One Book, Two Books, Three Books, Four: Or, I'm Going to Read All of These When?

2012 was an exciting year for this Saucy Wench. At any given time I could tell you the exact number of days until the release of the next installment in my favorite series. And they came out on a regular basis, so I always had something to look forward to, and something to discuss with the Wenches. Deadlocked came out in May, Once Burned in June, Fever Moon in July and Iced in October, Stars & Stripes in August.

But something has happened. 2013 is chock full of book releases that I'm doing happy dances over. But fellow Wench Olga's Eighth Day of Sauciness post gave me a serious wake-up call; her post laid out all the release dates for the books I'm most excited about. And I realized it's been two months since Iced came out and I haven't been counting down to any books at all since then. Sure, I knew that Dead Ever After was coming out in the spring (March or May, I always get the months mixed up). I assumed the next Night Prince and the next Dani book would be coming out next year but I hadn't checked up on the expected publication dates. And I know that the 7th Cut & Run book is releasing soon, with possibly the 8th released by the end of the year if the Minions are very lucky. But I stopped paying close attention to release dates, stopped counting down the months, weeks, and days to that moment I could find out what happens next with Vlad and Leila, with Dani, Ry-o, Christian, and Lor, with Ty & Zane, with Qhuinn and Blay, and — in the case of Sookie and Eric — what happens finally. I guess. . . I just got. . . busy?? Too busy for Sookie's HEA?

It's a tired excuse, I know.

But seeing the release dates laid out in front of my eyes was quite the shock. Here. Look.

February 5: House Rules, Chicagoland Vampires #7

March 26: Lover at Last, Black Dagger Brotherhood #11

March 26: Twice Tempted, Night Prince #2

March: Wild Invitation, Psy-Changeling Novella Collection

April 8: Touch & Geaux, Cut & Run #7

May 7: Dead Ever After, Southern Vampire Mysteries #13

June 4: untitled, Psy-Changeling #12

July 12: MacRieve, Immortals After Dark #13

August 30: Magic Rises, Kate Daniels #6

October 29: untitled, Guild Hunter #6

Fall, TBD: Written in My Own Heart's Blood, Outlander #8

Winter, TBD: Up From the Grave, Night Huntress #7

Fall/Winter, 2013/2014 (purely my guess): Burned, Dani O'Malley #2

These are just the books I've been able to track down. I'm not reading all of these series, and I'm sure there are other series and standalone books that the Wenches, and you, are anxiously awaiting this year.

But I'm willing to bet that many of the books on this list are the "big" ones. The books that you stay up until midnight for, waiting for them to magically appear on your e-reader because you can't sleep knowing the books are "out there." The books that you seriously consider taking the day off from work to read. The books that you read in one sitting. The books that keep you away from the internet until you've finished.

But if a wench finds herself too busy to plot out the releases of her favorite books, then how is she going to find time to actually read all of these books? Let's find out, shall we?

Before meeting the Wenches, I might have one or two great book affairs per year. But the Wenches give so many great recommendations, I have affairs planned with at least half the books on this list. And I can promise you that before 2013 is over, yet more books on this list will be notches on my bedpost.

Oh, and by the way. Did you notice? Lover at Last and Twice Tempted are BOTH RELEASING ON MARCH 26th!!! That, my friends, is a special kind of torture. One that Vishous himself could have dreamt up.

So, what's a busy wench to do?

It's not like you can take a couple days off work, stay up late, forgo sleep, ignore your family and friends and your daily responsibilities for days for each and every book release. If you can, good on you. No, seriously. I'd like to have what you're having.

I have decided I need strategies for approaching this kind of reading schedule (water, water, everywhere and I want to drink up as much as I can) and I thought, "Why not share with my fellow Wenches?" To be honest, I don't have any strategies yet. I'm developing them as I write! Ready? Here we go!

Strategy #1: Sleep less. Realistically, if you can't set aside your responsibilities in order to have a book fling, you are probably looking at sacrificing a few hours of sleep (at least) for a few nights. For most of us, the only time our responsibilities take a break is during the sleeping hours. Hot and iced beverages of the caffeinated kind are probably going to be your friend here.

Strategy #2: If you have the luxury of taking a day or two from work, it might be worth it. Use this strategy judiciously. I'm guessing you can't take this kind of time off every month. If this strategy is a possibility, pick one or two of your most anticipated releases, and plan your "mental health" days around them. If you employ this strategy correctly, your kids will be in school, your significant other will be at work, you won't have anything else tugging at you (no errands, no house chores taunting you from the edges of the page), and you can spend at least 8 unadulterated hours per day with your most treasured books. This works especially well if you don't tell anyone outside of work that you are taking the day off.

