It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

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It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme, “It’s Monday! What are You Reading?” hosted at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

Another changeable week of weather – up and down , and even one night of freezing temperatures. But it looks to be nicer at least this week.

 

 What I Read Last Week

I read 5 books – 4 historical romances and a fantasy.

The 4 historical romances were all by Grace Burrowes. I have quite enjoyed her series and finished off the Windham series with: 

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The Heir                                The Virtuoso

 And have now started on the Lonely Lords series:

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Nicholas                               Douglas

 

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Can’t believe it has taken this long to finally read this book. I have seen the movie, but never actually read the book, even to my own kids – who did read it!

 

What I’m Reading Now 

  What You Wish For by Katherine Center (still working on it – almost done! When I get into a series tho – everything else gets put aside.)

Wild Sign By Patricia Briggs

 

What’s Up Next

Take a Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

 

 

April Reading Round-Up

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Once again, we are at the end of one month and beginning a new one. April has sped by, with changeable weather and lots of flowers are blooming. Reading continues to be such a stress-reliever and I have read so many good books this past month. Once again historical romances captured my attention…

It’s time to share what I have been reading this past month.

The total read for April was 29 books and 6 picture books, with the following breakdown:

Fantasy /Paranormal –4
Romance – 5

Women’s Fiction – 4

Historical romance – 11

Historical Fiction – 1

Memoir -3

Non-fiction – 1
Pix books – 6

I continue to record in more detail where the books originated – from the library, on my TBR shelves (bought/gifted or won) or an e-book. Here’s the breakdown

Library reads – 25                TBR/owned books –3                E-books – 7

I’ve decided to change the order of what I post today – placing favourite books first:

 

Favourite Reads

My overall favourite read of the month (and of the year so far!) was The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. 

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 I so enjoyed the historical romances by Grace Burrowes and Loraine Heath but will not put them on the list as they would fill it. Each has wonderful series that I am reading through.     

The rest of my top 10 reads:

The Gown by Jennifer Robson

Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

The Friendship List by Susan Mallery

Duke Heist by Erica Ridley

If I Knew Then by Jann Arden

I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott

Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder by Julia Zarankin

Graced by Amanda Pellar

The Vineyard at Painted Moon by Susan Mallery

 

I am participating in quite a few challenges (check here for my list) but I have a few that are my favourites and have done these for a few years. Here are the books read for these challenges:

 

POPSUGAR Ultimate Reading Challenge (Through Goodreads)

This month I was able to read 4 books for the challenge.

#9 – Has family tree – The Trouble with Dukes by Grace Burrowes

#15 – Black and white cover – The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

#33 – 3 generations of a family – The Vineyard at Painted Moon by Susan Mallery

Adv. 6 – Meant to read last year – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

 

52 Books in 52 Weeks

I was able to read 4 books for this challenge:

#19 – Book with Deckled edge –The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

#24 – Should be read in schools – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

#28 – Includes historical event you know little about – The Gown by Jennifer Robson.

#51 – Published in 2021 – The Vineyard at Painted Moon by Susan Mallery

 

Monthly Key Word Challenge

I used 2 of the key words this month:

Watch:  Watch Ove Me by Kait Nolan

Sun:  Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

 

Monthly Motif

The theme this month was “Books on the Menu” – those with food, restaurants etc

What New Beginnings are Made Of? By Debra Clopton

 

Beyond the Bookends

The theme this month was “set in a library”: I read: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

 

Diversify Your Reading

The theme this month was “classics”. I read: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

 

What’s in a Name?

This reading challenge was hosted by Carolina Book Nook and I was able to finish this challenge in April. Here are the books I read for each prompt:

One/1: The One by Kiera Cass

Doubled word in title: Love Her, Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Reference to Outer Space: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

Possessive noun in title: The Duke’s Stolen Bride by Sophie Jordan

Botanical Word: Garden of Promises and Lies by Paula Brackston

Article of clothing in title: The Gown by Jennifer Robson:

 

Looking Ahead to May

 I need to read more of my own books -I have too many books not read. But I also have a number of library books on hold – so need to get to them as well.

