Five Ways to Celebrate Women’s History Month

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March gives us the opportunity to celebrate those amazing women who had a historical influence on our lives. Their courage and fortitude in the face of discrimination paved the way for the opportunities we enjoy now.

Scientists. Pilots. Astronauts. World Leaders. Each frontier has been explored by brave women who want to achieve their full potential and better the world.

Five Ways to Celebrate Amazing Women

Support Other Women – Our paths are full of challenges. These obstacles become more bearable with help from a support system. By encouraging other women on their journey, our way becomes a bit easier.

Celebrate Women’s Accomplishments – When one of us wins, we all win. Each dream realized. Each summit conquered. Each race won brings us closer to the aspiration of a gender-balanced world.

Learn About History-making Women – Take the time to learn about great women who’ve impacted our history. Find out more at Women’s History Month.gov.

Mentor Other Women and Youths – If you’re an accomplished woman, then chances are another accomplished woman mentored you. Someone is watching and hoping to become like you one day. It’s your turn to mentor. Teach. Empower. Encourage.

Be the Strong Woman You Are – Women have more opportunities today than we’ve ever had. We still face challenges. Don’t let them stop you. Be the woman you want to be.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Happy International Women’s Day

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“Better the balance, better the world.”

It’s International Women’s Day. This year’s theme – Better the balance, better the world – hopes to inspire a gender-balanced world. Visit the International Women’s Day website for more information.

Make today a special day to celebrate women’s accomplishments – especially yours or those of the other awesome women in your life!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

#BalanceforBetter

#IWD2019

Live and Let Read

Spy Novels Books Read

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I’m wrapping up the “February Is for Book Lovers” blog series with a sub-genre of Mystery Thrillers. So, order your martini – shaken not stirred– and join me in a good Spy Novel discussion.

Wait. This Was a Book Before It Was a Movie?

Goldfinger and many others by Ian Fleming

The Guns of Navarone by Alastair MacLean

Eye of The Needle by Ken Follett

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

Super Badass Spies

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum (Matt Damon aka Jason Bourne)

Killing Floor and series by Lee Child (Jack Reacher)

James Bond series by Ian Fleming (Because you can’t have a Super Badass Spy section without him)

Classic Spies

Yes. James Bond again. Seriously, I could do an entire post just about this character and his author

The Ministry of Fear and Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene

The Day of the Jackal by Fredrick Forsyth

Other Impressive Super Spies

Hunt for Red October and series by Tom Clancy (Jack Ryan)

Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva

I hadn’t really explored this Book Genre until a few years ago. Please let me know if you have suggestions for Spy novels. I’d love to read more!

Covert Ops Links

Goodreads Spy Thriller List

15 Classic Spy Novels by Penguin Books

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Chillers, Thrillers and Beasties

Horror Stories, Horror Books

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Darkness shrouds the night about me. I clutch at the blankets and burrow deeper into their fleeting comfort. Then a scratch at the door pierces the stillness. Thrusting a hand out, I grasp desperately for my sleeping protector. What is prowling just outside the door? Is it a fanged monster perhaps or some troubled poltergeist?

Setting my Horror novel aside, I discover kitty playing with a discarded rubber band. The heart stopping tension stays with me, however, as I crawl back in bed. Why do I read scary stories before bed time or at all? Heart pounding, shiver inducing tales of horror have been told around campfires of centuries. We humans love the thrill of being scared. Here are a few of my favorites:

Classic Horror Tales

  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Modern Horror Favorites

  • The Stand by Stephen King (So many others!)
  • Relic,The Cabinet of Curiosities and other Agent Pendergast novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
  • Just about any story by Dean Koontz
  • True Blood series by Charlene Harris
  • The Narrows by Ronald Malfi
  • Bird Box (the book not the movie) by Josh Malerman
  • The Woman by Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee

Have I missed one of your favorites? Please share in the comments. I’d love to add a good book to my reading list.

Chilling Links

Goodreads Horror Book Lists

Horror Writers Association(Proud to be a member)

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

The Many Faces of Fantasy

Fantasy Books, Dark Fantasy Books

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I moderated a panel last year on “The Many Faces of Fantasy”at Denver Comic Con. Getting the crowd involved, I asked them to shout out the many sub-genres contained within the Fantasylabel. I quickly ran out of fingers and toes.

My point: Fantasy has a little something for every reader. Into the Victorian era and steam powered contraptions? Try Steampunk. Do you lean toward tales of Horror? Dark Fantasyis for you. Maybe you have a fuzzy spot in your heart for Romance. Yep. Fantasy Romanceis a thing.

This genre could be a month-long blog series on its own, so I’ve decided to share my favorite sub-genres with you:

Urban Fantasy aka Grumpy Magical Character in a Modern City

  • The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
  • Something from The Nightside by Simon R. Green
  • Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore
  • Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka
  • The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne (Great Author and Awesome Person)
  • Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
  • A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin
  • Pariah by C.R. Richards (Shameless Plug)

High and/ or Epic Fantasy Adventures

  • The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J.R. R. Tolkien
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • The Dragonbone Chair and its series by Tad Williams
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  • The Sword of Shannara series by Terry Brooks
  • Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan (YA)

Dark Fantasy

  • The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett
  • The Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney (YA)
  • Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman (Sub-genre is my opinion)
  • Heart of the Warrior series by C.R. Richards (Shameless plug!)
  • Phantom Harvest by C.R. Richards (2014 Best Fantasy Award Winner)

Have I missed one of your favorite books? Please share in the comments. I’m always looking for good books to read.

Fantastical Links

Goodreads Fantasy Books Lists

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Classic Novels Are More Than Book Report Assignments

Books, Reading

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Unless you’ve developed your “reader chops” growing up with the Classics, the very mention of this far ranging genre may cause your eyes to glaze over. We’ve all been tortured with the obligatory book report on Moby Dickor Lord of the Flies. Sigh. I sometimes wonder if this academic approach discourages rather than encourages a love of reading.

I was one of the lucky kids who grew up with an appreciation of the awesomeness to be found in great works of literature. Raised in a knowledge desert on the outskirts of a military base in nowhere America, I took every opportunity to visit my little local library. Devouring everything I could get my anxious hands on, I developed a love for classic tales of adventure, sacrifice and unrequited love.

No movie, Netflix short or TV series can compare to a story written about a certain time and place in history by someone who actually experienced it.

Beloved Books I Discovered in My Youth

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

No Time for Sergeants by Mac Hyman (The movie is hilarious too.)

Books That Make You Think

The Sun Also Rises, The Old Man and The Sea or pretty much anything by Ernest Hemingway

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (I know what you’re thinking! The Woman in White is covered in a future post.)

Books for The Adventurous

Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

Books That Rip Your Heart Out

Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

The Four Feathers by A.E.W. Mason

I’ve just scratched the surface of this amazing genre. Many other novels and short stories hold a special place among these favorites, but I had to end the list somewhere. Did I miss your favorite? Let me know in the comments section. I’m always looking for book suggestions.

Here is the Goodreads.com list of popular classics. How many have you read?

Happy Reading!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.