What will be your first book of 2013?

I am currently not reading any books. I need to pick one up later today (or maybe tomorrow) and start reading. I can’t decide what book I want to read. Do I grab a library book? One from my stacks? A new book? A reread? What will be your first book of 2013? ...more

A New Year's Tradition

Lee and I don't do a lot for New Year's. We generally don't go out for New Year's Eve, something that served us well a few years ago when I got hit with the flu less than an hour before the ball dropped. I went from being fine to very, very sick in less than an hour. I was extremely happy to be home that night. Last night we had a quiet night, something that I appreciate all the more ...more

Setting Reading Goals for 2013

With every new year I like to think back on my previous reading year and try to figure out what worked for me and what did not. Did I read all the books I wanted to read? Of course not, I never do. But how many of the books I read were ones I really wanted to read? Did I have a good reading year? Did I find a balance between fun and challenging? And perhaps the biggest question of all, how do I want the upcoming reading year to look? ...more
@Karen Ballum  @Denise 12 down!more

The Power of Storytelling

As the end of the year approaches I find myself thinking a lot about stories -- the stories I've told, the stories I've read, and the stories that all of you have shared with us. As I reflect on all the stories that I connected to in 2012, and wonder what stories I'll hear in 2013, I keep coming back to Litlove's post on the power of stories. Inspired after hearing two authors speak, she reflects on the ways that we use -- and abuse -- storytelling....more
@Karen Ballum Lina Srivastava also wrote a very thought provoking post on the power of ...more

Virtual Advent Tour 2012: Making Memories

I love getting Christmas cards. It’s nice to go out to the mailbox and get something besides junk mail and bills. As the coupons and discount codes for photo Christmas cards came rolling in this year I thought that maybe I would try making one this year ....more

The Obvious Game by Rita Arens

When I started blogging it was to simply write about books. I never thought that I’d ever really become friends with authors let alone that any of my friends would become authors. It’s funny how things turn out. The Obvious Game, which will be released in February 2013 by Inkwell Publishing, will be my friend Rita Arens’ first published novel ....more

10 Gift Suggestions for Book Lovers

You would think that people who love books would be easy to shop for but that's not always the case. They love to read but do you always know which books they've read or that they want to read? Probably not. Gift cards for bookstores are always appreciated by a book lover (really!) but sometimes you want to go beyond the gift card. Here are some suggestions for the book lover in your life that are (mostly) not books. ...more
Love the spineless books! I'd never heard of them before. Definitely want to consider one of those.more

Writing Erotica is Hot... Unless You Are a Teacher

Carol Ann Eastman is a high school teacher in North Canton, Ohio. Like many people I know, she also dreamed of writing a novel and being published. She took her publishing dreams into her own hands and self-published a novel using the pen name Deena Bright. Her book and her career have now come under scrutiny because she didn't write just any novel....more
I don't think there is anything wrong with teachers writing erotica. It's creative and ...more

The 12 Days of BlogHer Spammas

The holiday season means a whole lot of different things to different people. For some people it's a time of reflection and spirituality. For others it's about family. And for many of us, it's about yummy food. For some of us at BlogHer it has an entirely different meaning. It's Spammas! Our spammers kick it into high gear during the holidays. They are so giving. Bless their hearts! Here's a holiday carol just for them. ...more
LOVE! IT!more

Finding More Joy in Spending Less

In October 2008, Lee and I were looking forward to our first holiday season together, mostly with excitement but also with an edge of trepidation. The first major holiday season in a new relationship is often tricky to navigate, but we had an extra lump of coal in the proverbial stocking to deal with -- we had both been unemployed since March. We'd managed to stay afloat thanks to unemployment benefits, some small contract work and savings -- and our prospects of having jobs soon were really good -- but we decided we really needed to set some ground rules. Assuming that we both found jobs soon, neither of us was allowed to spend more than $100 on gifts for the other person, and we'd set strict limits on purchases for our friends and family. We would not go into to debt because of the holidays. We got jobs. We stuck to our rules, and we loved the rules so much we have continued them every year since. ...more
We usually just do stockings--everything inside must TOTAL less than $50. So for me, $100 feels ...more