Guest Post: Reading and Success by Andrew Rocha

“Some books leave us free and some books make us free.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 


While reading and success can seem like they are completely different, they are actually quite related. Many people who are considered ‘successful’ are known to be avid readers.  So how are these two seemingly different things intertwined?

Reading a book is like listening to someone during a conversation. When we are listening to someone, we are giving them our attention and learning the story they have to share.

Some people read for fun, or to escape from reality by diving into the realm of fiction. Others use reading as a way to seek advice from the experts.

Either way, reading helps us become successful. No matter the reason for reading, we are gaining knowledge from the words on the page. We learn new words and are exposed to various different writing styles. Best of all, this can all happen from the words written by people who we have never even met, who live overseas, or who have already passed away. Books serve as a time capsule in which we can find their message and learn from it at any point in our lives. Books are a great investment, as they can contain extremely valuable messages presented at very small cost.

As a writer, reading is extremely important. It’s my way to learn from the those who have more experience than I do and to get inspiration on what to write about, and even how to live my life.

Some people find reading boring. If you see yourself in this group, try finding a book about something you are interested in.  Give the book a fair chance and see if it brings joy to your life. You might not find every page fantastic, but we need to be able to read the pages in order to sift through the text and find the gold. The nuggets of inspiration and excitement make it all worthwhile. If you don’t feel like you have the time to read, try reading just a few pages each day. Even just 10 pages a day can add up over time.

If you are looking for some new reads, consider checking out some of my favorites.


 

Life’s Golden Ticket by Brendon Burchard

Motivational trainer Brendon writes a story about second chances. Not only does this book have a fun storyline, but it incorporates important life lessons, and makes the reader think about their own life. It’s a book that kept me entertained from beginning to end.


 

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Have you ever had a mentor or someone who you went to for advice? While memoirs aren’t typically my style, this one is definitely an exception. Author Mitch Albom shares a story about an older man named Morrie, and the wise lessons he has to pass down. This tear-jerker will warm your heart, and inspire you to consider what’s really important in life.


 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

 

This historical fiction novel shares the life of two sisters during World War II in France. Even if history is not one of your main interests, Hannah quickly gets the reader interested, wondering what will happen next. The special story in this book gives you a unique perspective on war, family, love, and resilience.


 

Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

 

In an era where we are surrounded by materialistic goods, Marie Kondo helps us take a look at this, and helps us filter out the excess clutter that typically brings us stress and dissatisfaction in order to bring room for happiness and meaning. It’ll make you reconsider what you think you know about tidying up, and reconsider what is really valuable in your life.


What’re some of your favorite books?

Let us know in the comments!


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Author Name:
Andrew Rocha
Author Bio:
Andrew writes for Successful Steps and strongly believes that life is full of lessons to be learned on a daily basis. His passion for personal development and success stems from the desire to be happy and make the most out of life.

Guest Post: Meeting a Favorite Author by Chantelle Griffin

Thank you to Sam for letting me on her blog. A couple of years ago I ticked a major item off the bucket list. For anyone who has ever been a big fan of an author I can truly say that it never occurred to me that I would meet mine. I met Garth Nix the author of ‘Sabriel’. By chance Garth Nix and Sean Williams had planned a writers retreat in the area. Garth contacted a local bookshop in advance and arranged a book launch.

The Books

One of the very first books I bought was ‘Sabriel’, the original edition. It was hiding in amongst all these paperbacks with dark covers. There was this little book with a drawing on the front and a bright purple background. It had an interesting blurb on the back. The story had me hooked. When my sister found out she borrowed it and never gave it back. I eventually bought another copy.

The Book Launch

I am fangirling just thinking about it. It was a fantastic moment being able to meet the author of a book I read and re-read. Garth Nix and Sean Williams were launching their new book they had written together. They both took the time to answer any questions and talk to people. It was an event that I could never have imagined.

The Author

I waited in line first and told Garth about my sister taking my first ‘Sabriel’ book. When it was my sister’s turn to have her book signed Garth it held up, opened it and said it was an original. So now my sister has an original ‘Sabriel’ signed by the author. I will treasure my signed copy which sits in the middle of my bookshelf. Have you had the amazing experience of meeting one of your favourite authors?

