Special Guest: Pam! (aka VanillaOrchids)

Hi friends! We’re back with a special reader guest post! Yes! Can you believe it’s the third Saturday of the month?! Eek! I can’t! I always tell people I have the best blog readers – and I firmly believe that. Pam sometimes visits here, and she is definitely a great example. I’d love to feature more of you! Anyway, here’s Pam! (And, I’m going to be a massive jerk and hijack her post for a minute – I’ve actually been on hiatus-ish since the beginning of August. I’ve gotten thousands of emails, and have still over 1,000 unread right now. I know I owe a lot of people responses, and more importantly prizes – and I’m doing my best to get on that. Please continue to be patient, and accept my apologies!)

… And now I must apologize to Pam for being all “me me me” – luckily, she like the rest of you, is awesome, and I’m sure she understands. So without further ado, meet an awesome member of the romance community! A reader! <3

Hello everyone! First let me just say thank you to Lime for taking a chance on me and giving me this opportunity to write a post for her blog.

My name is Pam, although I tend to go by the username VanillaOrchids online. Until sometime in 2009, I didn’t like reading. I rarely ever read a book just for the fun of it. That was until I read the Twilight Saga series by Stephenie Meyer. You see, two of my sisters and two of my nephews and I went to see the movie Twilight when it was released. The movie was okay, nothing spectacular. I enjoyed it for what it was. While the credits were rolling, my sister Linda proceeded to tell me that the movie is based off of a book and the book is way better. Then she offered to give me all four of the books in the series to read.

Fast forward about six months. The power went out because of a storm so I thought I’d give one of the books Linda gave me a try. Well, she had given me two books from the Vampire Diaries series as well, and since those books were smaller reads than the Twilight books, I started with one of those first. I probably didn’t get five pages into it before I said forget it! It’s been so long since then, but from what I remember, I felt that the Vampire Diaries book was written for little kids. I found it childish. Because of that, I gave all of the books (including the Twilight books) to my sister Patty in case she wanted to read them. Patty couldn’t go the Vampire Diaries books either but she did start on Twilight. So then one day while she was still working on Twilight she tells me that it isn’t like the Vampire Diaries books and that she thought I’d like Twilight. When she was finished with it, she gave it back to me. I had it done in two days and wanted book 2 … like now! LOL Patty gave me book two though she wasn’t finished reading it, but she knew that I’d have it read quick enough. I had all four books read in a week.

I didn’t know what to do with myself then. I wanted more to read but didn’t have anything. Eventually I started buying books on eBay or in stores. There probably hasn’t been a day that’s gone by since then that I’ve not been reading. Then late last year I had created a blog, more for myself really, to keep track of books that I wanted to read or have read, my favorite authors, etc. Then when I started to write book reviews, I decided to use the blog for that instead. That’s also about the time that I paid attention to other people’s reviews of books that I was interested in reading.

Recently I started reading a series of historical romances. After I finished the second book in the series, I went to Goodreads to mark the book as finished. While there I saw a one star review for the book that I’d just read. Here I was thinking the book was good. One of things that the person mentioned was the historical inaccuracies within the book. I’m sure the author did plenty of research and knows a lot about the time period, but in my opinion, it’s a work on fiction, it doesn’t have to be so strict with the historical details. But that’s just my opinion. And the primary complaint was that in that time a woman would not be without a chaperone. That might be true but can you really write an interesting love story when the two main characters never have a moment alone to be steal a kiss or a touch? Ah well, what do I know, I’m not a writer. 🙂

So anyway, I’m just happy that I now have a love of reading. And maybe with time I’ll get better at reviewing books. As for the whole blogging thing, I doubt that my book blog will ever really take off, and I’m fine with that. It’s a place for me to post reviews or graphics (which is another hobby of mine) or whatever I feel like. I don’t ever want it to feel like a job. I’ve known all too well what that’s like since I’ve had a website online for nearly 15 years now.

One last thing while I’m here. Awhile back on my blog I asked people for book recommendations. Not one person posted any. LOL So if Lime doesn’t mind, I’d like to ask the visitors here what book(s) you recommend? In return, I’m offering one winner an ebook of their choice (up to $5) from Amazon.

