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first reviews & books I'm reading

The first reviews are trickling in for Awakening Hearts.

When you spend 6 years working on a novel, you have many moments when you doubt whether what you’re writing is any good… whether you’re deceiving yourself by thinking that you’ll ever have a real chance at success… and whether these sentences you’ve spent hundreds of hours crafting to perfection will ever matter to anyone other than your humble self.

I can’t begin to tell you how much it fills my heart to receive messages from readers telling me they’re hooked, they love the book, and they can’t put it down. 💗 Seriously, my heart swells with each of these little notes that validate that my efforts have not been in vain. That my book has meaning for someone outside of myself. And that maybe—just maybe—it’s not half-bad. 😏 Maybe it even stands a chance at becoming a success.

How one defines success is, of course, relative. To be honest, I always believed that if even a single heart was touched by my book, it would have been worth its while. Worth the years of hard work I’ve invested in it.

But then, of course, there's hardly a writer who doesn't wonder if she stands a chance of making a living with her writing. That’s not an easy endeavor in this world, because the costs of producing and publishing a book are vast, and the revenue tends to be… well, small. And yet, there are writers who succeed at earning their living by stringing together words… crafting sentences that touch the hearts and souls of thousands—maybe millions.

Will I be one of those? Who knows. For now, I’ll content myself with knowing that my efforts have already made a difference in the lives of a few kind souls who not only took the time to read, but who took time out of their busy lives to share with the world what my writing stirred in them.

Check out my first two bona fide book reviews on Goodreads:

The first is from a woman in Scotland the Universe dropped onto my path a couple of weeks ago via the wondrous world of Instagram. Our paths crossed by pure chance—or maybe it was by design. 💫 Her feedback was especially meaningful because she didn’t have the bias of being a pre-existing friend—though she’s since become a fast friend. Another blessing on this journey. 💖 The second is from a very dear friend in Brazil. You could say she was biased because she is my friend—although her feedback led me to believe she would have enjoyed Awakening Hearts even if she didn’t know the author.

If you have a moment, head on over to Goodreads and add my book to your “want-to-read” shelf by clicking the green button beneath it. It helps make it more visible to others who might not otherwise stumble across it. And while you’re there, be sure to “follow” me by clicking the button beneath my author photo on my author page. You can also enter my Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of my book. 📖✨

While others are beginning to gobble up my writings, I’m continuing to feed my own hungry reader’s heart with the inspiring writings of others. I’m currently reading a fantastic book called Keepers about a young mother in Australia in the 1950s, who finds herself alone with her almost one-year old and pregnant with a second, living in a small cabin far from everything, when her husband takes off because he can’t handle the responsibility. After dropping the reader into a scene from this young mother’s rugged life, the author then takes you back to where it all began… Cheryl Burman’s writing is exquisite, rich in imagery, and of high literary quality. She quickly drew me into the story, and I’ve been up late into the night turning the pages because the book is too good to put down.

Another recent read I thoroughly enjoyed was Beck Grey’s debut novel, Save Me—a love story between two men that had me living and breathing their emotions and passionate attraction. Again and again, I’ve found the gender of the characters is secondary when the chemistry between them is well-done. So, while I may be partial to lesbian fiction, I can absolutely enjoy a love story between a man and a woman, and—as I’ve come to find out—a man and a man. MM romances just hadn't made it across my desk before, but Beck has inspired me to check out more of them! His main characters, Ashley and Jamie, are made for each other, and I loved reading their story. Beck’s reading is vivid, fresh, sensual, and captivating. I’m already looking forward to his future books! Fortunately for his fans, he already has several more in the works.

…which reminds me that I made a commitment to spend time on Awakening Souls tonight—the sequel to Awakening Hearts. Allocating time to it has not been easy, since all my time these days goes into book promo and pre-publication wrap-ups for Awakening Hearts. But I’m excited about the second book, and those who’ve already finished book one are asking me for it—so I better get on it!

Let me know in the comments what you’ve been reading! This time of year is perfect for curling up with a good book and a hot cup of tea—at least here in the Northern hemisphere.

Happy fall reading! 📖☕️🍁✨

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