I was going to purchase something and then forgot about it (ah, the days before my son lost his job around the same time my middle child decided she could start asking me to pay for things to suit her high needs lifestyle despite the fact she no longer lives with us). I found iBooks/Tunes/whatever free books rather quickly, and scrolled through its small selection. Yes, there was a few that Amazon have had in their Top 100 list for the last few months, but there was one or two that I had never seen before.
The Rock Star's Daughter caught my eye. Yes, I could do with a light story about the rich and famous, and enjoy being swept away into their exorbitant wealthy lifestyles for the weekend. I downloaded the book, along with a couple of other titles.
Now, I digress for a moment. My youngest daughter, a book-lover, almost to the degree of that of my sister, tried for months to get me to read The Hunger Games which she fell in love with, but I resisted because, as I kept telling her, 'I'm not fussed on first-person stories'. I haven't changed my stance on this (until now. But it will remain temporarily changed, exclusively for the Treadwell series).
After my downloads, and getting dinner over with, I retired to my air-conditioned room, opened iBooks, and clicked on the first of about ten downloads. My aim was to start trying to read each of the books, and, knowing that they probably won't end up 'my cup of tea', delete them off the list as soon as I had eliminated the book as being 'not my cup of tea'.
The first book I opened was The Rock Star's Daughter. I really didn't expect to like the book. I liked the title. Yeah, I was in the mood to become absorbed in a life so unlike my own...
Now, I did increase the size of the font because my failing eyesight demands this of me the last couple of years (my middle child never ceases to crack up laughing when she sees the size of print I have to read text messages and apps!), so I have to give a story a bit more of a chance than just reading the first page. On iBooks, my first page sometimes isn't even the full first paragraph, to give you an idea of how large the text needs to be for me to see it properly.
I groaned, or exhaled with disappointed resignation, when I first realised, "Oh, it's in first-person" but being a spoiled rock star's daughter and having wealth must have been more appealing than my disdain for first-person stories, because I kept reading... and reading, and reading.
Before I knew it, it was after midnight. I still hadn't changed out of my work clothes, and I had arrived home at 5.30pm. The kids weren't asking me to take them here, pick them up from there, and you need to do this tomorrow, so I continued reading about Taylor Beauforte, Chase Atwood's daughter, who just lost her mother and now has to go and live with her famous rock star father who she has only met twice in her life but who pays for her to attend her rich girl boarding school.
The author, Caitlyn Duffy, although she is writing each of the books of the Treadwell Series as independent stories written in the first-person, has such an easy-to-read writing style, and she wrote such engaging characters that after the inciting incident that shakes -- oops, almost wrote 'rocks' -- Taylor's world doesn't NEED any further 'big dramatic climatic moment' to see you through to the end... and leave you wanting more.
As soon as I finished the last few chapters on Saturday morning, actually make that afternoon because I slept in, I immediately went back to the iBook Store and purchased the next two books that have already been published, at $0.99 each. Bargain!
I justified, not that I have anyone that I have to justify the purchase to, that at $2 if I didn't like the next two books, it was still worth having paid the money.
Book two is Believer's Daughter. Book Three is Viscount Daughter.
I am not religious. So, when I started reading book two, I soon realised that religion would be a very strong theme in the book, and I struggled with the first chapter to the point I didn't finish it.
I abandoned Book Two, and decided to try Book Three. I spent the rest of my afternoon and evening reading book three. I even read while I left the comfort of my air-conditioned bedroom to walk down the hallway and into the lounge room in this sweltering summer heat to grab food and drinks and take them back to my blissfully cold room.
I finished the second book - Book Three - around 9 pm. By this time, I had just read two books back to back that had captured - and held - my reading attention as much as Harry Potter!
So, wanting more of the Treadwell series, I decided to re-attempt Book Two. Believer's Daughter. Yes, I struggled slightly to get through the first chapter, but then it got better and I settled in to the storyline. By the end, which I finished at some point on Sunday afternoon, I knew Believer's Daughter was the best in the series so far.
So, if you are looking for a story that is easy to read, doesn't cost much, and you don't mind being an adult reading what turns out to be a Young Adult category series of novels, then download Caitlyn Duffy's Treadwell Series.
The author, on her website, states that the next book will be published 'soon', and posts over the last four months repeatedly state this. I am now stalking her webpage weekly, eagerly awaiting The Tycoon's Daughter release, or the other title she is working on in the series whose title eludes me as I write this post but I will happily pay to download too.