2013

What a year.  For those of you that don’t know I moved back home to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I won’t say it’s been good, but it hasn’t been all bad either. Hey, at least I’m where most of my family and friends are, that’s a plus no matter how I look at it

In the year that I was unemployed I started to really write. In 2013 I wrote 8 books, all more than 50 thousand words, a few over 100 and I am proud to say that as of Dec. 31st 2013, there were  25,486 downloads of my books. YEAH!  I am so…humbled, thrilled, excited, happy. The list of adjectives go on and on. But while I write, I also read.

My reading was like my movie watching, I’ll watch damn near anything as long as it’s good,  and in the past it was the same with books. I read a little bit of everyone, and a little of every genre. That is no longer the case. I am an addict for adult romance, and particularly fond of the paranormal kind. Currently my favorite authors are J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood until I die) and Larissa Ione (Who I strongly suspect is J.R. Ward) but I found a few new authors that kept me going this past year and while I re-read some of my  2012 favorites, I also discovered, Darynda Jones, and her wonderful Charley Davidson Series and Shelly Laurenston’s Pride Series.  The grown up, wanna-be sophisticated part of me want to say I sat down and read: Shakespeare, Tony Morrison, Ernest Gaines, hell, even my all time favorite author, Stephen King, but I did not. I did watch a couple of episodes of Under the Dome but I didn’t like the changes, and I did try to read Anna Karenina but couldn’t get down with Tolstoy writing style. I get points for reading Cassandra Claire, Infernal Devices.

And so while I was not reading Pride and Prejudice or any other great author or classic,   I did laugh so hard reading The Mane Attraction (book Three of the Pride Series) that my husband kicked me out of bed…until I finished reading all eight books because I couldn’t stop laughing in the middle of the night. I did find a new man named Reyes Farrow in the Charlie Davidson Serires, he’s the paranormal equivalent of Christian Grey and Gideon Cross. I cried at the end of Clockwork Princess, Cheered when Quinn and Blaylock finally hooked up in Lover at Last, and was held captive for weeks on end reading the Anita Blake Series by Laurell K. Hamilton (22 books written over 20 years. I read a few more than once.)

So all told I read 63 books last year, more if you count the ones I read two or more times.

I love to read and I love to write and when I’m not driving 40 hours straight across the country, I’m doing one or the other.

Check out full list here.

Kimberly Odum Wells

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The List

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book heart 300 by 200

Inspiration – stimulation to do creative work; somebody or something that inspires; creativeness; good idea; divine influence.

I have always loved books and movies. The world of make-believe is where I belong. This will be short and sweet (the introduction; not the list). Below are the people, books and movies that make life a little brighter for me. Even on the worst of days. Below are the people and things that make me want to write something worthy.

Below are the reasons I still believe in magic.

Actresses

  • Meryl Streep: In everything she’s ever been in
  • Sally Fields: In Norma Ray and Steele Magnolia. Okay, for everything else too except for, Not Without My Daughter.
  • Holly Hunter: In the Piano, even without that amazing voice she moves you completely with the music she played herself in the movie.
  • Michelle Phieffer: She’s one of the most beautiful women in the world and she totally rocked in Scarface. And I don’t care what anyone says she was the best cat woman ever!
  • Halle Berry: Only in Frankie and Alice
  • Oprah Winfrey: Only in The Color Purple
  • Cameron Diaz: Because she’s so damned funny

Actors

  • Clint Eastwood: Enough said
  • Jaime Bell: In Billie Elliot
  • Samuel L Jackson: Who don’t like that motherfucker?
  • Mel Gibson/Tom Cruise/Will Smith: In any movie where they run
  • Ryan Gosling: Because there’s a little bit of Johnny Depp mystery in him
  • Johnny Depp: Because I’ve been in love with him since 21 Jump Street and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.
  • Brad Pitt: Brad Pitt…

Movies

  • Pride and Prejudice/Dangerous Liaisons/The Age of Innocence: Love stories that I have yet to tire of watching.
  • Sense and Sensibility: I love the end when Emma Thomas breaks down when she realize that no, Hugh Grant has not married.
  • The Sound of Music: Because who doesn’t fall in love with Julie Andrews every time she opens her mouth to sing.
  • Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer: Who doesn’t love Kung Fu? And if it’s you then you suck.
  •  The Curse of the Golden Flower and House of Flying Daggers: Pretty to look at and has Kung Fu? What more can you ask for?
  • Howl’s Moving Castle: Anime at its best and a wonderful love story.
  • The Piano: Ada and George love is second only to Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy’s

Directors

  • M. Night Shyamalan: The dialogue keeps me spellbound but I might have to kick his ass him if I ever see him for what he did with The Last Airbender.
  • Clint Eastwood: For every movie he’s directed.
  • Mel Gibson: For Braveheart. FREEEEEEEDOM!
  • Ang Lee: Have you seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Brokeback Mountain?
  • Stephan Chow: For Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer – PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let him make the next Avatar movie. The real one, the one M. Night fucked up, not the one with the big blue aliens.
  • Hayao Miyazaki – Love what he does with Anime.

