Friday, July 9, 2010

Lisa Marie Rice's Desert Island Keepers

Please welcome back Lisa Marie Rice for her second day on the island! Today she’s sharing her five desert island keepers! Since two of her books (technically three since I have one under her other name) are part of my desert island keepers don’t worry that she won’t be bringing her own books! I promise to share. :) Without further rambling from me, here is Lisa’s fabulous list!

Well, this isn’t an easy one. Not at all. I have moved around a lot in my life and changed many houses and even countries. Whenever I moved, all my books went into boxes, most of which I never opened because even in the time it took to move, I’d started buying so many new ones that the shelves started filling up immediately. So I’ve got thousands of books in the garage and what’s on my shelves right now reflects my current tastes, which are different from my tastes say, four years ago in the last house. Which were totally different from my tastes eight years ago in the house before that. See where I’m going with this? So I’ve got vast sections of science fiction and romance which aren’t on my shelves any more, but down in the garage. And what’s on my shelves now are mainly thrillers and mysteries, some romantic suspense, lots of soldier memoirs and lots of non fiction on current events. When I glom on to things I’m like a terrier. I bite down and don’t let go.

Doubtless my Kindle is going to change all of that, because all my books will be in one place.

So without further ado, let me list my five favourite things to read, in no particular order.

  1. Anything by Lee Child. Jack Reacher has got to be one of fiction’s greatest creations. A former Army MP with a stellar reputation, he is now a loner and a drifter. But he is also a man with an implacable sense of justice. Like Shane, only taller and stronger and tougher and meaner and better with a gun. Like Shane, he always rides into the sunset at the end of the story, leaving some kind of order behind him (and a few dead bodies). The thing I love about Jack Reacher is his fearlessness. So okay, yeah, he’s ginormous. Six five and two hundred fifty pounds of pure muscle. And, well, a sharpshooter. And he’s also smart. But he’s often facing armies of well-trained, armed men, with no backup. You know how in movies and books the bad guys always threaten the good guy? They threaten a loved one, threaten a job loss, threaten their standing in the community. There’s nothing you can threaten Jack Reacher with (and indeed one of the Jack Reacher books is entitled Nothing to Lose). He’s a loner, doesn’t have a job, doesn’t have any standing. So he cannot be intimidated. He’s an enormous, implacable justice machine. Ladies, if you’re looking for a husband, a breadwinner, a family man, he’s not your guy. But if you’re looking for someone who will stand by you in times of great trouble and never, ever back down from danger, that’s the guy for you.

Jack Reacher also exerts an ungodly pull and appears in other novels, as well. I just finished reading Stephen King’s Under The Dome (excellent by the way) and Reacher is mentioned several times, a go to guy for Colonel Cox and described as the best, toughest Army cop ever. It’s as if Jack Reacher actually exists, because he’s written so well. On my desert island, Jack Reacher would be sure to keep my spirits up and provide a helping hand.

  1. A couple of years ago I happened upon Black Hawk Down and was instantly mesmerized and since then I’ve read a number of soldiers’ accounts of the ongoing war on terrorism and I follow military blogs. There’s just an amazing amount of good writing going on. I remember reading books by Vietnam vets and they were hallucinatory, impressionistic, a little crazy at times. The writing about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan – by the soldiers at least – is sober and reflective and very intense. Officers tend to write the best analyses, and grunts the best on-the-ground reporting. For example, First In by Gary Schroen is this amazing tale of derring-do, the very first SpecialOps guys into Afghanistan after 9/11, and every word is true. For thrills, you can’t do better than Chris Hunter’s Eight Lives Down, the story of a bomb disposal operator in Iraq. There are lots of books, too many to list but they are all this fascinating juxtaposition of the very essence of modernity fighting the ancient heart of darkness. Our soldiers are equipped with just so much power, firepower, the ability to see in the dark, surveillance satellites, the ability to call in an airstrike to within a foot of a painted target and most times all that power is useless. It would drive me nuts and yet the officers who write keep their cool and their analytical ability, and even—crazy as that sounds—their sense of humour.

I also really enjoy military novels by men who’ve walked the walk, like Andy McNab, Chris Ryan and that old reprobate, Dick Marckinko.

On that desert island, any soldiers’ memoir would be full of ‘intel’ on how to extract water from plants, trap small animals and build a raft.

All this being in soldiers’ heads has also had an effect on my own writing, as my heroes now tend to be laconic, no-nonsense hard-headed realists (except when they fall head over heels in love), courageous and honourable.

As a reader I definitely agree! I love the way you write men. I’ve given a couple of your books to my husband (former Marine) to read and he just grins at some of your heroes' smartass attitudes and the way they view the world because they’re written the way military guys should be.

  1. I don’t like ‘nice’, sexy vampires (a nice, sexy blood-sucker? Please) and the whole appeal of them passes me right by. If anything, vampires should be like the ones in Justin Cronin’s The Passage, who destroy the world. (fabulous book, by the way).

However, having said that, I love love love the Black Dagger Brotherhood, the series of vampire books by J.R. Ward. So go figure.

