book reviews, Uncategorized

Books I read and love over the Christmas Holidays

If you’ve been looking for a good Christmas story that you can read at any time during the year, I have three that will warm your heart and make you believe in a little bit of Christmas magic.

The first one is called Twelve Days of Fruitcake by Nancy Hill. The main character gives a fruit cake to her neighbor, who in turn passes it onto someone else. It gets into the hands of eleven different people, before it comes back to the person who made it. As each person gets the cake, their lives are changed forever. The book can be found on Amazon at the following link:


The next book I want to recommend is The Twelve Days of Christmas by Rick Yuzzi. This was an awesome book. The protagonist meets a pregnant girl who goes along on the trip he had planned to take to vegas. She shows him how to care for others, and every person he helps along the way helps him let go of the loss of his wife and daughter. But wait, there’s a surprise as his plans change and he goes to Silver Lake with Grace. This book will warm your heart and show you that there are angels among us, who show up when we need them most. You can read this from Kindle at the following link:



The final book I’d like to recommend is entitled Comfort and Joy, written by Kristin Hannah. This is a romance book that will warm your heart. There’s a little magic in this tail, as Joy tries to fine her true love. She’s been through a terrible divorce and her sister Stacy and her ex-husband are getting married and having a baby. She books a seat on a charter to hope along with a group of men going on a hunting expedition. While en route, their plane crashes. Although she survives the crash, in reality, she’s in a coma in a San Diego Hospital. However, during this time, she’s transported to  the Comfort fishing lodge, where she meets Daniel and Bobby. She not only teaches Bobby and Daniel how to let go of the pain of their past, but she learns how to accept the affair between Stacy and Tom. Is this place real, or just a drug induced dream. Find out as the story pulls you along through the pages of this unusual world. Find this book here:


What books have you read that touched your lives during the Christmas season?


Until next time, I hope you had a blessed Christmas and I would like to with you a healthy and blessed new year. Happy reading and writing, and God bless you all


12 Things All Writers Need to Remember in 2019

Meg Dowell Writes

1. Just because writing didn’t happen today doesn’t mean it can’t happen ever.

2. The work never stops, even if you start enjoying it.

3. Set small goals. Work up to the bigger things.

4. Do it because you have to, until you can do it because you want to.

5. You can’t change what’s already happened.

6. But you CAN rewrite what’s already been written. Like, that terrible first draft? You can redo that.

7. Other people’s opinions really don’t matter that much.

8. You don’t have to do things a certain way to succeed in writing. Forge your own path … maybe with some guideposts here and there.

9. Success takes time. And it always happens in small pieces.

10. Never compare your progress to someone else’s achievements.

11. Stop crying and start typing.

12. You got this. You’ve always had this. You. Can. Do. This.

Meg is…

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Is It Possible for a Writer to Fail?

Meg Dowell Writes

One of a writer’s greatest fears is failure, in one or multiple of its many forms.

We’re afraid of being told no. We’re afraid that we’ll put a ton of work into something and nothing will ever come of it. We’re afraid that we’re not good enough, that people who say we have it in us are lying to our faces.

We’re afraid that writing won’t “happen” for us the way we’ve always dreamed it will.

We’re especially afraid of that. Because we don’t want to have to turn to someone else — or even look at ourselves in the mirror — and say we didn’t follow through on a promise or we reached but not quite high enough.

Because failure is this thing that always looms just close enough for us to remember it’s there.

That it’s possible.

But I don’t think we need to fear failure as much…

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11 Things Writers Should Do Before the Year Ends

You just made me think of something I can do before the year is over. I have a non-fiction book I finished writing and I was going to wait until next week to start editing, but I’ve decided not to wait. Instead, I’m going to start the editing process now.

Meg Dowell Writes

1. Finish something. It can be big or small. Complete and celebrate!

2. Decide on something you’re going to work on starting January 1.

3. But don’t start working on it yet! Practice patience.

4. Set a new long-term writing challenge for yourself.

5. Then break that large goal into much smaller pieces.

6. Get or create a notebook or space to jot down and house your ideas on-the-go.

7. Choose something writing-related you’re going to do less of this year.

8. Then choose something you’re going to do more of.

9. Look back on all you’ve accomplished.

10. Choose a reward you can earn for achieving writing-related milestones throughout the upcoming year.

11. Give yourself a break. You deserve it!

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and…

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12 Gifts for Writers They’ll Actually Use

Paper and pens won’t help me as I am viaually impaired, but a distraction free afternoon to do some much needed writing would be great