Books

  • Song of Solomon – It takes me to a place that is dark and mysterious. Her world is shades of grey and sepia.
  • The Blackdagger Brotherhood  Series– The writing style is like an action movie. It’s mindless fun and brilliantly done.
  • The Dark Tower Series – Roland. Enough said.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy– It was my first in the genre and I couldn’t get enough of it.
  •  The Long Walk / Rage – these are two short stories that are about teenage boys. They are as wonderful as they are terrifying in the things these two unrelated boys do. The stories, when I read them originally were so bizarre. Not so much now.
  • The Stand – Because I love a good end of the world book as much as I love an end of the world movie.
  • The Rae Wilder Series – Love the bond between Rae and Brennan that has the potential to destroy all if they are separated for too long.

Authors

  • Stephen King – Where to I start. The man can tell a story. He is the master of his craft. I don’t know if his own family loves him as much as I do. Yes I said it. And I know how it sounds. Stephen King’s It was the first book that I read that was my own. I spent a great amount of time reading whatever was in the house which was black authors and the occasional harlequin romance novel. At least that’s what I remember. I’m sure I had checked out a few books here and there at the library throughout my schooling but It was loaned to me by my then boyfriend and it was love at first word. He never fails and never lets me down. I am guaranteed to be captivated by each word from the first to the last. These weak meager words do not do justice for how I feel about the many wonderful works of the great man.
  • Toni Morrison – Reading Toni Morrison is like watching Japanese horror. There is something dark and spooky and hidden just out of focus. I find myself scared and excited and nervous and anxious when I read her books. Her work makes you have to take a moment. You exhale and close your eyes as you try to readjust your mind to bring you back to reality when you leave the world she has created.
  • J.R. Ward – The Samuel L Jackson of writing styles. I don’t know if she’s the first but she’s the first I read and boy do I love it. Written how I would talk myself, reading her books doesn’t so much take you to a different place, but rather show you your alternate life. Her vampires don’t sparkle but they’re also not the traditional blood-drinking, die in the sun, children of the night. The story behind their creation is second only to Anne Rice’s. I’m a romantic and these men love their women like none other.

Things I read this year

I read 68 books in 2012 that I can remember. 85 if you count the books I read more than once. For the full list check out the page 2012 Book list.

I did not start the year keeping track of the books that I read. But in October I found myself mesmerized by the great Blackdagger Brotherhood novels. This new find of mine lead to a reading frenzy of sorts. I would stay up long stretches of time, upwards of 43 hours at a time as I refused to even sleep while I read. So at the end of the year on line there are list everywhere. Top this or that of 2012 so I decided I’d compile my own list of something near and dear to my heart.

I can’t talk books without talking Stephen King. I read only two books by the great man. 11/22/63 and Under the Dome. I’ll say up front I’m bias. So no one will be surprised when I say these were two great books. Both page turners that I couldn’t put down until I was finished with them. In the case of Under the Dome I don’t think I took a break other than the bathroom breaks. This includes bathing and cooking (My husband’s a real trooper).

Like everyone else I got caught on the Fifty Shades Of Grey train. I fell in love, was smitten, spellbound. I read the books and then read them again when I finished. I took a break and read a different book and then picked up Fifty again. I couldn’t get enough of Christian Grey and Ms. Steele. I accepted them as a couple but fell in love with Christian. I tolerated Anastasia, Oh my!

Can I say enough about J.R Ward and her world of vampires? The rules are not standard but there’s nothing sparkly about this band of brothers and their journey to find love. I read 10 books in one week staying up 43 hours at time. When I did sleep it was for no more than 3 hours. I ignored my husband and my kid. I ate less and cook nothing. I didn’t bath and cut back on smoking. I was enthralled, I AM addicted. I AM IN LOVE with this series. I know read Ms. Ward’s website religiously for the snippets she post from Lover At Last.

The other series I read were
J.R. Ward – Fallen Angels
Sylvia Day – Crossfire
Larissa Ione – Demonica Series
Lora Leigh – Breed Series
Karen Marie Moning – Fever Series
Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush Hush Series
Cassandra Claire – The Mortal Instruments
Amanada Hocking – My Blood Approves

Single books were Kate Lauren Final which is the last book in the Fallen Series.