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P.S. If you would like to know more about me I have a little WordPress blog at chantellegriffin.com.

Guest Post: Awesome Book Reviewers by Chantelle Griffin

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Thank you to Sam for letting me on her blog. I was thinking of doing this post, but thought it would reach the right audience here. You see, I used to be a prolific reader back when time was not an issue, my eye sight was better and life was easier. Anyone would find me curled up with a good book to all hours of the day and night. I read in a room with a dragon on the ceiling because a plain white ceiling was too boring. My windows were level with the garden and when the moon was bright I would escape out into a magical world of grey.

Escapism

Books were the key to wonderful journeys and faraway lands. I would be lost for hours after having to say goodbye to the characters at the end. Sometimes I would get annoyed by a decision an author had made that took the story in another direction. Some of the best times were staying up well past midnight and knowing that I had school the next morning. Oops! The frustration of the ending and being drawn into amazing worlds led to writing.

An Overfull Bookshelf

The library was my favourite place. Later on I would spend hours in the bookshop trying to decide which book to buy. This was before life became complicated and the time for reading dwindled. My bookcase is overflowing and so is my list of eBooks. I don’t think anyone can have too many books, or shelves for that matter.

Appreciating Book Reviewers

After my reading pace slowed there is one thing I find truly awesome, the ability to read of fast. It takes me back to a wonderful carefree time and I admire anyone who can still do that. On top of all this there are a fantastic group that take time out of their lives to write a review. Every year I keep a list of books for an annual book order when I blow my budget. That is where a review helps. A back cover blurb will only say so much and reviews let me know little details that add an extra layer. So I just wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you, to anyone who has reviewed a book.

P.S. If you would like to know more about me I have a little WordPress blog at chantellegriffin.com.

Book Blitz: Streets of Glass by Michelle D. Argyle

Book & Author Details:

Streets of Glass
by Michelle D. Argyle
Publication date: May 1st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Suspense, Thriller

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Synopsis:

Eighteen year-old Starry is destined to take over her father’s powerful drug syndicate. But when she finds out he has kept her only sister a secret from her, she can’t trust him anymore. Furious, Starry vows to find Emma, even though she knows her defiance could lead to losing the position she’s worked so hard to inherit.But Emma isn’t quite the sister Starry hoped for. She’s a straight-laced good girl who wants nothing more than to take down the syndicate that destroyed her family. Starry, willing to do anything to secure her place in the syndicate, accepts her father’s ultimatum to kill Emma and everyone helping her. But the more Starry gets to know Emma, and the more secrets she uncovers, the more she questions whether the price of saving the syndicate is too high—even for someone as cold-blooded and vicious as Starry.

*Streets of Glass is considered clean New Adult/Upper YA fiction**

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Purchase:

AUTHOR BIO:

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Michelle lives and writes in Utah, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. She’s a foodie and also adores anything Star Wars related. She loves to read and write books in the time she grabs between her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter. She believes a simple life is the best life. Michelle mainly writes contemporary upper YA fiction, but occasionally branches into other genres.
Author links:


GIVEAWAY
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • 2x print copies of Streets of Glass
  • 3x print copies of The Breakaway (first in a 3 book series)
  • 1x paperback copy of Bonded
  • 2x hardcover copies of Bonded
Ends May 11th:

Guest Post

 

HOW WRITING A NOVEL CAN HELP YOU HEAL

I first started writing STREETS OF GLASS, I had no idea the journey I was about to take. The novel was a normal project, but my life was about to become not-so-normal. As I was workshopping the book with my writing group (a 9-month process), I learned something that turned my world upside down. I was betrayed by someone very close to me, and suddenly every priority in my life shifted into a different place. I no longer trusted anybody. I didn’t even trust myself. Lies and deceit became a very real thing. Interestingly enough, here I was working on a book about just that!

I think one of the most interesting things about writing is what authors end up pouring into their work subconsciously. I don’t know if I really knew what was about to happen in my life as I was drafting the book, but as I worked on revisions and edits after the big change in my life, I realized how deeply I value truth and honesty and those people in my life I can count on for anything and everything.

