September Audiobooks!

We have a great batch lined up for all you audiobook lovers this month! From romance to thrillers, and dystopian fiction. Check them out, share with a friend, and let us know what you think!

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Guiding Emily is Here! – Half the proceeds help The Foundation for Blind Children

Guiding Emily by Barbra Hinske is available on Amazon, in print and on Kindle. For the price of a book, every reader receives a heartwarming, page-turning novel and supports a remarkable organization that believes that Vision Loss is a diagnosis, NOT a disability. Half of the proceeds will go to The Foundation for Blind Children

About the Book 

Sometimes the perfect partner has four paws…

Emily Main had it all: a high-powered career with a leading technology giant and a handsome fiancé bounding up the corporate ladder. Their island wedding and honeymoon were idyllic-until a tragic accident causes her retinas to detach.

Her well-ordered life is shattered as all treatments are unsuccessful and she slips into blindness. How will those around her cope with her tragedy? Can she rebuild her life in this most unwelcome, new normal?

Meanwhile, a black lab puppy named Garth fulfills his destiny to become that most esteemed of all creatures: a guide dog.

Guiding Emily is a heartwarming tale of love, loss, and courage as Garth and Emily make their way to each other.

About the Author

Barbara Hinske is an attorney who recently left the practice of law to pursue her career as a full-time novelist. She inherited the fiction gene from her father who wrote mysteries when he retired and told her a story every night of her childhood. Barbara is the bestselling author of the beloved ‘Rosemont’ series and has now published mystery, thriller, and suspense novels in her “Who’s There?” collection.

She and her husband share their own Rosemont with two adorable and spoiled dogs. She is besotted with decorating, entertaining, cooking and gardening. Now that her novel The Christmas Club has been made into a Hallmark Channel movie, she is completely star-struck and thrilled to have her work on the screen.

Guiding Emily is on a mission to spread awareness and help those in need. Join us in the awareness and share with people who would be interested. 

Happy Reading!

GIVEAWAY ALERT – Thicker Than Blood by Mike Omer

Who doesn’t love an opportunity to win a free digital book? Now until June 22, 2020 any resident of the US can enter on goodreads.com. 100 copies will be given away! And you could be one!

Thicker Than Blood is the third book in the Zoe Bentley Mystery Series by Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author Mike Omer. 

About the book

A murderer who drinks his victim’s blood? FBI profiler Zoe Bentley and Agent Tatum Gray thought they’d seen it all, but this young woman’s barbaric murder is especially hard to stomach.

They didn’t expect to work this case. But vampirism aside, the murderer’s MO is identical to that of Rod Glover—the serial killer who’s been pursuing Zoe since childhood. Forensics reveals the murder to be his work, but not his alone; desperate to fulfill his sick purpose, he has taken on an equally depraved partner.

Zoe’s own frustration grows after another woman turns up dead and drained—and another goes missing. Time is running out: Zoe knows her own death will be the climax of Glover’s sinister play, which has been unfolding for twenty years. To stop Glover and his vile partner, she’ll need to plunge deep into their motives; but this means drawing ever closer to becoming another casualty of a dark, dark thirst.

Haven’t heard about this amazing series? Check out books one and two below and see why this thriller is for you!

Building Confidence in Your Craft

Having confidence as a writer lets you express yourself freely. However, to do so you need confidence in yourself and in your writing! Do you worry that your writing isn’t good enough? Well you are not alone, and we have compiled some ways to lift your writing confidence:

Practice Writing Regularly

Writing is just like any other skill or hobby, and practicing regularly will help you improve. 

Read Widely

You are probably already an avid reader, but try reading something out of your norm. Pick up a new magazine, blog, or a genre out of your comfort zone. You will learn new techniques and find out what resonates with you. 

Learn About Writing 

In order to perfect your craft and build confidence you need to learn the in’s and out’s of writing. Specify the writing you want to go into, creative writing, blogging, memoirs and learn more about it! The more you learn the more you know!

