But Collector's Item, a paranormal romance e-book, was written by Denise Golinowski, a fellow Richmonder and member of James River Writers. I believe in supporting local businesses and artists, including writers, so I decided to take a look. It was simple to visit Amazon.com and download the novel (only $2.99!) to my Kindle.
What a cool experience! I'm only a few chapters into the book, but already I'm enjoying the mental stretches of characters who harbor powerful animals inside them and a society that doesn't know quite what to do with an entire class of people with paranormal powers. Should these animal-people (the heroine is also a were-jaguar) be given the same right as "regular" humans, or be hunted as trophies?
And then there's the "romance" part, which so far is playing out like feline mating: part attraction, part resistance and fighting. This is no wimpy romance, friends!
It's a pretty wild ride as I find myself having to shake free of conventions to understand this new world that Denise has competently and plausibly created.
Back when I was doing restaurant reviews, I constantly encouraged people to get out of their culinary comfort zones and try new foods. Scoop up some tibs with injera! Try those Texas ribs even if you're a barbecue snob from North Carolina! Need some smaller steps? If you like Chinese, consider branching out to Vietnamese or Thai. You get the idea.
It turns out that the same is true of reading. An endless diet of Clive Cussler or Stephen King or Mary Roberts might keep your mind fed, but there are other reading pleasures available, too. For a stretch, try a genre that is unfamiliar. You might find delight in keeping up with a style and an author you've never heard of.
And if I might make a recommendation...