Thanks again to Lime for allowing me to ramble on for a bit. 🙂

31 thoughts on “Special Guest: Pam! (aka VanillaOrchids)

  1. Liz

    I also read the Twilight books after seeing the movie! Before I discovered paranormal romance, I used to read western historicals. Now, if someone in the book has fangs or goes furry once a month, I’m in! I would recommend Tamara Morgan’s Games of Love series, there are two so far. They are super sweet and funny, with hot heroes and stubborn heroines. For paranormal romance, I’d recommend Bianca D’Arcs Brotherhood of Blood, which has six books now, vampires and wolves and humans…oh my! Very nice post, it’s always fun to see how people come into their love of reading. Me…I used to steal my grandma’s harlequins. 🙂

    1. VanillaOrchids

      Hi Liz,
      I believe that I have a couple Bianca D’Arcs books but not Tamara Morgans, so I will definitely have to check them out. Thank you for the suggestions!

  2. June M.

    I read a variety of books, mainly romances (many different sub-genres). One of my favorites is PNR, I love from light fun reads to darker, intense reads. You might check out Lynsay Sands, Kerrelyn Sparks, Katie Reus, Molly Harper, Larissa Ione. Histoicals I love Sarah MacLean, Sabrina Jeffries, Lynsay Sands has some,
    I also read many hotter books, but I am not sure if you would like those or not

    Good luck finding some new books/authors. Libraries are great to try an author for the first time, or getting the free sample from Amazon kindle is great too.

    1. VanillaOrchids

      One of my favorites is PNR as well. Historical romances being my second favorite. 🙂 I love Lynsay Sands and Kerrelyn Sparks books but will be sure to check out the other authors you suggested! And yes, I read some of the hotter books as well. 🙂
      Thanks for the suggestions!

    1. VanillaOrchids

      I do have some from the series you’ve mentioned but I’m not sure that I have any from the specific authors. I’ll check them out. Thank you.

  3. lavendersbluegreen

    I am not sure what you like to read… right now I am re-reading Split Infinity by Piers Anthony, and I love this series even more than I remember. It is a combination novel with a fantasy magical world and a science fiction world split by a curtain…
    I also recommend reading any and every anthology you find. My latest anthology read was Deadly Promises by Cindy Gerard, Laura Griffin, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love; it was terrific. It is a romantic action suspense with multiple shorts.
    I also enjoy those historical romances; I just read Madeline Hunter’s Rarest Blooms series; Ravishing in Red, Provocative in Pearls, Sinful in Satin, and Dangerous in Diamonds; they were great! Think independent women.
    Another of these series was Jane Feather’s Blackwater Brides; Rushed to the Altar, A Wedding Wager, and An Unsuitable Bride. Think elderly odd relative setting special circumstances on his three nephew’s inheritance and chance to save their family. Three brides for three brothers…
    Another good read that I enjoyed recently was the new Angie Fox book, Immortally Yours. Think paranormal MASH unit.

    1. VanillaOrchids

      Great suggestions lavengersbluegreen! Thank you.
      Now that you mention Piers Anthony, I do believe that when I was in high school I read one of his books … on the rare occasion that I did read for fun. LOL I think that I tried it because my sister Patty was reading one of his books.

  4. lsureader

    I went back and checked the 2012 books I’ve read. Below are some favorites:

    Historical Romance–Sweet Enemy (Heather Snow,) Beguiling the Beauty and Ravishing the Heiress (Sherry Thomas,) A Week to be Wicked (Tessa Dare.)

    Contemporary Romance–About that Night (Julie James,) One More Summer (Liz Flaherty)

    Romantic Suspense–Twisted (Laura Griffin)

    Mystery/Thriller–Criminal (Karin Slaughter,) A Deeper Darkness (J.T.Ellison,) Defending Jacob (William Landay,) Catch Me (Lisa Gardner,) Stay Close (Harlan Coben)

    For UF/PNR, I recommend these series: Jenifer Estep’s Elemental Assassins, Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson, Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunters, and Kim Harrison’s Hollows.