Ask For Feedback 

Asking a fellow writing friend for feedback is a great way to help improve your writing. I know it can be daunting getting your work critiqued, but once you edit based on the feedback you will have more confidence in it!

Submit Your Publication

This one can also be pretty daunting, but if you submit your work to a blog and they post it that is a big confidence boost! Follow the tips above and make it as good as you can before sending it in. You can also enter competitions to get your writing and name out there. There are so many outlets to explore and that is another reason why you not only have to learn about writing, but the writing world as well. It will be easier to navigate once you build yourself a map. 

All your hard work will pay off. 

Happy Writing!

Reread Your Favorite Books!

Some people could not fathom picking up the same book twice, but I have a few reasons why you should!

They give us comfort. 

Reread one of your favorite books to feel the same emotions you felt the first time. There is a reason why it’s your favorite, it felt good to read. 

The movie adaptation is coming out. 

I do this over and over again. I read the book but it is turning into a movie, so I need to brush up on the book to make sure they stick to the roots!

You’re older. 

You read the book as a kid, or for required reading and you want to give it another go. 

You missed it the first time.

You read a book thinking it would open your mind to something new but you didn’t quite get there…but you should read it again to explore new possibilities.

Family/Personal traditions. 

Maybe you have or want to start a tradition where you read the same book every year or so to reflect a special time in your life. 

You know all the facts.

It is great to reread a murder mystery when you already know who did it! Find out all those clues from a different perspective. 

Why do you reread your favorite books? Let us know your must reads!

The More the Merrier – Reading Multiple Books at Once

There is no right way to read. While some have to focus on one book at a time, others can be reading two or three books at a time, and even throw in an audiobook or two.. 

But believe it or not, there are actually benefits to reading multiple books at once. Here are a few:

  1. Helps you get through your TBR pile faster.

Do you have a long list of books that you want to finish by the end of the year? Well pick up two at the same time and boom! You will be finished before you know it. 

  1. You can balance your pleasure reading with your required reading. 

If you are still in school or you have to read a lot for your job, reading a second book will still give you that pleasure in reading. You can pick your own must reads while also reading your have to’s. 

  1. Balance emotional reads with lighthearted books. 

Have you been afraid to pick up a tear jerker because you know how it will affect your emotions? Try balancing it out with a fun quirky read so that way it won’t put a damper on your mood. 

  1. It allows you to enjoy books in many mediums. 

Reading multiple books at once is not only fun, but it’s easy with all the different forms! Listen to an audiobook on your commute, take an ebook with you in the car or to an activity, and enjoy a physical book at home. The possibilities are endless!

  1. It allows you to take advantage of all the benefits of reading. 

Life can have you down sometimes with work, bills to pay, and simply the everyday go to’s of life. Having a book that you can pick up to make you laugh when you’re sad, or take you to another world when you feel like having an adventure is a great way to get away for a little while. Read it all! 

Happy Reading!

Jumping Through Time

A story can include one of two things: flashbacks or skipping to the future. We don’t think recommending the two is a great idea but if executed cohesively…sure! Why not! Let’s discuss.

Sometimes, writing flashbacks can help a story flesh itself out. Readers understand the plot better, the character better, ANYTHING! But what happens when a flashback becomes more than a flash back? Meaning, what happens when a brief moment takes up a whole chapter? Is that acceptable? There isn’t any reason why it shouldn’t be acceptable – other than not being written properly. Make sure flashbacks are quick and easy. They’re meant to be memories triggered by people or items or occurrences surrounding the character or plot. Here’s an idea: it doesn’t necessarily have to be written in the perspective where the character is brought back to a moment in time…but rather, induces a feeling, an image flashed in the character’s thoughts. Something like that.

