Friday 17 February 2017

Reading Beyond Our "Comfort Zone" - Kara Isaac

As a contemporary romance writer, I read (and buy!) a lot of inspirational contemporary romance. Firstly, because I love it and want to support other authors in my genre and secondly because it's important for me to be knowledgable about my fellow authors' latest releases.

Unfortunately, between chasing a young family, working on my own projects and keeping up-to-date with the stories being released in contemporary romance, there isn't really any time left to explore unfamiliar genres.

However this summer, with the arrival of a new addition, I took a break from my own projects and decided it was the perfect opportunity to try out the grass on the other side of a couple of fences! So I picked up Intermission by Serena Chase, a young adult story that I'd seen a few blogger friends raving about and Unblemished by Sara Ella, a young adult dystopian that I'd heard good things of.

I was so glad I did!

To be honest, I tend to avoid YA because I often find the main characters too self absorbed and self indulgent for my liking. However, I adored Intermission. So much so that I ran a giveaway for a copy to my newsletter subscribers. It was funny, poignant, charming and so well written. It was the first book I've read by Serena Chase but it definitely won't be my last.

While I haven't finished Unblemished yet (the "alternate worlds" aspect combined with a large cast of characters mean I need to be very awake to keep track of what's going on which doesn't happen too often with a new baby!) I am also really enjoying it.

When was the last time you ventured beyond your reading "comfort zone"? What books have you discovered on the other side of the fence that you loved?

Kara Isaac is the romantic comedy author of Close To You and Can't Help Falling and lives in Wellington, New Zealand. When she's not chasing around two little people or trying to convince the third to nap (documentary evidence to the left to prove she was successful once!), she spends her time writing horribly bad first drafts and wishing you could get Double Stuf Oreos in New Zealand. She loves to connnect on her website, on Facebook at Kara Isaac - Author and Twitter @KaraIsaac


  1. Yes, I've been venturing 'over the fence' too this last 4 months. So far the ones I've enjoyed have all been YA.
    1) The Collar & the Cavarrach - Annie Douglas Lima - would be excellent for teen boys
    2) Chop, Chop (terrible title but easy to remember) L N Cronk - start of a series and should be free on Amazon. Wonderful characters.
    3) Cecily Paterson's two series Invisible/Invincible and Love and Muddy Puddles (excellent for teenage girls and their mothers)

    1. Those sound like some great books, Christine! I'll have to look them up :)

  2. Great post. Thanks Kara. Looks like two more books to put on my to-read list.

    I've always had an eclectic taste and read widely and have a wide comfort zone - though book club pushed me even further (some enjoyable, some not) :) Mostly, I don't like erotica, paranormal or horror. Still not keen on erotica and probably a lot of paranormal and horror, but I greatly enjoyed Mike Duran's The Ghost Box - a paranormal noir mystery novel by a Christian author though without explicitly Christian content. It was a good read :) I'm also not really into war stories (as opposed to survivor stories) by enjoyed C T Wells The Kingdom of the Air - especially for it's uncommon choice of point of view.

    1. I'm with you on erotica and horror, Jeanette! I've been judging a contest recently that has had books with some quite explicit R-rated content and while I've worked hard to make sure I judge it fairly, it's definitely not something I would choose to read.

  3. Great post, Kara. I'm increasingly reading out of my comfort zone having spent years simply reading thrillers and speculative stuff. I probably now read less of those genres and have branched out to various romance sub-genres, rom-com and Biblical fiction. I especially enjoy historical novels as I learn a lot about the past. I'm hankering to get back into some classics but fear the level of detail will take away some of my enjoyment.

    I'm keep hearing good things about Intermission.

    1. Ian, I'm convinced you're the most well read male I know when it comes to romance! :)

  4. The last four books I've read have been a variety of genres - in fact, the last few books I've read have been a range of genres:

    Dawn on the Road by Lea Waterhouse (YA coming of age)
    Raging Storm by Vanetta Chapman (Christian dystopian thriller)
    The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller (Regency romance)
    Murder on the Moor by Julianna Deering (Christie-esque 1930's murder)
    To the Farthest Shore by Elizabeth Camden (historical romance)
    Sell More Books with Less Socia Media by CK Syme (obvious from the title!)

    For me, genre-hopping would be more general market fiction - although I did recently read and enjoy The Swap, a general market thriller.

    1. Wow, that is a great range there! Which were your favourites?

  5. Intermission is fabulous, isn't it? Good on your for broadening your horizons. I find that so hard but I branch out from time to time. Must read 'The Kingdom of the Air', especially after Jeanette's comment. And isn't your new bub just beautiful???

    1. It really is! You were one of the people who convinced me to read it :)


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