Hello at the beginning of October! It is time to check on the participants of my challenge quartet. Because we run from February, I didn’t rush with the first post in the spring. I thought I’d give folks a few months with their reading material but before I knew it, it was summer. Then I thought people must be on vacation or focusing on the outdoors. We are definitely gardeners and prairie Canadians who savour greenery and the heat. Now that we are picking most of our produce but still blessed with constantly-blooming flowers…. it seems a surprise to find ourselves in the tenth month of the year!
Please know I have checked WordPress and Goodreads daily for comments, questions, or chat from participants and all of my dear subscribers. I reply to any activity that pops up. Thanks to e-mails from Sue and Bev about not seeing a comment box among the four review pages, I belatedly discovered that there are none! I don’t know why that technical omission occurred nor how to fix it. If that hampered conversation I am sorry. There are comment boxes in the original challenge posts and I wrote a few general articles that welcomed discussion: for example about gardening and properly identifying the “cozy mystery”. I don’t label my articles as challenge discussions because we are so few that if the majority don’t jump in on them or other activities, no one does. My general subscribers would think they didn’t qualify for the discussion so I leave my articles and activities open to all. Let’s see if we reel in more members this winter.
Finances are tough this year, so I am sorry I could not do a mid-year prize activity as I had hoped. I found participation low even the years in which more people had joined but again, this is something that a burst in numbers would eliminate. Because it’s a hard-up year financially and we are also only about five per group: would you mind if I held one year-end draw for all four reading challenges? If that would disappoint you, please speak up but it so happens that many of you are in more than one group. Now: a short summary!
** CELTIC COASTS **
This is a new group I was excited to unveil this year and I am happy that a couple of new people came aboard and loyal returning challengers were thrilled with it too. There is often a Scottish one going by one hostess or another but we needed something to cover all the Celtic countries. Coincidentally I finally have fiction set in Wales, pleased it has somewhere to go. I probably have as much Irish material as I do Scottish and am overdue to treat myself to Maeve Binchy again. Having lost her recently at only my Mom’s age, I savour her with reverence. She is my rarity; general fiction without belonging to the paranormal or mystery.
For our reading challenges: do you prefer that I set target levels, or do you like them open and unlimited? I removed them, except where I had already created fun diagrams, because I don’t want a scenario in which a member laments that they “didn’t finish”. Our groups are creative places to share everything you DO finish! :-) How are you enjoying this new outlet? Is it steering you towards Celtic authors and settings? I always read something Celtic but have checked-off several new names this year.
It was a shame to dislike the first Ellis Peters novel but perhaps she grew less wordy in the next novel? I have gathered a plethora of them! I need to take the second Marion C. Beaton plunge. I loathed “Death Of A Gossip” but was reassured her others are far, far better. Thank goodness. I’ll rip off that band-aid soon. I also have a ton of her two series, even first-edition hardcovers. Egads!
Three positive surprises were: “Secrets Of The Lighthouse” by Santa Montefiore, “The Ghost & Mrs. Muir” by Josephine Aimee Campbell Leslie, and “Jewels Of The Sun” by Nora Roberts, surprisingly. I don’t read romance! It was the paranormal elements of all three that drew me. Santa’s and Nora’s highly enjoyable stories depict Ireland and the late Josephine Aimee Campbell Leslie is Irish. I seem to be tripping over an abundance of new Celtic-oriented authors and I am enjoying these journeys.
If you would like to reach me via e-mail, please be advised of a change: RIEDELFascination[at]gmail[dot]com.
I feel gratitude, pleasure, and camaraderie for all of you in my groups, reading this blog, and commenting on my reviews. Thank you for giving me a wonderful outlet of expression and for acquainting you. To my WordPress peers not involved in literature: I will post general articles soon!