Vacation, all I ever wanted…

One of the perks of being a teacher (my normal job, outside of writing) is having regular breaks throughout the year.

One of the downsides of being a teacher is that the students inevitably give you some kind of germ RIGHT before said break.  Wash your hands, people!

Despite being laid up with some kind of pernicious malady,  and a busted leg, I am still bound and determined to enjoy my time off!  My plans include lots of reading, relaxing, and writing – the “Three R’s” that really matter!

What are your favorite ways to unwind on vacation?  What do you do to relax?

I’m Seeing Green!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!  How do you prefer to celebrate?  Do you go to a local pub for a pint of Guinness, or make corned beef and cabbage at home?

Personally, I prefer to quietly sip on some Bailey’s and listen to Flogging Molly in the privacy of my own home.  While I enjoy going to a proper pub on occasion (I’m not much one for bars, in general, but the few pubs I’ve been to have been nice), I generally don’t care for huge crowds.

On a completely unrelated note, congratulations to UMBC on winning the game yesterday!  For my friends and family that are UMBC alums, it must have been a wild night!

Let’s do the mash (the Noooovel mash)

(Side note: for all of those who say that the “klutzy” heroine is an overdone trope, me and my busted knee beg to disagree)

Since I tend to approach reading in much the same way that other people approach Stranger Things (i.e., I’m in my PJ’s on the couch all night until the book or series is finished), I’ve mainly stuck to science-y or nonfiction books to prevent binge-read-all-nightis.  I practically preach the gospel of Kean and Roach when people ask me about my favorite books.  I genuinely enjoy this genre – I am the sort of person who listens to Stuff to Blow Your Mind for fun – but while they work out the intellect, the imagination is slowly atrophying.

Now that I’ve more or less finished the major tasks related to publishing A Lady in Rogue’s Clothing, I’ve been turning my attention to working on Michael’s story.  But, like a long languishing muscle, my imagination is giving me little more than a wheeze and a feeble stretch.  Not to mention, a recent unanticipated cross-country flight and an injury have left me with far more sedentary time than I usually have.  So I began to read again – starting with the “Scandal & Scoundrels” series by one of my all-time faves, Sarah MacLean.

I adore her books, and the series was delightful (although I still think Haven is a jerk), filled with strong, feisty heroines who take fate into their own hands.  The stories have real emotional depth, and are well-paced so that even a long story feels quick and zippy.

But….

As much as I love these books, they leave me wanting a bit more external conflict and a bit less internal conflict.  This genre can be like candy to me – I have to be careful not to have too much, or else it won’t taste so good anymore.

Which leads me to the title of the post.  Cozy mysteries are another binge-able brain-candy genre for me, and when mixed with historical romance – well, that’s just a delicious chocolate lava cake of brain food, isn’t it?

Some of my favorites of this genre mash are the Royal Spyness series by Rhys Bowen and the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood (the books are so much better than the TV show, although the show is also scrumptious!)

(I’m always open to suggestions, so if you know of any series that fall under this category, send them my way!)

What are your favorite genre mash-ups?  Are you a sucker for romantic sci-fi?  Have a hankering for romantic horror?  Fall hard for romantic fantasy?  Share out your thoughts in the comments!