June 21


How Terri Blackstock Causes Me Stress

By BarbaraEllinFox

If I live, If I Run, If I'm Found, series, Terri Blackstock

I just finished book two in Terri Blackstock’s most recent If I Run series. I reread the first book titled If I Run, so I’d be up to speed for If I’m Found.  

I’ve read several other series by Terri Blackstock and have felt my time was well spent on each one. I like her clear, get to the point and get right into the action style. She’s a master at tension, even when you know who the culprit is, and she has great plot twists. Her books are clean and they carry a message.

And she keeps getting better. 

A Problem

That is a problem for me. You see, I read before bed every night. My goal is to read until I’m ready to fall asleep. Unfortunately, I find many books that oblige that scenario. But if a story grabs me, I’ll push through the head nods and read until morning. Then I’ll find excuses to stop work and continue into the next day. It usually exhausts me but is such a treat.

Late night reading isn’t the best time for the story that puts you on the edge of your seat, or causes your pulse to increase, or one that produces tension, but that’s Terri Blackstock. As I moved into the last third of If I’m Found I stressed over Casey’s worsening situation and actually got annoyed at Terri Blackstock for making things so hard for the heroine. For Pete’s sake, I just wanted the poor girl to have some happiness. She got so close and then it was ripped from her, time and again. ARGH!!!

When I Finished

When I finished I was totally annoyed that I couldn’t grab the next book, If I live, and start reading. I’d put a hold on it at the library and when I checked I was number 17 on the waiting list. Geesh! I considered purchasing the Kindle Edition for speed but I’d really like a hard copy, so it’s going to take a couple days to arrive. And then I have to decide whether I want to read through beginning to end, or whether I want to read slowly and savor the writing and the story. (I’m a binge reader at heart). So you see? The third book isn’t even here, and it’s already causing stress!

Would I like to create this kind of anxiety for my readers? Do I want them annoyed at me while they’re so hooked they can’t stop reading?

Well, yes.

But then I wonder, could I live with a mind that created that much trouble and so many twists, and tortured her heroes and heroines along with her readers?

Yup, I think I could learn to deal with it!

So now it’s your turn. Who do you read that grabs you so hard you can’t put the book down even though it causes stress? I’d love to know.

Barbara Ellin Fox

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  1. Julie Hall’s “Huntress” definitely stressed me out. Wicked high tension throughout… And she had just enough angst at the end that I purchased the second book on kindle right away and read through MORE wicked-high tension almost nonstop… until I got to my happy-for-now moment a chapter or two from the end… and then I stopped (*cups hand over mouth and glances side to side*). That’s right. I didn’t finish the book until a month or so later, when my emotions were no longer involved… Because while I appreciate the skill involved in that level of tension, I didn’t like the way the emotional cliffhangers made me feel. I’m still trying to decide if I have the courage to read book 3 in the series.

  2. I was number 56 on the waiting list! I held out until I was 30 something then bought it 😁 No regrets there.

  3. I read her first book in the series and had the same problem as you. The only time I have to read is right before bed and her book riled me up and disturbed me do I couldn’t rest.

    1. Jeanie, It’s so good to hear from you! I used to have that problem with Colleen Cobles’s stories, too. I love their writing so much that I save those for day reading. I read during my lunch, on coffee breaks and other “personal” moments!

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