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Writing advice I wish I wouldn't have followed
Writing Tips

Writing Advice I Wish I Wouldn’t Have Followed

A few years ago, I was just about ready to begin the adventure of trying to publish a children’s book that I had written. Then, as I started researching the publishing process, I came across website after website that said editors almost always throw children’s stories about inanimate objects in the trash. Books about dogs, monkeys, bears and other animals were publishable. But inanimate objects? Forget it.  And just like that, BAM! My hopes of publishing that book were squashed. I set aside that doomed manuscript and instead focused on writing my novel. Then, about a year later, I went

Book Club Essentials
Book Club Central

11 Fabulously Fun Essentials For Your Next Book Club Meeting

Sooner or later, your day will come… to host a book club meeting, that is. You’ll either dive into planning your event a solid month before, and feverishly pin online inspirations to your Pinterest board while taste testing possible hors d’oeuvres, OR, you’ll view your hosting obligation as a cruel penance for your book obsession. Which camp are you in? For those in Camp Gung-Ho, I’m assuming you’re reading this weeks—or months—before you host your book club meeting. You have pleeeenty of time to order your favorite items from the list below.   For my friends in Camp Procrastinator, have no

Book Club Central

The Top 10 Podcasts for Book Lovers

Nothing makes my time on the treadmill more enjoyable than listening to my favorite podcasts. I listen to podcasts about writing, books, publishing, social media trends, blogging, and occasionally politics, although the latter sometimes sucks every ounce of energy from my body.   Which isn’t good when you’re on a treadmill. But books? That’s a topic that adds pep to my step. When I first started listening to podcasts, I couldn’t believe how much content there was on books! Book reviews, author interviews, recordings of book club meetings—the list seemed endless. After I got hooked on podcasts, I got my

Writing Tips

My Starting Lineup of Writing Books

When I’m tackling a writing project, whether it’s for one of my clients, a freelance article, or a chapter in my novel, I surround myself with the best of the best writing books. I’ve accumulated a lot of writing books—almost enough to fill an entire shelf on my bookcase. I have two style guides: The Chicago Manual of Style and the Associated Press Stylebook; a slew of how-to books on writing and publishing books, and one pocket-sized grammar handbook I bought from the Texas A&M Bookstore way back when for one of my Journalism classes. This book is old, but

Good Meals Gone Bad

Good Meals Gone Bad: Plumdelicious Pork Tenderloin

Last week, when my kids came bounding into the kitchen to ask what’s for dinner, I pointed to the platter on our counter and held back a laugh. As soon as they saw my Plumdelicious Pork Tenderloin, they immediately began begging for our default backup meal (chicken nuggets). Even my husband, who never complains about anything I cook, raised an eyebrow at the two brown curiosities waiting to be eaten. The recipe had looked like a winner of a dinner. It had simple ingredients (pork, plums, cinnamon, ground allspice, etc.) and it was simple to prepare (rub the spices on

Soccer Books to Read Before You Watch the World Cup
Book Club Central

Soccer-Related Books to Read Before You Watch the World Cup

Soccer (or football, if you prefer) fans around the world are counting down the days until this year’s FIFA World Cup Tournament, which begins on June 14. Before balls begin flying into nets this summer, pick up one of these soccer-related books listed below to help pass the time. Maybe you want to learn more about one of the soccer stars, or perhaps you would enjoy a romanticized version of the game in a novel. And if you have young children who like to play this sport, there are plenty of books about the game on their level.   Soccer-Related

2018 Summer Reading List
Book Recommendations

Add This Book to Your Summer Reading List

If you have room to spare in your pool bag this summer, you’ll want to add Jessica Strawser’s debut novel, Almost Missed You. All I can say is WOW! This book is intense. Violet seemed to have a perfect life with the perfect husband and their precious little boy, Bear. But while on a family vacation, Violet’s perfect life is obliterated when her husband, Finn, leaves her at the beach and takes Bear with him. Finn doesn’t leave any clues, and the police don’t have any leads. About the Story This story is told from three viewpoints: Violet, Finn, and

Writing hashtags to follow on Twitter
Book Club CentralWriting Tips

75 Must-Use Twitter Hashtags for Book Lovers

Metaphorically speaking, Twitter is a V12 sports car and hashtags are the endless network of roads. With Twitter’s incredibly powerful search engine, you can find information and opinions on nearly any topic. Hashtags are the paths to get you there. Some hashtags are superhighways, busy with lots of people during peak times, while others are deserted dirt roads that haven’t been used in years. Your Twitter profile page is one of millions of hangouts along these hashtag highways. The more often you include hashtags in your tweets, the more likely people are to stop and visit you. Or, if you’re

Create a Read and Feed Box
Book Club CentralBuilding Literacy

Read and Feed Box: Incentivise Your Child’s Reading This Summer With Charitable Giving

I confess, I am not above bribing my children. You can call it incentives or motivation, but who are we kidding? A bribe is a bribe is a bribe. Before I had kids, I swore I’d never use them. But everyone is the perfect parent before they have kids, aren’t they? My anti-bribing policy imploded long before my daughter turned two, and although I still believe the BEST incentive is praise, I do sometimes bribe my kids. After potty training two kids, I now appreciate how much bribing power lies within one tiny M&M. And now that the days of diapers

Review of Everything, Everything
Book Recommendations

Everything, Everything

Confession time! One of the reasons I decided to read Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon, was because of the book’s beautiful, whimsical cover art. I follow a lot of avid readers on Instagram and Twitter, and I saw post after post about this book. Not only did it earn each poster’s praise, it looked like a fun book to read. I typically like reading printed books over electronic ones, and I knew I would love having this little piece of art sitting on my nightstand for however long it would take me to read it. Even if the book was

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