 

I am linking with the following:

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Monthly Wrap-Up (At Feed Your Fiction Addiction)

 

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Best of the Bunch (at A Cocoon of Books)

 

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Inspire Me Monday (at Create with Joy)

 

Six Degrees of Separation – From Beezus and Ramona to Flora and Ulysses

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This is the first Saturday of the month which means that it is time for Six Degrees of Separation, the book challenge, hosted by Kate  from “Books are My Favourite and Best“.

This is such a fascinating challenge and one I am always eager to begin and follow the search for connected books. The fun is in the search for connections and each chain that is created is always so different.

The starting point for us this round is to begin with Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary. This beloved author died recently (March 25th) at the age of 104. She left behind a treasure trove of books for young people. Ramona was one of her greatest characters.

Cleary received many awards for her books, including The Newbery Medal as well as Newbery Honors for her books.

From Wikipedia: “The John Newbery Medal, frequently shortened to the Newbery, is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), to the author of “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children”.

All the books I’ve chosen are connected to the Newberry awards in some way.

 

1st Degree: Cleary did receive the Newbery Honor award for one of her Ramona books – Ramona and Her Father in 1978.      Ramona and her father 91247

2nd Degree: The winner of the Newbery Medal that year was Katherine Paterson for her book Bridge to Terabithia.

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3rd Degree Cleary did receive the Newbery Medal for her book Dear Mr. Henshaw in 1984.

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4th Degree: This led me to another author, Kate DiCamillo, who received both a Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor for her books. (She is one of my favourite authors and I read most of her books to my students when I was teaching) Her first award was an honor award for her book Because of Winn Dixie.

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5th Degree: This led to her Newbery Medal for A Tale of Despereaux in 2004

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6th Degree: Nine years later, in 2013, DiCamillo would once again win the Newbery Medal for her book Flora and Ulysses.

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I began with Beverly Cleary and ended with Kate DiCamillo, both authors who have won many awards, including the Newbery Medal and Honor awards for their books.

Next month (June 5, 2021), we’ll start with the winner of the 2021 Stella Prize, The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld.

Connect Five Friday – Books written by Authors With Autism

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It’s time once again for Connect Five Friday, hosted at Book Date by Kathryn – the meme where we share five book/reading things that connect in some way.

I am reading The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida for a book club read. Higashida has autism, was 13 when he wrote this book and gives us such an in-depth look at his experience with autism.  I was surprised (and  pleased) at the number of books that are written by autistic writers. Here are 5 books, some I’ve read and others I hope to read. (summaries from Goodreads)

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The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test by Helen Hoang. Loved both of these romance novels.

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Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert. I’ve so enjoyed her series and have a new one to devour shortly.

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Odd Girl Out: An Autistic Woman in a Neurotypical World by Laura E. James. I haven’t read this one but looks to be an intriguing read.

“From early childhood, Laura James knew she was different, but it wasn’t until her mid-forties that she found out why. A successful journalist and mother to four children, she had spent her whole life feeling as if she were running a different operating system to those around her. This book charts a year in her life and offers a unique insight into the autistic mind and the journey from diagnosis to acceptance.”

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Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde. Another one I haven’t read but plan to,

“Three friends, two love stories, one convention: this fun, feminist love letter to geek culture is all about fandom, friendship, and finding the courage to be yourself.”

WOW Book Review – The Little Book of Big Knowing by Michele Sammons

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I am honoured to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for Michele Sammons’ book The Little Book of Big Knowing, which I read and am now reviewing.

(Please note: I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.)

 

My Review

Michele Sammons’ book may be short but it is definitely full of wisdom. It offers insights into how to live your best life – each page just a few short, impactful paragraphs.

These are much needed reminders – especially written to reassure us that we are “Worthy”, “loved, supported and guided” and that we should “dream big”.

This book could easily be a regular part of your morning routine – a spiritual component that involves reading one or several pieces a day and then reflecting on the message.

There are so many words of wisdom. Here are a couple of my favourites:

“Dance to your own beat. Live. Rejoice. Be who you are. Take chances”

“If you want to call forth love, happiness, joy, peace or enthusiasm, you must value it above all else.”

 

I highly recommend Michele Sammons’ book.

 

 

Book Summary

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The Little Book of Big Knowing is filled with tiny bursts of insight to nourish your heart, warm your Soul, and help you to remember your true self. 

If you find yourself asking big, deep life questions like, “What’s my purpose?” and “Why am I here?” then you’ll want to curl up with The Little Book of Big Knowing.