My main character, Starry, is me in a lot of ways. She might not be the person I want to be. She’s kind of horrible, actually, but she shares a common value with me, and that’s honesty. One of my favorite quotes in the book is this:

“Nothing was more important to her than trust and loyalty. The syndicate was a world thick with secrets and lies and deceit, but those things could not be allowed to taint personal relationships.”

And it’s true in every facet of our lives, I think. Trust and loyalty mean everything in our quiet, personal lives. Without those, how can we be with anyone?

Looking back now, I realize how much writing STREETS OF GLASS has healed me. It helped me sort through a lot of the emotions I’ve had to deal with. I’m still learning how to face those who have hurt me, but writing is something that has truly saved my life in more ways than one.


Q&A

 

Official STREET OF GLASS Page: http://michelledargyle.com/books-2/streets-of-glass/

Q: What made you want to write a book about a drug syndicate?

A: I’ve never been involved in any sort of drug world, so that’s a good question. I’m a good girl, like my main character, Emma. I guess you could say I never planned to write about a drug syndicate. What I planned was to write one really good sister and one really bad sister. The bad sister, unsurprisingly, was raised by a drug lord. Voila! A drug syndicate was born.

Q: How many books have you written?

A: I have written 8 complete novels, 5 novellas, and one short story collection. All of those titles have been published except two. I’m currently working on my 9th novel and have two more in the planning stages. I’ve been writing since I was 10 years old.

Q: What else do you do besides write?

A: I’m a mom to one wild little 10 year old. I work as a manager at American Eagle Outfitters, and I also do design work like book covers and promotional material.

Q: Out of all the characters you’ve written, which one is most like you?

A: I’d have to say Avery Hollister from my contemporary romance novel IF I FORGET YOU. I am extremely forgetful, and it’s a constant embarrassment in my life. Writing Avery was very therapeutic. It was difficult to put her out there into the world, but I’m a better person for it.

Q: What is one of the most interesting things you had to research for STREETS OF GLASS?

A: I’d have to say strip clubs. My main character, Starry, is dating the manager of a strip club, and there are many scenes that happen in the building. I had to know how night clubs like that are managed, what happens behind the scenes, so to speak, and all sorts of little details to really make that world come alive. One of the weirdest things I learned is from an interview I read online, where somebody asked what the dancing poles smell like. The answer? They smell like rubbing alcohol because they are constantly wiped down so they aren’t too slippery. Needless to say, I didn’t put that detail in the book.

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Guest Post: Writing A Pitch by AM Blaushild

Guest post by AM Blaushild (https://amblaushild.wordpress.com), a book reviewer (https://crowdefeatsbooks.wordpress.com), and author of Angel Radio (https://amblaushild.wordpress.com/books)


Many readers are aspiring writers themselves, and it feels like nearly everyone I’ve met has mentioned they one day dream of publishing a book. I’ve been lately surprised by how little anyone seems to know about the publishing industry, even those who want to get in on it, and wanted to share some quick suggestions on writing a good query letter. Or more specifically, the pitching aspect of it.

Queries are pitches, both for you and your book. And they need to be good. Agents and publishers get too many to count, and only have so much room.

For agents, taking on an author is a large commitment, and they often can only handle so many. A small-press publisher can only afford to sign a few books a year. It is a tight, tight race, made suffocatingly so because you’ll never quite know what you’re up against.