Bonus strategy: Combine with Strategies #1 and #2 for the most efficient use of time. Depending on how fast you read, you can probably complete your book within a 24-hour window, leaving you open for a leisurely re-read at a pace convenient for your real-world concerns.

Strategy #3: Bring the book with you. Everywhere. Sneak in a few pages during downtime at work. Meeting up with a friend who is a few minutes late? Sneak in a few more pages. Get the book in electronic format; the many e-reader apps were made for this sort of thing. When Deadlocked came out, I used the Text-to-Speech function on my Kindle to listen on my drive to work. I can't say I recommend this option, but it could work for you.

Strategy #3a: Keep the book attached to you at home. Cooking dinner? Waiting for water to boil or the oven to preheat? Optimal time to read a few pages. Getting ready in the morning and waiting for the iron to heat up? Read a couple more pages. Worn out from shoveling the drive, weeding the garden, or some equally fun yard work? Take a break and read a few more pages. Drafting a blog post and starting to get cross-eyed? You get the idea.

Strategy #4: Calmly explain to your loved ones that a Very Important Event is happening and that you will be unavailable for the next 24 to 48 hours. Provide numbers to food-delivery establishments. Congratulate them on their ability to independently problem solve. Have you ever met those families where everyone is a book worm? Mom, dad, all the kids? That's the kind of family I need. They get it.

Strategy #5: Leave the state. Or the country. Book a hotel room. Bonus points if you can meet up with a few like-minded wenches and group-squee in the getaway city once you've all finished reading together. This is a particularly good strategy for the celebratory read (Dead Ever After, I'm looking at you; I know you'll be worth celebrating).

Strategy #6: Just read. Put your head down, read as much as possible, push through it, and pray to keep your sanity, your job, and your relationships. Also known as the Nike Strategy.

Very Special Strategy for March 26th: Let's review. It's the saga of the Leila/Laylas. Twice Tempted and Lover at Last are releasing on this date. Twice Tempted is the second book in the Night Prince trilogy. Once Burned, the first book, ended with Leila (sort of) declaring her love to the man who said he could not love again (but we all know that's not true, of course). Leila's powers are also changing and in limbo. Then we have Lover at Last, the eleventh book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Qhuinn. Blay. Qhuay. We have been waiting seven books for this. Seven! "That's right, buddy. Our future has come." But their future has one hell of an obstacle (Oh, Layla). Finding time to read both books (this may be an opportune time to use a mental health day or two from work) is the least of your problems. Deciding which book to read first, aye, there's the rub. I have no advice for that one, my friend. I don't think I'll be able to decide myself until both books are staring me in the face. It could come down to a coin toss, or a close-my-eyes-and-point. Best two out of three?

You might be thinking, looking at the release schedule, "It's only one book per month, that doesn't seem so daunting." But think a little harder. I know I'm going to re-read, at least, the book in the series just prior to the one being released; I might also skim the previous two or three. And then I think about all the other books I want to read. And then I think about the series on that list that I haven't started yet. And my fan fiction addiction. And the reading I do for work. And whatever writing I think I'm going to accomplish. Oh, and have I mentioned any of my television addictions?

I set a goal this year to read one hundred books. I don't think I'll have a problem reaching that goal. I also think I'll mostly be employing Strategy #6.

What about you? What strategies will you be using to get in all your favorite new releases this year? What releases are you looking forward to that aren't on our list? (Because I need more suggestions for my TBR pile. . .)

*all gifs from


  1. Ever After by Kim Harrison, Jan 22nd
    Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs, March 5th
    So many great books are coming out in 2013! I can't wait!

    Maybe you should start preparing and freezing meals so you don't have to worry about cooking later :)

    1. I like that idea Krista! Freezing meals seems like a good way to save time later!

  2. When you lay it all out like that, it is a bit scary, isn't it?!?

    Chloe Neill tweeted recently that she just finished Biting Bad (book 8), so that will probably be out next fall too, in case you thought you had some free time then. ;-)

  3. Poor baby! Did you know G.R.R. Martin is releasing a anthology around June which contains a novella called "Virgins" by Diana Gabaldon? It's about Jamie and Ian in their youth. Just thought you'd like to know. :-)

    1. So many things to add to the list already, and it's still January.

  4. To many books to read. I think the only ones I will read as soon as they come out are Lover at Last and Dead Ever After.


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