I’ve read every single book in the series and am now reading the last one, Lover Mine, enjoying it, and I don’t even like Xhex! But J.R. Ward’s writing is so amazingly alive and vivid, the characters just leaping off the page to grab you by the lapels and shake you up and make you pay attention, that you can’t resist. One chapter of Dark Lover and I was hooked. You forget the silly names and forgive her some of the silliness because the writing is simply so compelling. And the Brothers – so noble and suffering and so dedicated to their women! What other man would carve your name in his back? And though they are all badasses not one does anything dishonourable or mean, not even Vishous and not even, really, Zsadist.

Taken all together, the Black Dagger Brotherhood novels form a remarkable epic tale of love and danger, of loss and bravery.

I’m so glad you’re bringing the BDB books! As someone who just this year discovered the awesomeness of them, I don’t think I could live without Zsadist’s book! Or Lover Mine for that matter! Excellent choices :)

  1. Though I’m not wild about historicals, I do enjoy some, particularly Lisa Kleypas’s books. My favourite is the first of the Wallflower series – Secrets of a Summer Night, which is a series that not only celebrates romance but also female friendship and solidarity, something I believe in with all my heart. It’s a book that pulls no punches in the prospects for a smart, beautiful but poor woman in 19th century England (none, unless she marries well). Some have commented on Annabelle Peyton, the heroine, being a gold-digger but I don’t read it that way at all. She has a younger brother who needs to go to school and a fragile mother and they have no money nor any prospect of having any. She can’t work because there are no jobs for a well-born young woman. She has one way out—to marry into the aristocracy. Who can blame her for her single-mindedness? And yet on the way, she becomes fast friends with Evie and the Bowman sisters and slowly learns to appreciate Simon Hunt. It’s a romance where there is real development of the heroine’s character, a true maturing process. It’s a book that bears re-reading and I have, several times.

On my desert island, this book would help me to never give up hope.

  1. All the Harry Bosch books, by Michael Connelly. Like J. R. Ward, Michael Connelly has created a series of books forming an almost epic tale, of only one man in this case, Harry Bosch. Harry’s mother was murdered when he was a young boy. No one cared about the murder and he grew up feeling that everyone deserves justice. There are very few literary creations as tenacious as Bosch when on the trail of a killer. Unlike Reacher, Harry has something to lose—his job, which he is ferociously attached to because of his crusade for justice. In one interesting book in the series, he quits in disgust (a few seconds before being fired) and tries to work as a private investigator. But Harry’s not motivated by money, but my justice and a PI’s goal is earning well. We all heaved a sigh of relief when he could get back to being a thorn in the side of the LAPD, Hollywood Division and finding justice for the dead ones, particularly the lost dead ones, the ones no one else cares about.

On my desert island, Harry will teach me tenacity in the face of overwhelming odds.

This is a weird list of DIKs I know, and of course there are more than 5 because when I read one book in a series I won’t rest until I’ve finished them all. But I should imagine the point of DIKs is to provide comfort and solace and distraction on your desert island and all the characters in the above books definitely do.

These are my favourite books, today. Tomorrow? Who knows.

Absolutely love your list! I still haven’t read Michael Connelly’s books or Lee Child’s but I plan to change that asap after your wonderful descriptions! Jack Reacher sounds like someone I'd want to have my back in any situation! Thanks for sharing your fave reads and for hanging out with us today.

To all you wonderful bloggers, don’t forget to leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of Dangerous Passion! And please come back tomorrow for a sneak peek into Lisa’s upcoming book Into the Crossfire, which will be available July 27 from Avon Red.

If you'd like to check out more about Lisa, please click here to be directed to her Harper Collins author page or here, for her Ellora's Cave author page.


Kaylea Cross said...

Great list, Lisa! I'd also recommend Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell.
If I had to be stranded on a desert island I think I'd like to be stranded with you :) I looove special ops, so we'd have lots to talk about and plenty of yummy heroes to invent.
And great choice with Zsadist. That was a truly awesome book.

Mary G said...

Hi Lisa
I enjoyed reading about your choices. I can really see the influence your #2 choice has had on your heroes. I love Special Ops alpha guys. Your book Dangerous Passions is one of my all time faves & one of my DIK's. The violence of Drake's life juxtaposed with this wonderful love story so beautifully written still makes me SIGH.

Blanche said...

Fantastic list Lisa!! I agree with the other ladies....I love Special Ops stories!! :)

jeanette8042 said...

Love your list Lisa! I have to agree with you on the BDB series by JR Ward, super awesome! And zsadist is my favorite of all the brothers.

CrystalGB said...

Great list Lisa. I am a fan of Zsadist too.

Bookwyrm369 said...

I totally agree with you on the Jack Reacher's - I've loved these books since they first came out :-)


Chelsea B. said...

Z's book! Yes! Love his book! Great list!

Jane said...

I a fan of thrillers, but haven't read any of Lee's books yet. I can't wait to hear more about Lisa's upcoming release.

Armenia said...

Nice list of books. Between all the books on my list to read, I am trying to fit in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Each book is huge and I find its easier to listen by audio book while I'm driving. Okay so its taken 2 years but I'm up to the Fiery Cross, now.

Anonymous said...

congrat o n the book
such a hot cover
glad the men read it whoo


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