Sometimes books aren’t taken because of trends in the market, or coming changes- your great book about dragon warfare in egypt might be given up on because a mediocre dragon warfare in rome book is currently in the pipeline. A dragon book you’ve never heard of which had a lot of money put in it may have recently flopped, and publishers are nervous to take on anything similar. Maybe the dragon genre is dying out, or too niche. Maybe they just signed a book about dragons, and you have bad timing.
It’s rough, but that’s how these things work.
A good pitch:
-Is selling your book, not talking about it
-Highlights what matters, leaves what doesn’t
-Immediately to the point
-Short
-Thoroughly proof-read
One thing to highlight: A query is the whole ordeal, a query letter, while the pitch is specifically the part about the book. Will cover later on.
Here’s the thing. Publishing is a business. Agents are funny little go-betweens in the business, taking advantage of the breathing room. Both are in it to make money. They will not publish something out of goodwill, or because you seem to really care about it. They will publish what they think will sell, or have lasting appeal, or perhaps simply because it’s the kind of thing that wins awards.
So you need to embrace this, a little bit. You need to make your book sound like something that will sell. Consider your book: what makes it unique? What makes it appealing? X meets Y, my eternal enemy, is a popular format for pitches because of this. Romeo & Juliet meets Die HardShadow and Bone meets Battlestar Galactica. I don’t know, I’m making these up as examples. Publishers eat them up because they sell your book in two tiny, recognizable chunks. I have two manuscripts I’d sum up as ‘Fangirl meets Supernatural‘ and ‘Catcher in the Rye meets Shadowhunters‘. Is that really true? Ish. But it’s close enough.
What matters to you doesn’t always matter to publishers, or even readers. I might really like that my egyptian dragon novel (yes, we’re sticking with that example) features an asexual MC, and want to gush about how important that is. Even a line about this would be too long, and honestly, a direct mention too much for a query.
Why? A line about diversity could work, but romance is the biggest genre of fiction by far, asexuality is a rarely discussed sexuality (they might not know what it means!), and you simply don’t have the space for it. If you’re applying to an lgbt press, you would want to mention it- they would know and care (you probably shouldn’t gush, though). If you’re trying to land in the mainstream, don’t mention it. If it comes up in the manuscript, they will learn about it then. Unless the story is directly about being asexual, it’s not a relevant detail.
It’s important to highlight what matters, and leave what doesn’t, but that can be hard to figure out sometimes. My Egypt Dragon Asexual book: let’s say it has a lot going on. A gay subplot! A lost princess! Magical powers! Ten types of dragon! War! Aliens! A big reveal that it takes place in the future, not the past! What the hell do you highlight when the plot is complex?
Well, you have to leave some things out. Even big things. Even if it feels like a lie. You’re selling the story in a very small place, and bending the truth a bit doesn’t hurt. Using hypotheticals makes this hard, so we’ll jump to something real, and almost as insane sounding-
The Ascension is a manuscript of mine, about a girl who goes on a quest to awaken her country’s patron god with her best friend, and later a thief they meet on the way. But at the mountain, the thief runs off to awaken the god himself (fulfilling his own local quest), and the god actually turns out to be a monster. And everyone dies, but they’ve been immortal since setting out (linked to the sky god’s life force), and then the MC is saved by an alien god of another planet, and chosen to become a god herself. And she starts to lose emotion as she gains strength. And the monster is still running around destroying the world, too. And her BFF/her both have a crush on the thief.
Sounds bonkers, right? There is a LOT going on. Here’s my pitch:
A teenage girl is sent on a quest to awaken her patron god in a deadly local tradition, but in doing so catches the eye of someone grander: The sky god, actually an alien, who wishes to turn her into a god. However, before her powers can properly develop, her two friends accidentally awaken an ancient monster bent on destroying the world, and it’s up to the increasingly inhuman Aster to stop it.
I did just throw that together, so it isn’t perfect, but it’s a good example of what I mean. Technically, the sky god doesn’t notice her because of the quest, and the thief is not one of her best friends, nor do both her friends awaken it, nor is the timeline quite true to canon. But the essence is there, and it frames the story in a cleaner, more appealing narrative than it actually is.
Pitching basics should include the genre (fantasy, but with aliens!), the main character (A teenage girl, her two friends), what they want (traditional quest/be a god), what’s in the way (giant monster/’increasingly inhuman’ implies this will be a future conflict), what are they going to do about it (stop it). A few fun details, too: ‘deadly local tradition’ isn’t very exciting in canon, but does sound like it might be interesting. ‘catches the eye of’ could imply some fun romance, even if it doesn’t. Neither are lies, but they make it sound a lot more intriguing, and step one of landing a contract is getting your contact to read your manuscript.
Most pitches are like this. I usually write full book-blurb style pitches and work down from there, and some (often publishers as opposed to agents) prefer this method. There still should be little excess detail.
Hey, here’s another example- the pitch I used for my book, Angel Radio:
Erika is the last human alive. It’s been weeks since the angels- strange creatures of eyes and wings- arrived and brought with them the death of everyone she ever knew. leaving her to wander her desolate hometown. But the angels have something sinister planned for the world they have emptied, and when a strange radio broadcast sends Erika into the world, she’ll need all the strength she can muster just to survive.
Looking back, I’m fairly embarrassed by my query, but it worked. You ever see mainstream books that are startlingly bad? Yeah. Unless you’re on the inside, you never really know what is going on in the book business (but usually, yeah, it’s about the market, and money).
Oh, and a last point: of course, make sure you avoid any and all errors spelling and grammar wise. These people are hoping you’re a competent writer, and if there’s one mistake, a particularly overloaded agent may have no problem passing on the rest of your query.
 