Three reasons why you’ll love this book:

 

  1. It includes gentle reminders of why you are here, who you are at your core, and why your dreams matter to more than just you.
  2. This book will help you to look at life in a light-hearted, joyful way. Consider it spirituality with a playful twist!
  3. And the best part is, the book is written in short bursts you can read in any order. So, you can pick it up, read a little bit, put it down, and come back to it when you’re ready for more!

 

This book is perfect for someone who wants a little dose of playful spirituality every day to remind them of the bigger picture.

Print Length: 138 Pages 

Genre: Spiritual Self-Help 

ISBN-10: 1736168606 

ISBN-13: 978-1736168608 

Publisher: Michele Sammons 

 

The Little Book of Big Knowing is available to purchase at Amazon.comBarnes and Noble, and Walmart.com. You can also add this to your reading list on GoodReads.com. 

 

About the Author, Michele Sammons

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Michele makes her home in Memphis, Tennessee, with husband Scott and chocolate Labrador, Dewey. The Little Book of Big Knowing is Michele’s first book, but probably not her last. You can discover more about Michele’s work on her website: 

https://www.michelesammons.com

 

Be sure to check all the stops along the blog tour!

– Blog Tour Dates

March 29th @ The Muffin 

What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Join us on the WOW blog today and celebrate the launch of Michele Sammons’ book Little Book of Big Knowing. You can read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book too. 

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

March 31st @ Create Write Now 

Today, author Michele Sammons shares a guest post on the subject of consciousness. CreateWriteNow.com 

April 1st @ Editor 911 

Join Margo as she shares a guest post by Michele Sammons about energy and how it influences your creative process. 

https://editor-911.com/blog

April 2nd @ Balance and Joy

Visit Sheri’s blog today to see her spotlight and review of Little Book of Big Knowing by Michele Sammons.

Balanceandjoy.com

April 3rd @ Eden Literary 

Deirdra will be showcasing Little Book of Big Knowing by Michele Sammons. http://www.edenliterary.com/

April 5th @ Ramona Mead 

Join Romana as she reviews Michele Sammons’ book Little Book of Big Knowinghttps://ramonamead.com/

April 8th @ Deborah Adams 

Join Deborah as she shares a guest post about Spirit by Michele Sammons, author of Little Book of Big Knowing

http://www.deborah-adams.com/blog

April 9th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion

Linda features author Michele Sammons book Little Book of Big Knowing.

http://bootsshoesandfashion.com

April 11th @ Knotty Needle 

Judy shares her insights into Michele Sammons’ soul-inspiring book Little Book of Big Knowinghttp://knottyneedle.blogspot.com/

April 12th @ Freeing the Butterfly 

Visit the Freeing the Butterfly blog today and read Michele Sammons’ guest post on the spiritual path. https://www.freeingthebutterfly.com/blog

April 14th @Beverley A Baird’s Blog 

Join Beverley as she shares Michele Sammons’ guest post on mindfulness. https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

April 15th @ The Frugalista Mom 

Join Rozelyn as she shares a guest post on manifestation by Michele Sammons, author of Little Book of Big Knowing

https://thefrugalistamom.com

April 15th @ Choices 

Join Madeline at her blog Choices today where she shares a guest post by Michele Sammons about consciousness. 

http://madelinesharples.com/

April 16th @ Author Anthony Avina 

Join Anthony as he shares his thoughts about Michele Sammons’ book Little Book of Big Knowinghttp://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com 

April 16th @ The Faerie Review 

Visit Lily’s blog today and read Michele Sammons’ guest post about meditation. https://www.thefaeriereview.com/

April 18th @ It’s Alanna Jean 

Visit Alanna’s blog today as she reviews Michele Sammons’ book, Little Book of Big Knowinghttps://itsalannajean.webnode.com

April 20th @ Coloring Outside the Lines

Join Cara as she reviews Michele Sammons’ book Little Book of Big Knowing.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/coloringoutsidethelines/

April 21st @ Speaking of Spirit 

Join Linda as she shares Michele Sammons’ guest post on spirit guides. https://interfaithmoments.blogspot.com/

April 23rd @ A Writer’s Life 

Join Caroline today as she shares a guest post by author Michele Sammons on intuition. http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com/