Skipping ahead in time is also a way to get the story moving along. Readers don’t need all filler details and a story doesn’t deserve that either! A few months can pass in the story in a matter of words, as long as the reader is caught up with the characters and ongoings in their world, what else is needed? Questions should never be left unanswered, too. If they are, there better be good reason for it. Did something happen prior to the time hop that wasn’t resolved during the time not mentioned? Well, it better come full circle because then the reader will not be happy (they’ll scream, “PLOT HOLE, PLOT HOLE!” and write a whole review about how the plot hole ruined the story for them.)

future.gif

So, now that we’ve lectured about time and the relationship it has with your story – let’s build a time machine and have some fun!

Restored Faith in Literacy

 

Taking a step away from our usual posts, I wanted to talk about something I saw earlier this week that truly touched my heart in more ways than one, and shed a tear in the privacy of my own home.

Without getting into too much detail in setting up the scene (I know, I am going against my own advice on this one), I live in a very urban area by the coast of the Long Island Sound where houses must have sprouted from the ground like wildflowers. To set this up a bit further, my neighbor owns the home next to my apartment where he spent some time outside building what I thought was a bird house.

It’s not a rarity to see younger kids walking up and down the block in packs in my neighborhood, but there was one group that for some reason really caught my eye. One night, as I pulled into my driveway after a day’s worth of work I saw a  group of adolescent girls bickering and laughing with each other as they headed up the avenue. They were singing a song released before their time and one girl kept saying, “That song is so annoying!”

One girl held a basketball under her arm and stopped at the birdhouse. Her friends kept walking as she fell behind. I then began to realize it wasn’t a bird house – but a free little library. She peered in through both glass doors, opened it up and pulled a couple out to examine the covers, read the summaries, and truly admired the weight of the chosen ones.

free library.jpg

Her friends had made it a couple houses down and turned around to see where the girl was. They yelled down the street, “What are you doing? I thought we were going to play.” She held a book in her hand, closed the doors to the library, and ran towards her friends. They heckled her for grabbing a book, but she kept smiling down at what she picked.

In that moment – I couldn’t help but feel full of happiness and love because the universe restored my faith in the beauty of literacy.

– Tania

The Bedtime Book Club

blog reading in bed.jpgThe only free time I get to transport myself to another world within the pages of a book is in bed. Reading the right bedtime book is sometimes hard to do. I enjoy lighthearted reads before bed, but some people enjoy a good thriller to fuel their nightmarish dreams. Some prefer to read an action-packed chapter to tire themselves out. Everyone deserves a bedtime read – and now we have a way to get that book in our hands before resting our eyes at night.

As of 2018, HarperCollins UK has teamed up with the Heart radio station and Dreams, a bed retailer, to begin what will be known as the Bedtime Book Club. With the radio station broadcasting to listeners, the hosts will discuss a variety of HarperCollins novels, different themes, and genres to encourage reading. But just because the station is only broadcasting in the UK, doesn’t mean you can’t find your own nighttime reads.

If having a Bedtime Book Club isn’t reason enough to read before bed, maybe I should tell you why it can be important to get your nose in a book while under the sheets. It’s simple – if you want better sleep, read. You read me right. Sleep better. It’ll help reduce stress by distracting your brain from the life stresses that can get the best of you. I’m guilty of blaring my TV to help me fall asleep but it’s actually a good idea to read rather than watch. It’ll reassure your brain that you are at peace. And if you’re also like me, scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (whatever social media platform you choose), reading can help you concentrate better. In the long run, reading before bed can improve two other things: your empathy and your creativity. In a good way!

Reading is a powerful tool, so why not start your own Bedtime Book Club and start curling up with a good book to help rest your eyes and your brain.

Writing Revelation

Michael Moorcock:

“My first rule was given to me by TH White, author of The Sword in the Stone and other Arthurian fantasies anmoorcock.jpgd was: Read. Read everything you can lay hands on. I always advise people who want to write a fantasy or science fiction or romance to stop reading everything in those genres and start reading everything else from Bunyan to Byatt.”