That about covers a really rough guide. Pitches should be about a paragraph in length. Check with agency sites/publishers before, but my rough guide to pitches is
1. Hello hi
2. Here’s my book right off the bat
3. More info, like wordcount, listed genre, whatever. expanded deets.
4. About me
5. thank you very much
It should be short, about a page. Don’t list anything about yourself that isn’t relevant, but if you have nothing relevant, still try to say something. Otherwise it just looks like you forgot. If you’ve been writing for a while, that works. If you’re doing a book about science and are a scientist, bring that up, or maybe if it’s about mental illness, mention your own struggles. Don’t spend too long here, or get too personal. Business, unfortunately, is business.
Publishers will generally take more than agents. I’ve had many that directly want a full summary of the book, a longer bio (smaller ones especially enjoy if you have good social media/means to advertise, as they have lesser budgets/reach). These things are specified.
A good conclusion to this? I’d scroll up and read my short list again. Here’s what not to do, I suppose:
-Have too much detail (often loses focus of what the main ‘plot’ pitch is)
-Have not enough (makes it sound bland)
-Too personally involved (‘this book means everything to me’)
-Too self confident (‘fantastic, amazing’ just about any adjective you put on character stuff, world, pitch. Use more open ones. You might call a world ‘vast’ instead of ‘incredible’)
When you have a lot of unseen competitors, you can’t assume anyone will want to put up with you. In theory, being passionate about your work is fantastic! In practice, you may come off as a dolt. And it helps to remember: there will always be more besides you, hoping for the same thing.
So turn in your best work!

A M Blaushild is a writerreviewer, and enigma.

Guest Post by Gonzalo JN Dias : Author Spotlight

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Have you ever read anything by a Portuguese author?

What could the opinion about USA of one of the oldest countries in Europe be? There’s an object parked on the moon, but curiously, the unfolding of the story does not take place in New York, but rather, in Lisbon suburbs and in a small village between Portugal and Spain.

The main character, Gustavo, does not get along well with his parents-in-law, and his wife does not like Gustavo’s friends.

A genre-busting book that includes adventure, thriller, dystopia, utopia and an exciting love story.

It became the most downloaded book in Portuguese last April, and it has now a good English translation (I would say, better than the original).

Ready for a totally new point of view?

See some reviews on Amazon page or on the author’s official blog.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N0FTZ4O

https://twitter.com/GoncaloJNDias

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Guest Post by B @ Icebreaker694: YA Books Around the World – A List

Hello!

I’m Icebreaker694 and I’m currently hacking on this blog to bring you… YA Books Around the World一a list.

(I’m not really hacking, I don’t even know how. ) I’ve compiled a list of YA books that take place in different countries/continents around the world. If you like any of the books seen today, I hope you go to check them out!

Also give the owner of this site a follow while you’re at it.


USA

It’s a good place to start.

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The Girl at Midnight

Here is a book for all yo u fantasy lovers. A bit of T he Girl at Midnight takes place in New York City, but Echo travels to a few other countries around the world (I can’t remember them at the moment, I don’t have the physical copy with me).

