The Benefits of an Active Shelf Life

I’m a reader. Not just a reader. I’m a “must read the list of suggested books from my local library or online resource” type reader. Don’t try to limit me to only one genre. I’m interested in everything from books about local history to ghost stories to modern thrillers to classic tales. I will, on occasion, explore the works of foreign authors from diverse backgrounds. Why do I read everything I can get my little mittens on? I’m a reader, because I’m a learner.

The Benefits of Being a Reader:

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  • Reading is exercise for the mind – Your brain needs fresh knowledge to grow. Don’t stop learning just because you become an “adult.” Growth is essential for everyone regardless of age.
  • A well-read brain is a healthy brain, especially as we age – Staying active is important for a healthy body. Your brain ages too. Learning new things can help keep your mind sharp.
  • Reading promotes imagination – Movies, TV and video games are entertaining, but someone else is doing the imagining for you. Reading a book offers plots and descriptions of the author’s story scenes, but it’s your imagination building the world as you see it. You take away inspiration, encouragement and knowledge gleaned from what you’ve seen in your mind’s eye.

Read Often. Learn as Much as Possible. Share Your Knowledge.

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Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well

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No Sweetie. Vampires Aren’t Sparkly

5 Reasons Why Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the Best Version of Himself

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Sparkly, but sullen teenage vampire hunks. Cutesy fanged monster toddlers. Friendly blood suckers who own hotels and throw parties. The entertainment industry has taken a classic horror icon and defanged him.

I’m a Dracula purist. Nothing evoked more fear in my childhood than the mere mention of the legendary vampire. Bram Stoker’s book haunted my imagination and inspired me to write tales of dark fantasy and horror.

Here are 5 reasons why Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the best version of himself:

 

  1. He is “The Count.” While Polidori penned “The Vampyre” decades before, Bram Stoker made Dracula an unforgettable classic character.
  2. His story is weaved with mysteries that keep the reader enthralled.
  3. Stoker’s book contains the common elements of Horror with a terrifying villain, elicits feelings of fear and dread, immerses the readers in a macabre world.
  4. His intelligence and power over his victims add a psychological terror element many of the other horror classics lack.
  5. Dracula is iconic. Put on a cape and fangs for Halloween. Everybody will immediately recognize your costume.

Dracula is my favorite monster of all time. If you’re looking for a horror classic to read during the Spooky Season, give it a try.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.Be Spooky. Be Gruesome. Be Goofy.

 

What Tales of Terror Are on Your Book Shelf?

The Spooky Season is upon us! It’s time for warm cider, pumpkin cookies and scary stories. Whether you indulge your ravenous appetite for ghosts and ghouls on the screen or in hard copy print, nothing is better than being captured in the pages of a book.

Looking for some “scare the pants right off you” ideas? Here are a few great places to check for suggested reading:

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Goodreads Lists– Here you can find a list of reader favorites for every genre. Try Horror and Paranormal in October for perfect Spooky Season suggestions.

Horror Writers Association– Why not look to the experts at Horror.org? As a member of HWA, I’ve had the opportunity to meet several of these gifted authors. You may recognize some of the Bram Stoker Award Winners on their website.

Grab a book or better yet, let a book grab you!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

7 Signs You May Have a Book Crush

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Ah, L’amour! Isn’t it grand? You have a special Valentine to curl up with on those cold February evenings. Secretly, you may have more than one. Don’t worry. I’m not judging. One book crush is never enough.

Teddy bear in reading glasses sitting on the stack of old booksNot sure you have a book crush? Here are a few tell-tale signs:

  1. You pour a glass of wine and turn on soft jazz before opening the cover.
  2. If the book is written in multiple points of view, you skip ahead to read your book crush’s chapters first.
  3. You dislike your book crush’s love interest and hope the author sends them packing in the next act.
  4. You wish the author would be a little more liberal with physical descriptions.
  5. Your bookshelf or Kindle contains every word ever written about your crush.
  6. Given enough wine, you imagine joining your crush in the storyline. Naturally, they’ll leave the hot spy in the high heels (or the hot spy in the sharp suit) for you.
  7. Should the heartless author kill off your book crush, you mourn for weeks. Well, until a replacement crush rises out of the pages of a new book series.

Anymore signs I missed? Share them in the comments section.

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Are you Prepared for the Spooky Season?

Frost encases the pumpkin in its brittle embrace. Creatures of the night draw closer to your home, crunching dead leaves and dying grass beneath their feet. Horrified, you realize the front door is unlocked. Too Late! You stagger away from the window as they press their drooling maws against the pane. Oh wait. Those are the neighbor kids. You’ve bought another mega bag of chocolate bars, right?

In a scary mood yet? I know. It’s only October 1st. You’ve got plenty of time to prepare for All Hallows Eve. BUT the Spooky Season is more than just one night of trick or treating and a costume party. Sinister specters of malevolence hunting the not quite so innocent. Haunting stories of the restless dead (or undead). The season can be so much more if you allow yourself to succumb to the darker side of literature (bwahaha).

I’m a round faced, happy little lady who enjoys gardening and making gluten free muffins. Most folks can’t believe it when I tell them I write Horror (I write Fantasy too, but it’s pretty dark). I love to feel the sensation of being on the edge of your seat, not knowing what’s coming next. Pitting a flawed person against unbeatable evil and giving them hope enough to see their journey through. Feeling the overwhelming sadness of a haunted soul who is trapped within the structure of a world they no longer belong in. Horror teaches us about those hidden places within our own hearts. Sometimes you look and can accept what you see. Other times, you must turn away.

Take advantage of the season and pick up a story that gives you a glimpse into the darkness. I have a few classics to suggest: The Shining by Steven King or The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

For more ideas visit the experts: Horror Writers Association (HWA).