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The Value of Book Clubs

March 20, 2020-Book clubs can be a valuable source of ideas and recommendations from one reader to the next. Here’s what you can learn from becoming a member of a book club in your area. *Due to recent world events, the availability and creation of online/digital book clubs are an excellent idea!

  1. You widen your views, ideas, and perception of the world. Have you ever discussed a book with a colleague and you each took away a different message from it? Of course, you have! No one sees the world the way that you do, and that’s what’s most exciting! A good debate/discussion around a topic gets new ideas flowing and expands our thinking. It allows us, even for a brief moment,  to experience the world through another person’s eyes.
  2. It betters your own writing skills. We know that the more we read, the better writers we become. Reading different genres that are offered at book clubs, expand our horizons and help us leave our reading comfort zones. Perhaps we’ve only been reading historical fiction, and our book club picks a new psych thriller! This will only help you in the long run as an author because it will expose you to different voices, points of view, narrative, and dialogue, as well as plot structures and character development.
  3. You’ll gain new friends. There will be people who you instantly connect with in your reading club and people who you won’t. That’s ok! Bonding over books is magical, and book clubs help develop life-long friendships in places all over the world.
  4. You’ll finish the book. This is an important one! I knew a woman who said one of the reasons she joined a local book club was because she had a reading goal that year, and the club was the only way that she was going to reach it! A book club will “force” you to finish the book, which is a good thing.

We’re working on a lot of things around here and with the current outbreak, we are trying to find new ways to connect with our readers. Soon, we’ll have an online book club that you’ll be able to participate in each month. We’re just figuring out the dynamics of that and the best way to communicate with our book club members remotely. Stay tuned for more details!

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(It’s Been A While) Photo Writing Prompt…

January 9, 2018- We haven’t done one of these for a long time and we’re way overdue to have some fun; I love photo writing prompts! They certainly help me break out of writing ruts when the ideas just aren’t flowing. The picture prompt below has unlimited opportunities to write about; this photo can break into multiple genres. Your imagination is the only limit! Have fun with this and happy writing. X LLB

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Fall Reading Challenge…

October 5, 2018– Ahhhhhh Fall; what a wonderful season! It’s the perfect time of year to snuggle up and read. Check out the fall reading challenge below, but feel free to substitute where you need to. Happy fall and happy reading!

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All About Fiction Genres!

May 30, 2018- Let’s talk about fiction genre descriptions; there are a number of fiction genres, so I am going to take a couple of minutes to describe a few of  them pretty briefly.

Action/Adventure: Action is key, there’s a quest, jungles, deserts, and mountain ranges make ideal settings. Usually geared towards a male audience.

Historical Fiction: A story that is fiction set in a real time in history. Involves political/social events of the time.

Mystery: Everything gets explained at the END of the story. A modern mystery contains a character’s struggle, psychological obstacles, and motivation.

Psych Thriller: A story that explores the “WHY” something happened. This genre focuses on character’s motivations, feelings, and mental activities. This genre also creates feelings of excitement or suspense. Psych Thrillers are usually based on illegal activities, sex, and violence. It’s a kill or be killed type of situation for the characters involved.

Glitz: Usually feature wealthy characters who are high profile career persons,and are set in exotic/metropolitan locations, e.g. NYC, Hollywood, etc.

Erotica: Graphic descriptions of character’s sex lives.

RomCom: Romantic comedies are usually in the author’s voice or the voice of the main character. Comedy is intertwined and the main character has a love interest that may cause them hilarious problems. At the end, they live happily ever after.

Of course, there are so many more genres and sub-genres, when it comes to fiction, that I couldn’t possibly cover them all in one post! Which genre are you currently reading/writing? Sound off in the comments below.

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Cozy Romance…My Newest Guilty Pleasure!

February 27, 2018– I’m wondering if this happens to you; have you ever stuck to one specific genre for quite a long time when reading? Do you ever feel like you need a break? Lately (I mean for the past five years) I have been completely immersed in the psych/thriller/horror genre of books and I find myself needing something that will allow me to relax and recharge my psyche. It’s funny, because I get this way with movies too! Every now and then I need to throw in a night of Billy Madison or Tommy Boy to balance out the hours of Die Hard or Rocky. I know that none of these particular titles are ones that “make you think”, but sometimes I get sick of all action all the time. That’s why recently I’ve turned to something called “cozy romance.” Now, let me be the first to say that I am NOT by any means a fan of romantic fiction in any way, shape, or form, but there is something comforting about these wonderful books.

Picture this, it’s raining outside, there are two cats cuddled up at the end of your bed, and the only thing you have to do is spend the day relaxing and reading by the fireplace. It’s pure bliss, that’s what that is! That’s what reading a cozy romance feels like to me. They are a particular genre that entertains, but also doesn’t make you think too much, which is something we all need once in a while to just cleanse our literary palettes so-to-speak.

Definition of “cozy romance” according to the Huffington Post: Cozies are fun to read. There’s a formula to the cozies that work very well drawing readers back again and again. The amateurs in such stories are nearly always well educated, intuitive women. Books, especially in series form usually have the story line relate to the detective’s job or hobby. Murderers in cozy mysteries are generally intelligent, rational, articulate people, and murders are pretty much bloodless and neat. Violence and sex are low-key and supporting background characters bring comic relief to the story. Some cozy series are set during holidays such as Valentine Day or Christmas making them more intimate to the reader.

I sincerely hope you’ll check out these adorable little mysteries!

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Writing Prompt of the Day

December 11, 2017- I love to start Monday mornings by drinking coffee and writing things that are outside of what I’m currently working on. I think that writing prompts are important for expanding ourselves as writers and that reading and writing things that are outside of our genres is essential for growth. Today we have a picture that I love because it’s so refreshing. The premise of this exercise is to write a couple of pages, a paragraph, or whatever length you want, about said picture, and today’s particular image can have so many themes! My head is spinning with ideas already:)  Happy writing!

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