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The Sun Is Also a Star
The Sun Is Also a Star is a favorite of mine. It also takes place in New York City, but you get to wander the city a bit more as Natasha and Daniel adventure together to make most of their only day together.


Russia

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The Crown’s Game
Here is another fantasy book for those who enjoy reading about magic. T he Crown’s Game takes place in Russia around a Victorian time period.

 

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Black Widow: Forever Red
About half of this book takes place in the US (New York City and Philadelphia) but the other half takes place in Russia (I don’t know how many cities Ava visits but I distinctly remember Scandinavia and Moscow. Correct me if I’m wrong.)


England

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Clockwork Angel
I’ve brought in Cassandra Clare’s TID series again! C lockwork Angel and the rest of the trilogy take place in a Victorian period in London. Which is my favorite period of all time to read about.

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Lock & Mori

Lock & Mori take place in a modern day London, but with a modern Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty. For those who like contemporary Sherlock stories, this may be a book you might want to check out. The sequel is also available now.

 


Wales

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
This book takes place in 1940 in an island off the coast of Wales. Of course a majority of this book is purely fiction, it’s still a great book to check out.


That’s it for today, I’m sorry I didn’t get to cover many other countries. If you know of any books that I haven’t mentioned you can comment here or on my site: Icebreaker694. Also be sure to follow this site hosted by Sam! And also I’d like to thank her for having me on once again. Bye!

Guest Post: Standalones That Should Get A Sequel by B @ Icebreaker694

Hi!

I’m so excited to be a guest post on RiverMoose-Reads! I’d like to thank Sam for having me on here!

I’ve composed a list for all of you to enjoy! I’ve once made a similar post for this for anime, but now I’m doing it for YA books! But this post was actually hard to make since most of the books I’ve read will be getting a series. But still I hope you enjoy reading this, and here are standalones that I think should get a series/sequel!


#1 

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I really liked this book a lot, and even though I’m pretty satisfied with the ending, I’d still like to have a second book. Will Cath fangirl about something else? How is Cath’s relationship with her and her sister going? Also I would want more Levi moments!

 

#2

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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

I know I’m probably cheating with another Rowell book, but I really think that this book should get a second one. The ending is bittersweet, and leaves off at a “sort of” suspenseful moment. I’d like a second book just to see if they fare after that ending.

 

#3

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Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

To be perfectly honest I really want all of Morgan Matson’s books to have a sequel. But I want one more for this book in particular. It leaves off at Amy finally moving away, and Roger promises to see her again, so I’d like to know if they ever fullfilled that promise. Morgan Matson doesn’t make sequels because she likes the characters to live in her mind and assume they’ll end up together. I really like that method too, but as a reader, I really want a second book.

 

#4

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The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

I wanted to spice things up with a fantasy book!

It’s the Forbidden Wish #1, so it implies that there might be a second book, but I haven’t heard of anything. I was actually fine with how this book ended, so I’m not pushing for a sequel as much, but I would still be very happy if Khoury decided to make a sequel/series out of this.


That’s really all the books I could find, hehe, but I still hoped you enjoyed this post! And go follow Sam’s site for me, will you? It’s really amazing, you won’t be disappointed! 😀

That’s it for me, bye!


B’s blog is over at Icebreaker694 and she is lovely and amazing so you should go check her out!

Follow her on Goodreads and Twitter too!

Guest Post: 5 Benefits of Writing for Mental Health by Talasi Guerra

5 Benefits of Writing for Mental Health

My name is Talasi Guerra and I am a mental health blogger. Let me clarify that—I am not a mental health professional. Rather, I am an average, every day person who is navigating the ins and outs of life with mental illness.

I have struggled with mental illness for most of my life. Obsessions started at a very young age, and by the time I was fourteen, I had developed an eating disorder. For the next number of years, I was tormented by depression, anxiety, and addictions, until finally, at age 21, I started to make some genuine progress towards recovery.

Since that time, nearly ten years ago, it has been an uphill battle. Fortunately, I have experienced many great successes along the way. Writing has been an essential part of my mental health recovery at every stage. And while I am so thankful for all of the professionals and treatment programs that have helped me over the years, I truly believe that writing has been the main catalyst for positive change in my life. So today I would like to share with you five reasons that I believe writing to be extremely beneficial for mental health.