April 23rd @ ReadingGirlReviews 

Gina shares her thoughts on Michele Sammons’ book Little Book of Big Knowinghttps://readinggirlreviews.com/ 

April 24th @ CK Sorens Blog 

Visit Carrie’s blog today and read a guest post by author Michele Sammons on the topic of meditation. https://www.cksorens.com/blog

April 25th @ Strength 4 Spouses 

Join Wendi as she reviews Michele Sammons’ inspiring book Little Book of Big Knowing https://strength4spouses.blog/

April 27th @Beverley A Baird’s Blog 

Visit Beverley’s blog again as she reviews author Michele Sammons’ inspiring book, Little Book of Big Knowing

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

April 28th @ Books Beans and Botany 

Visit Ashley’s blog today as she reviews author Michele Sammons’ book, Little Book of Big Knowinghttps://booksbeansandbotany.com

April 29th @ Strength 4 Spouses 

Join Wendi as she shares a guest post by Michele Sammons about present-moment awareness. https://strength4spouses.blog/

April 30th @ My Question Life 

Join Kara as she interviews author Michele Sammons about her bookLittle Book of Big Knowinghttps://myquestionlife.com/

May 1st @ CK Sorens Blog 

Join Carrie again as she reviews author Michele Sammons inspiring book, Little Book of Big Knowinghttps://www.cksorens.com/blog

May 2nd @ Shoe’s Seeds & Stories 

Visit Linda’s blog today where she reviews Little Book of Big Knowing by Michele Sammons. https://lschuelerca.wordpress.com/

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

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It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme, ”It’s Monday! What are You Reading?” hosted at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

 

Such a lovely day yesterday,, and I had a distance visit with my daughter, her hubby and son. What a treat. We are still in lockdown – our premier even had tears a few days ago over how he has let us down. That’s putting it mildly. Our numbers are way up here in Ontario

 

What I Read Last Week

I read 6 books. Plus 3 picture books– an historical fiction, 2 women’s fiction, 2 historical romances and an urban fantasy.

 

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The Gown by Jennifer Robson. Loved this book – that gives us an inside look behind the wedding gown created for Queen Elizabeth. Yes, it is imagined with imagined characters, but the research behind it is amazing. Best book of the week for me.

 

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The Soldier by Grace Burrowes.  Quite enjoyed this historical romance, second book in her Burrows Windham series.

 

 

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The Duke Effect by Sophie Jordan, Another enjoyable historical romance, number 7 in her Rogue Files series.

 

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Graced by Amanda Peller, Was surprised by this urban fantasy – a free ebook, a new author to me. But the world-building was intriguing and was a great read.

 

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Never Change by Elizabeth Berg. I am slow3lyu reading Berg’s books and so enjoyed this one. An older MC,  a dying protagonist.

 

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The Vineyard at Painted Moon by Susan Mallery. The latest novel by Mallery and it was such an enjoyable read.

 

With Earth Day this past week, I read three well-written picture books, that highlight our environment/world.

A Year of Everyday Wonders by Cheryl B. Klein, illus. Qin Ling

The Ocean in Your Bathtub by Seth Fishman, illus. Isabel Greenberg 

Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth by Nicola Cavies illus. Emily Sutton

 

What I’m Reading Now 

  What You Wish For by Katherine Center

 

What’s Up Next

Take a Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

 

Connect Five Friday – 5 Must-Read Books

 

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It’s time once again for Connect Five Friday, hosted at Book Date by Kathryn – the meme where we share five book/reading things that connect in some way.

Today is World Book Day and there have been celebrations and book giveaways all over the world.

In honour of this day, here are 5 books I would buy today to give as a gift, They are also books I think everyone should read.

 

 

 

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The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackasy

 

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Wonder by R. J.Palacio

 

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The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

 

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Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

 

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The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

 

There are so many other books I could suggest but these have stayed with me since I read them. Check here for books to buy and must-read books.

 

Which books would you buy for someone?

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme,” It’s Monday! What are You Reading?” hosted at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

More rain, more flowers and now we head into a few days of much cooler weather. But spring will soon be back!

What I Read Last Week

I read 5 books– an historical romance, a woman’s fiction, and 3 memoirs.

If I Knew Then by Jann Arden. I so enjoyed this memoir. I read this for a book study and so glad we chose it.

