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Books

Book Club Appetizers: Fast & Fun

Books, Hospitality and Entertaining
book club appetizer

I know a number of people who go to book club meetings just for the food and wine. They never, or almost never, actually read the book. They just like the idea of having a party with smart, bookish buddies every month.

I’m certainly not recommending or promoting this attitude. In fact, if you are that girl I want you to picture me right now, pointing my finger and tsk-ing my tongue at you. Life sometimes gets in the way of our reading schedule but this should not be a regular thing! If you aren’t carving out time to read the book, you’re not holding up your end during the discussion and that’s not fair to the group. You’re also missing out on the fun, which is even worse.

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What to Read Right Now: Beach Reads for 2019

Books
beach reads

There have been years when I measured summer entirely in books. A summer well spent is a summer well read. But this summer is different. I’ve spent tons of quality time between pages and also made time for other important things, like making slime with my grandkids during a weeklong visit in June and taking my mother on a proper glamping trip.

Between the books and the activities, this year I feel like I’ve gone above and beyond taking advantage of summer. I’ve been more intentional about the way I spend my time (thank you, Living Well Spending Less planner). And summer isn’t even over yet! continue reading

The Best Father’s Day Gift Idea: Books For The Dads In Your Life

Books, Family
father's day books

Are you prepared for Father’s Day this Sunday or are you frantically looking for last-minute ideas that don’t seem so last minute? It might be too late to pull off some of the great ideas I included in the Fierce Father’s Day Gift Guide, but don’t fret. I have a solution. (You can thank me later).

As your resident author friend, I’m obligated to share book ideas on all subjects. (It’s in the universal author contract. Right below the clause that says I can helpfully correct grammar and spelling. Hah!)

Back to sharing books. I read. A lot. Some might say too much. They would be wrong. But I certainly do a big chunk of reading.

So let’s have all the time I spend reading serve a purpose for you, my Fierce Friends. Whether it’s a gift for your husband, son, or your own father or grandfather, books are always the answer.

Books: The Best Father’s Day Gift Idea

Without further ado, a few suggestions for Father’s Day books (aka the best Father’s Day gift idea, in my unbiased opinion):

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What to Read Right Now

Books
what to read right now
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One of the main questions I hear as a writer from my readers is what books I’m reading right now. It’s sort of like they think I should be an expert in this sort of thing, just because I am in the business!

While I don’t think of myself as some fancy book critic, I will say I am a total reading enthusiast and usually have several books going at once.

I try to find a balance between fiction and non-fiction, books that stretch my imagination, books that simply make me sigh out of happiness at the end, books that teach me something new, or books that open doors to whole new worlds that I’ve never thought about before.

I know it sounds like I’m trying to confuse my brain, but trust me, it works for this girl. It works wonders. continue reading

Book Club Party Kit for ‘Hope On The Inside’

Books, Friends and Community
book club - hope on the inside
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN REFERRAL LINKS. IF YOU CLICK THROUGH AND TAKE ACTION, I MAY BE COMPENSATED, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

My latest novel, Hope On The Inside, has all the elements of a quintessential book club book. The quickly paced plot. The strong themes of creativity and sisterhood. It has the surprises. The lovable characters. The tear-jerking moments. And did I mention the food?

Don’t even get me started on my passion for book clubs! Although I guess I already got started on my love of book clubs in this post from last year.

Suffice it to say book clubs = books, food and friends. Basically a perfect recipe in life.

But throwing the perfect book club party can be a little daunting! What should I cook? What music should I play? What wine should I serve? What thought-provoking questions should I throw out to the group? 

Don’t worry, that’s the fun part.

If you’ve been debating on your next book club book and have made the (obviously very smart) choice to read Hope on the Inside, I’m going to make your life very easy when it comes to prepping for your book club party.

How, you ask? I made a Hope on the Inside party kit just for the occasion!

So, grab your best gal pals, your latest quilting or crafting project, and cook the books with recipes inspired by Hope On The Inside. You won’t have to dig very deep into the book to find out about the husband with an affinity for baking! If you need some help getting started with the book discussion, there are helpful suggestions and questions in the back.

Choose savory muffins, a rosemary olive bread, or the very best oatmeal cookies and offer along with iced mint tea and fruit. Because they are the fuel you’ll need for a lovely book discussion, if you ask me.

And in this case, the rosemary won’t be a bad omen. (You’ll know what this means after you get through the first chapter or two).

Download Your Free Party Kit!

If you’d like to have the full Book Club Party Kit simply enter your email address below and the whole kit-n-caboodle will show up in your email a few minutes later! Oh, the magic of the internet!

A Little Teaser

Just to make you drool a little bit, here’s a picture of the wonderful Rosemary Olive Loaf that’s included with the party kit! Serve warm, spread a little butter, slice on the diagonal (because, pretty) and you’ll be in food heaven!

rosemary olive loaf - hope on the inside

Alright readers, that’s all I’ve got time for today! Book launch weeks are busy – in a good way!

Have a great weekend, Fierce Friends, and maybe bake some oatmeal cookies!

The Book Launch for Hope On The Inside (and a special surprise)

Books, Creativity and Crafts
print at home stationary
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN REFERRAL LINKS. IF YOU CLICK THROUGH AND TAKE ACTION, I MAY BE COMPENSATED, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

My latest book, Hope on the Inside, is released today.

