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Books

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
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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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What to Read Right Now – Fall 2018

Books
what to read now
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It’s National Author’s Day!

Since I love reading, writing, and all things books, this little known holiday is right up there with National Penguin Day or National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day for me.

It’s so fitting that National Author Day happens right as Fall is in full swing. It’s the moment when it’s socially acceptable to wear cozy clothes all day, with house slippers, and reading glasses, and a crackling fire, and sip on hot tea, cocoa and coffee all the day long.  Books and Fall go together like peas and carrots, if you ask me.

In honor of today, I thought I would put together a short list of the books I come back to again and again.

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Best Day Ever: On the set of Christmas Everlasting

Books, Celebrate Life
christmas everlasting
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Have you been reading my newsletter or reading my Facebook posts over the last couple of weeks?

If so, you’re undoubtedly aware that one of my books, The Second Sister, is being made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie with the title Christmas Everlasting.  (I’ve only posted about it around ten thousand times.)  It will air on the Hallmark Channel on November 24th, 2018 at 8pm Eastern Time, 7pm Central. I hope you’ll watch it!

In fact, I hope you’ll watch it with me! But more about that in a future post. Suffice it to say, plans are in the works. Stay tuned.

christmas everlasting continue reading

What to read next

Books
what to read next
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Because I write books for a living, I may be biased. But there are few things that elevate the spirit like curling up with a good book. As I mentioned in a recent post, reading helps us combat stress, live longer, sleep better, and be more empathetic. All good things, right?

Most of my novels are uplifting works of women’s and historical fiction. However, my personal reading interests run the gamut. I read almost as much non-fiction as fiction, and like to challenge myself to try new genres and authors.  A couple of years ago, I’d started reading mystery and have found some wonderful reads. Spiritual, devotional, and self-help books are also on my regular reading list.  (I don’t care how Fierce you are, you never outlive or outgrow the need for inspiration and guidance, am I right?)

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Three Perfect Recipes for World Baking Day (Plus, My Favorite Baking Cookbooks)

Books, Food for Grownups
best cookie recipes, best baking cookbooks
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Cookies, banana bread, muffins, oh my! Today is World Baking Day and it’s time to fire up those ovens, Fierce Friends. Don’t tell my Weight Watchers Freestyle Plan, but sometimes I just need sugar. And carbs. And butter. And joy.

Here are a few of my go-to recipes when those cravings hit and a few baking cookbooks that have guided me along the way.  continue reading

The Best Memoirs, Autobiographies to Read, and How to Write Them

Books
autobiography memoir how to write
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I love books.  All books. Between the pages of a book always has been and will always be my happy place.

Though I love fiction and have spent much of my life writing it, I read a ton of non-fiction, especially memoir and biography.  As I gain more perspective and wisdom about my own life story, I am even more intrigued by true stories of other people’s lives.

Reading memoir and biography gives me a chance to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, to experience other cultures through the eyes of a first-person guide.  Reading memoirs can be inspiring, eye opening, heartwarming and, sometimes, heartbreaking.  No matter the writer, tone, or subject, I always learn something. continue reading

Starting (or Joining) a Bookclub: Friends, Food, and Fellowship

Books, Friends and Community
how to start or join a book club
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One of the biggest pleasures of reading a good book is discussing it with other readers.  There’s no better place to do that than a book club.

There really aren’t any downsides to joining a book club. I mean, sure every now and then you might not love one of the books. But even that can have its benefits.  Sometimes, discussing a book or character you didn’t care for can be even more fun than talking about one you did! Who doesn’t love trash talking the villain you love to hate? continue reading

Finding Time to Read More Books (And Why It’s Important)

Books, Nurture Your Soul
finding time to read more books
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How often have you heard somebody say, “Gosh, I just have so much extra time on my hands that I have no idea what to do with it”?

Pretty much never, right? These days, it seems like we’re so busy with the things we have to do, we can’t find time for the things we want to do – like read.

That’s a shame. Reading adds so much to life.  And, especially for those of us in the years beyond 50, reading is important.

Reading helps keep our minds sharp but also elastic. Reading exposes us to new ideas and keeps us informed about changes in culture.  Also, reading is an important form of relaxation, giving us a mental break when life becomes too chaotic. continue reading

An Exciting Announcement!

Books
my new book, just in time, hits shelves March 27th!
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My most recent novel, Just In Time, hits the shelves of bookstores today!

 
I’ve been waiting months and months to introduce my characters, Grace, Nan, and Monica, three support group dropouts united by grief but rescued through friendship, to the world. The early reviews have been very gratifying — USA Today called Just In Time “time well-spent” and Booklist said “readers will be drawn in”— but the opinion that matters most comes from my readers.  
 
To whet your appetite a bit, today I thought I’d share the first chapter with you and give you a chance to meet Grace, Monica, and Nan. Enjoy!

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