  1. Writing encourages self-reflection.

Dealing with mental illness can be a very isolating and numbing experience. It can be hard to talk about, or even think about, the emotions that mental illness produces in your life. Writing through these struggles is such a healthy option because it causes you to reflect on what is really going on in your heart and mind at any given moment. Using writing as an outlet of self-reflection can help you pinpoint the root of your challenges so that you can later address them.

  1. Writing promotes rational thought.

If you struggle with mental illness, chances are you are plagued by a bevy of irrational thoughts on a daily basis. But the good news is that writing literally promotes rational thinking. While your irrational thoughts reside in your amygdala (the part of your brain that powers your “fight or flight” response in stressful situations), writing requires you to use a different part of your brain—the part that promotes calm, logical thinking! So you can think of writing as a weapon that actually combats your mental illness for you!

  1. Writing alleviates anxiety.

The result of using writing to promote rational thinking is simple: it alleviates anxiety! Because writing forces your thoughts into the logical portion of your brain, it allows you to see more clearly so that you can identify the source(s) of your anxiety. When you recognize your triggers, symptoms, and emotions, you can evaluate your experience by looking at the facts. Writing these things down this will help you to realize that you are not in life-threatening danger, as your amygdala would have you believe. It will allow you to breath a sigh of relief, reducing your anxiety!

  1. Writing generates revelation.

The easiest things to write about are the things in life that you have experienced personally. And as you write about your experience, it opens up the bigger picture that you were not able to see in the heat of the moment. Writing through your mental health journey allows for amazing moments of personal revelation that may never happen otherwise!

  1. Writing kindles a sense of accomplishment.

Mental illness causes you to constantly question your own value and worth. Chances are, if you are in the middle of a mental health battle, you probably deal with feelings of failure every single day. It’s important to include some activities in your life that can give you a sense of accomplishment. Writing is a great way to do so. To write anything—a journal entry, a poem, a blog post, a prayer, a memoir, etc.—is a great accomplishment. Completing it will remind you that you can achieve great things when you don’t give up.

Have you ever used writing to improve your mental health? Have you found it effective? If so, what would you add to this list?

 


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Talasi Guerra is a mental health blogger at braverthanbefore.com. She is also the Director of Children and Family Ministries and Graphic Designer at First Baptist Church in Lloydminster, Canada. She loves to travel, play strategy board games, and create! Follow Talasi on twitter @talasiguerra

A Guest Review: Spirited Away

Spirited Away is one of my favorite movies, and it is a much loved Studio Ghibli movie. I recently showed the movie to my cousins and one of them (you may know her from the Harry Potter: As Told By My 9-Year Old Cousin post I did a while back) wrote a review for me to put on my blog!

Enjoy!

Her Review:

              So I am writing another post for rivermoose’s blog. Yay! So I am writing a movie review for (drum roll please) Spirited Away by Studio Ghibli. Let me tell you, if you haven’t seen the movie in my opinion you should see it after this blog post. So my rating is five stars. I give it five stars because it’s funny, happy and not too sad. So I am trying to do a challenge to at least tell a summary in five sentences. (Which is at least a paragraph, because paragraphs are 3-5 sentences long.) There is a girl named Chihero. She finds a bath house that she has to work at because her father and mother are pigs. She sees witches, spirits (not creepy) and dragons. See the movie to find out what happens! Oh! How’d you like that? It was four sentences! You should really watch the movie. And if you want more of me go to mustloveunicorns.wordpress.com but I got to tell you it’s just started!

Isn’t she adorable?

Also, this is the first post I’ve uploaded since I got back from camp, the last couple you’ve seen (actually everything of the past month and quite a few of the upcoming month) we’re written and scheduled before I left. I’ll be writing more now that I’ve gotten back, and I’ll be writing all about camp, supercon, Pokémon Go, etc. But you’ll have to wait about a week, since tomorrow I get my wisdom teeth out… Joy.

Happy reading!