The Trouble with Dukes by Grace Burrowes. Enjoyed this historical romance, part of her Windham Brides series

What New Beginnings are Made Of? By Debra Clopton. Enjoyed this novel by Clopton, about a widow buying an inn and coming to terms with her grief.

Field Notes From An Unintentional Birder by Julia Zarankin. This was an unexpected read – a most enjoyable one at that. A friend recommended it and I was quickly drawn into this memoir.

I’ll Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott. This memoir was another surprising read. It was filled with short essays and I took my time reading them over the past two weeks – even made notes.

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What I’m Reading Now 

  What You Wish For by Katherine Center (Must get back to it!)

The Gown by Jennifer Robson

What’s Up Next

Take a Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Connect Five Friday – Romance Tropes

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It’s time once again for Connect Five Friday, hosted at Book Date by Kathryn – the meme where we share five book/reading things that connect in some way.

 I was reading Ramona Mead’s blog yesterday and she listed her favourite romance tropes. As an avid romance reader (from historical, to contemporary to fantasy romances), this inspired me to do the same.

Here are my 5 favourite romance tropes:

  1. Older characters.  Yes, as I have gotten older I really do appreciate reading about more mature characters.

My fav:

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After Care by L.B. Dunbar (from her Sexy Silver Foxes series – check them all out!)

 

  1. Older Woman, younger man. Love the dynamics here.

3 I have so enjoyed:

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Such a wonderful series – with a strong older woman and time travel (and Jamie’s a Scot!). 

 

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Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie

 

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Everything She Ever Wanted by Liz Durano

 

  1. Second Chance Love. Maybe we can go back!

Here are a couple I’ve enjoyed:

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Ain’t She Sweet? by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

 

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The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

 

  1. Enemy to Lover; friend to lover – how strong emotions can be changed

Here are a couple I’ve enjoyed:

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The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker. Alaska anyone?

 

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Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (I adore her books!)

 

And then there is: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – the original?

 

  1. Fake Engagement/Relationship. Of course, they are going to fall in love – but the fun is watching how it happens.

Here’s a couple of enjoyable ones:

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The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (also enemy to lover! -double trope dose)

 

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The Cinderella Deal by Jennifer Crusie

 

 

What’s your favourite romance trope?

 

Guest Post by Michele Sammons: Mindfulness

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I am honoored to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for Michele Sammons book The Little Book of Big Knowing.

Today Michele Sammons is visiting my blog for a wonderful guest post on mindfulness. In these unusual times, this is such a needed practice.

Welcome Michele

How to Use Mindfulness in a Brand New Way to Create Your Experience
I like to think of mindfulness as choice. Each moment, each here-and-now is full
of possibilities and potentials. When you become fully present in the now, you
can sense the fullness of these possible creations.

Between you and me, mindfulness is a fancy name for focus, and focus is
choosing what you give your attention to. Choosing is creating because when
you give your attention to something, it grows in your awareness and
experience. As you become aware of how you choose to use your powerful
focus, you can get picky about what you are creating.

I see mindfulness or focus as more than just accepting what is. It’s about
creating a quality of experience. Mindfulness is choosing to love what is by
choosing how you focus on the experience.

It’s possible to focus in a zillion different ways. For example, as I write this post,
the dishwasher repairman is installing a new part in my dishwasher. Currently,
there are many possibilities to be mindful of—positive and negative. Irritation
that my work is interrupted, appreciation of the repairman’s skill, glee at meeting
this friendly, soft-spoken kid, or the distraction of the noisy goings-on in the
kitchen. Each of these aspects is true, so it’s important to notice my responses
and wisely choose which part I focus on because that becomes my experience.

It may help to view mindfulness this way; it’s choosing to see what’s before you
as—here for you. When you frame up your experience through this lens, it takes
the sting out of things. It automatically brings you to a neutral state where you
can choose where you put your attention. It’s taking responsibility for how you
see the world. It’s giving up the belief that you can be a victim.

When you become mindful of the present moment’s potential and your power to
choose how you focus, you begin to tap into your ability to create with Life. At
every turn, the Universe can delight you. Delight you with the potential all around
you. Allowing you to celebrate again. And again.

Thank you Michelle for your insights.

Be sure to check out all the stops along the blog tour:

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