Though this is my fifteenth time at this particular rodeo, celebrating a book birthday is always exciting, the culmination of at least a year of work. It’s true. Back when I did that sort of thing, it took me less time to gestate a tiny human than it takes me to birth a book.

As with my real children, none of my literary offspring can claim the status of favorite child. Every novel I’ve penned holds a special place in my heart; they’re all my favorites.

But I feel like there’s something extra special about Hope on the Inside. Perhaps it has something to do with my particular stage of life. Perhaps it has something to do with the times we’re living in.

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Eight Biographies of Fierce Women That Changed the World

Books
biographies about women
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Susan B. Anthony labored her entire life planting a tree from which she never got to eat the fruit. She died years before women won the right to vote. How proud she would be decades later that women are not only voting in record numbers, but they are also running and winning Congressional seats in record numbers as well.

In honor of #InternationalWomensDay, I wanted to talk about a few fierce women that have paved the way for all of us. We owe them! They deserve major major kudos. At the very least, pick up their biography and read all about them. There is so much wisdom and inspiration and courage in these pages. Soak it all in. Harness that power.

Here are a few biographies that belong on everyone’s shelf. There are so many more inspirational women and incredible stories that this list just scrapes the surface.
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Because I Love You: Read the First Chapter of HOPE ON THE INSIDE for Free!

Books

We are a little over a month away from the release of my latest book! I could not be more impatient/excited to share it with you!

Yes, in just a short time, you will get to meet Hope Carpenter and the friends she found in a place she never expected to be, a group of women who discover friendship, purpose, and the life-altering power of creativity, one stitch at a time.

(Pretty good tagline, right? Makes me want to read the book all over again.)

Because I am so impatient/excited for the March 26th release of Hope On The Inside (also because I love you guys)  I thought it would be fun to share the first chapter with my most dedicated readers. If it weren’t for your enthusiasm and support, I wouldn’t be able to do this thing I love so much.

Writing turns out to be a much tougher gig than I would ever have imagined. But when I receive a heartfelt letter from a reader about how a certain character or theme has truly touched her or helped in her healing journey, I know I chose the right profession. You know, as opposed to being a mathematician, or oceanographer, or cabaret singer. All professions I considered. (Okay, not mathematician. Just the other two.)

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A Cover Reveal for my Latest Novel, Hope On The Inside

Books
Hope On The Inside

I’ve been keeping the secret for months now, counting down the days and hours until I could spill the beans. My new novel, Hope On The Inside, now available for pre-order, will hit bookstore shelves on March 26th, 2019!

Let’s start by talking about the cover. Because you know how I am with pretty things.

I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover but just this once, let’s break the rules. I mean, how sweet is this cover? It looks like springtime! So pretty I could wear it as an accessory.

Come to think of it, that’s not a bad idea. What better fashion statement could there be than a beautiful book? Tells the world you’re so much more than just another pretty face. Could be the start of a trend!

Hope On The Inside

So, now that I’ve shown off the cover, watch this super high-tech video to hear about what you’ll find inside!

 

And here’s a teaser, just to give you a deeper glimpse into Hope’s story.

In this compelling, heartwarming novel from New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick, one woman finds new purpose in a new phase of life . . .

“Whatever comes your way, find the happiness in it.” Hope Carpenter received that advice from her mother decades ago. Now, with their four children grown, Hope and her husband, Rick, are suddenly facing an uncertain future, after a forced retirement strains both their savings and their marriage. Seeking inspiration and a financial boost, Hope gets a job teaching crafts to inmates at a local women’s prison.

At first, Hope feels foolish and irrelevant, struggling to relate to women whose choices seem so different from her own. But with time, and the encouragement of the prison chaplain, she begins to discover common ground with the inmates, in their worries about their children and families, their fear of having failed those who need them. Just like her, they want to make something of themselves, but believe it might be impossible.

Embarking on an ambitious quilting project, Hope and her students begin to bond. Together, piece by piece, they learn to defy expectations—their own and others’—and to see that it’s never too late to stitch together a life that, even in its imperfections, is both surprising and beautiful.

I can’t wait for you to meet Hope Carpenter, a women who I believe we can all relate to. Make sure to pre-order your copy today!

The Fierce Reader’s Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for the Book Lovers in Your Life (Even If it’s You)

Books
Gift idea for book lovers - bookmark, throw blanket, funny books, cookbooks
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN REFERRAL LINKS. IF YOU CLICK THROUGH AND TAKE ACTION, I MAY BE COMPENSATED, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

Oh books, how we love thee.

Let me count the ways!

It goes without saying, but since I’m an author and all, books are one of my first loves.

Write them.

Read them.

Love them.

Share them.

On a related note, gifting a friend my best-selling Cobbled Court Series isn’t the worst idea in the world. Or even just starting them with the first book! 

It’s always a great idea to buy your loved ones books for Christmas. Remember that books are never returned for being the wrong size or color, plus they are proven by science to help calm heart rates, decrease muscle tension, preserve your mental sharpness, and make you nicer! (Not that any of you need to be nicer.)

But for this post, I wanted to take a look at some fun options for the book lovers in our lives beyond books.

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