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I’m the sort of person who gets very cranky if I don’t have an appropriate amount of sleep. I go to bed at a decent hour with great intention of getting my forty winks, but something prevents me from turning off the light–the “To Be Read” tower of books next to my bed.

Reading before falling asleep has been a habit for years, but I’ve always been able to show restraint and turn off the light at a reasonable hour. Lately, though, I’ve been heading to bed earlier with the intention of getting in quality reading time, but I can’t seem to find an appropriate place to stop in the current novel I’m reading, so I end up reading until the very end of the book.

Unfortunately, this new reading habit has kept me awake until the wee hours of the morning. I need to be out of bed at 6 am to get my boys off to school and start my work-at-home day job that requires me to be on my toes at all times.

This unhealthy habit began when a good friend introduced me to the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. This series, which begins with One for the Money, is about a bumbling bounty hunter from Jersey and her misadventures, including her crazy family and the two men in her life. I’ve laughed myself silly reading this series.

Once I finished the Plum series, I figured I could get a decent night’s sleep, but no, it didn’t happen. Another good friend suggested a new series since I loved the Plum series so much–the Bubbles series by Sarah Strohmeyer. I started reading about Bubbles’ exploits, only to take a detour when I was introduced to Susan Elizabeth Phillips and her Chicago Stars series.

While I’ve fallen in love with these series’ and plan to add the books to my keeper shelf, please understand they are secular novels and contain scenes and language not found in Christian fiction.

My TBR pile continues to grow. My concealer stick is shrinking from the constant need to cover the dark circles under my eyes. This is a small sacrifice though as I’m learning how to create quality characters that may some day keep my readers up late until the last page is read.

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