    Hope you find something you’ll enjoy reading!

    1. VanillaOrchids

      What a great selection of recommendations. Thank you! Although I have heard of some of them, I don’t believe that I have read any of those yet. 🙂 I look forward to it though.

  5. Jane

    Hi Pam,

    I haven’t read or seen the Twilight series. I read a lot of romantic suspense, contemporaries and historicals. I would recommend Jami Alden’s Fear trilogy and Loretta Chase’s Dressmakers series.

  6. Coranne

    Oh man, there are so many good books out there! If you are looking for good paranormal series: The Iron Fae series by Julie Kagawa (the first book was eh, but the rest was amazing)- her vampire series is good too! Fantasy: Shadow and Bone, anything by Maria V Snyder
    Other suggestions:

    Wildwood Dancing by Juliette Marrilier
    Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
    Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
    The Goddess Series by Aimee Carter

    Man the list could go on and on…..

    Are you on Twitter? Come find me @coranne and we will chat books!

  7. mrscook13

    I have a similar story. I read the first couple of Harry Potter Books when I was in grade school. After that I hadn’t read any books in around 9 or 10 years. I never enjoyed reading. My sister gave me the Twilight saga to read and it sat on my shelf for months. I thought “vampires….how ridiculous” but then my sister in law gave me the first True Blood book. She told me it was about vampire like Twilight but it was dirty. I have 3 children and I am a stay at home mom. While mothering is a tough job, there is always a little down time where I am bored out of my mind. I picked the book up one day and stayed up all night to finish it. I was hooked. Naturally, after i was finished, i picked up the first Twilight book and had the finished within 3 days. I couldn’t put the books down to go to sleep at night. That’s how I fell in love with the vampire genre. I am now a self proclaimed fanbanger. The Sookie Stackhouse series is my favorite. Ispend 364

    1. mrscook13

      Cont…….days a year waiting for the next book in the series to come out and 1 day reading it. I love them. I also love The Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead is in the young adult section at the bookstore but the story is truely amazing and so much different than any other book in the vampire genre. I can’t say enough about it. Please read. I am also now a historical romance fan and would love some suggestions for good reads. Thank you!

      1. VanillaOrchids

        I actually didn’t know that True Blood was based on books to begin with, and I haven’t read any of those yet. I’ve always been a fan of vampires, but since I didn’t like reading before, it was vampire movies for me. 🙂
        I have some of the Vampire Academy books, haven’t started them yet as I don’t have all of them yet. The Black Dagger Brotherhood, though, I have started reading recently. I’ve got the first five of those books so far. 🙂

        I love historical romances as well. One that I can think of off the top of my head that I would recommend is Immortal Desires by Laura Eno. It’s not entire historical but mostly. It’s got some time travel and magic in it and I really enjoyed it.

        Thank you for the suggestions, and I’m sorry for taking so long to reply back.

  8. jovialvampyre

    One of my favorite reads this year is FEVER by Joan Swan. The second in the series, BLAZE comes out next week. Excellent read!

    1. VanillaOrchids

      Oh yes, I just finished reading Blaze for review yesterday. Unfortunately I’ve not read Fever yet, but I definitely plan to. 🙂 Thank you for your suggestions!

  9. Limecello Post author

    Hi Pam! Now an actual response!

    Let’s see – you know, I really like LJ Smith. Granted I read her books in the mid90s? And…. I think they’d been out for a few years at that point. And while I’ve read many of her books, I’ve never read her Vampire Diaries (trilogy? Quartet? I know she’s added to it…) and never cared to. So maybe you would like her other ones? I think that might be why they seem childish now – because times have changed? I do love her “Forbidden Game” trilogy – I think that one stands up well. And I also love the Secret Circle trilogy, but that might be due to sentimentality.

    For heat – and historical – read Carolyn Jewel. Lord Ruin and Not Proper Enough. Otherwise, I enjoyed Goddess of the Hunt and A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare very much. Also the Lords of Vice series by Alexandra Hawkins, although I’ve yet to read her newest. And historical standbys are Lisa Kleypas.The Devil in Winter is a TON of people’s favorite. The quartet is good, as is the spinoff. (Although I’m behind there too. Oops.) Otherwise I love Worth Any Price and more. I actually love Prince of Dreams and Dreaming of You but those books are polarizing – and have some aspects that make people hate them. Also That Scandalous Evening or Lost in Your Arms by Christina Dodd. Then The Duchess or the sisters quartet- or any number of books by Eloisa James. And OMG a MUST read is Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros. I really like a few of her older ones too.

    Have you read the BDB books by JR Ward? I liked them (confession, I loved Lover Eternal but the series lost a lot of appeal for me.) Hmmm paranormals – The Psy/Changeling books by Nalini Singh are good. I know lots of people adore Larissa Ione’s Demonica books – and her Riders of the Apocalypse ones. Also because Larissa is awesome.
    And then Kresley Cole – I don’t know about her newest (can you tell I don’t like series and my interest tapers off?) but her Immortals After Dark books were pretty good – some hit or miss, but I really liked a few.

    Contemporaries – you MUST read Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Breathing Room, Kiss an Angel, Heaven, Texas, Nobody’s Baby But Mine. Also Rachel Gibson has a lot of great books.

    Shannon McKenna! If you at all like romantic suspense- and a lot of heat. There also, Lauren Dane, Beth Kery, and… for darker/almost more erotica than erotic romance, Megan Hart.

    I don’t know what all you really like/are looking for, but I think those are good places to start. 😀

    1. VanillaOrchids

      Thank you so much for all your suggestions! 🙂
      I have honestly been avoiding LJ Smith’s books because of the experience I had with one of the Vampire Diaries books, but maybe I could give one of her other series/non-series books a try.
      I did recently get some of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books. Got the first five but I’ve only had a chance to read the first one so far. LOL Looking forward to reading the others though.
      I will definitely have to check out Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ books.

      Thanks again! 🙂

  10. Chelsea B.

    Hi, Pam! I enjoyed your post!
    I would say, if you want a good laugh a a good love story and a loooooge series where you get to see all your favorite characters again even after their book has ended, The Love At Stake series by Kerrelyn Sparks! Lots of vampires, shifters of every kind… Just wonderful books.
    If you like completely and utter swoon worthy romance, all of CIndy Miles’ books are a sure bet. Her romances are beyond sweet!
    For a more sexy series, but still romantic, I would say Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series. That one, too, is a very long series!
    And onto Historicals. You must read Jennifer Ashley’s The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie! You must! It’s the first in her Highland Pleasure series, and one of my all-time favorite books!
    Happy reading! 🙂

    1. VanillaOrchids

      I have read most of Kerrelyn Sparks’ Love At Stake series. I really enjoy those. 🙂 I don’t have Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series yet though. Hmm, I have some of Jennifer Ashley’s paranormal books but I’m not sure if I have any of her historical romances. Will definitely have to check.
      Thank you for the suggestions! 🙂

  11. Ana @ BookSpark

    Pam! I knew your first bookish love was Twilight but it was so much fun to read how exactly this love came about 😀

    You’ve run a website for FIFTEEN years? Oh my! Are you a web designer by profession? If yes, may I ask you how you like your job? I’m only asking because I’ll probably be majoring in Computer Science next year and websites is what I’ll be concentrating on (I’ve really enjoyed what little I’ve been exposed to so far).

    ANYWAY, enough about me 🙂 Sorry, I’m me-me-me too, even more so than Lime. But I don’t really think I’d be able to recommend you much of anything since you enjoy romance and I usually dislike it.

    Have a super week!
    Ana @ BookSpark

    1. VanillaOrchids

      I have done some web designing in the past, but no, I didn’t make a profession of it. Good luck with your studies next year. I hope that you enjoy studying Computer Science if that’s what you choose to do. 🙂

      Hey, I don’t mind. I’m certainly not one that likes to talk about myself, so I don’t mind when others are. 🙂


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