Meg Dowell Writes

1 A coupon for a guilt-free day of no writing. Just one. That’s all we need.

2. Tickets to hear our favorite author/writer speak, go to a live show, etc.

3. Snacks. Our favorite snacks. Please?

4. Read a thing we wrote!

5. Buy a thing you wrote even if you don’t want to read it!

6. Pens. For some reason we really like pens.

7. Gift cards to bookstores are more meaningful than you might think!

8. Gift cards to coffee/tea shops. Or just take us out to one. Let’s talk.

9. A few months of a subscription to a book delivery or similar service.

10. Blank journals/notebooks/paper. Just paper. It can be ugly paper, just give us paper.

11. One distraction, interruption-free afternoon to do some deep-focused writing.

12. Just tell us we’re doing OK and give us a hug. It’s a tough work environment. We could use some…

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Look Back at All You’ve Accomplished. It’s Good for You.

Thanks for these words of wisdom. May you and your family have a very merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

Meg Dowell Writes

Whether we like it or not, the year is almost over. Another 365 days have almost come and gone. And whether you mean to or not, you’ll probably end up glancing at the writing goals you set at the end of last year (or very beginning of this year).

And you won’t be able to stop yourself from counting up all the things you didn’t do — alongside all the things you hopefully DID manage to accomplish.

This is a necessary though not always a positive experience. Writers often accomplish a lot without realizing it because progress usually seems slow and hard to notice in real time.

But they also have a tendency to be way too hard on themselves when they look at goals they feel they could have accomplished but for whatever reason did not do so.

Should you even reflect on what you have and haven’t done…

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Personal reflections, Uncategorized

Christmas musings

Merry Christmas everyone!


Today I want to tell you about a song that resonated with me and made me think about Christmas bells in general. There is a song called Ding-a-ling the Christmas Bell by Lynn Anderson, that tells the story about a Christmas bell that was once the fanciest jingle bell in the entire town, until one day he took a fall, which caused him to ring off key. Of course, the other Christmas bells wanted nothing to do with him after that, so he slunk away. You can imagine how sad this bell was after he overheard this declaration from the other bells. Well now, the children hung him on the large Christmas tree in the town square for everyone to see. His tale doesn’t end there, because he rang out to guide Santa and his sleigh into the town to bring Christmas joy to all the children in this little town. So therefore, Ding-a-ling saved Christmas and everyone loved him for it. You can find the song on YouTube at the following link:

I sat on the front porch, enjoying the sunshine and listening to the happy, yet festive tinkling of the windchimes. They brought to mind this song that I heard on the radio yesterday, while going to pick up my daughter for Christmas. I don’t quite know why this song got stuck in my head and wouldn’t leave me alone, but I finally listened to the story within the song and played my singing bowl for inspiration. This was the inspiration for this special celebratory blog post.


Before I go, I have one quick question for you, my dear readers? Is there a special sound, scent, food item, light show or other aspect of the Christmas season that resonates with you during this time of year? Please share your favorite things about Christmas in the comments below.


Stay tuned in the new year for more character interviews, shared posts and a whole host of goodies that I have in store for you. Until 2019, I wish you and your families a very Merry and safe Christmas and a Happy and Blessed new year.


All Writers Must Learn to Be Bored

Thanks for this tip. When the weather permits, I sit out on the porch and allow myself to daydream. In this way, ideas come to me freely.

Meg Dowell Writes

I’m not the kind of person who enjoys sitting around doing nothing. At least, not very often.

It’s the curse of a distraction-prevalent environment. When I’m done with work, instead of just sitting with my thoughts or taking a walk, I can play a game on my phone, listen to a podcast, and scroll through Netflix all at the same time while deciding which movie or show I’m going to watch.

Have you ever finished your work for the day, sat back in your chair, and just let yourself think?

Not just for a minute or two before moving on to something else. But until you get bored.

Think about it. Seriously — sit or lean back on or near whatever you’re on or near and think about it for a second. We are constantly filling out heads and occupying our minds with stuff. Are we taking enough time…

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Character Interview with Genevieve Nichols

Hello everyone, my character Genevieve Nichols is dying to talk to you today, so we have another character conversation.


Ann: What do you want to tell us all today Ms. Nichols?


Genevieve: First of all, I want to set the record straight. I love both of my daughters unconditionally. I cannot help that Jennifer was abused, but Lydia needed some extra special attention.


Ann: Don’t you think you were the one craving attention? Weren’t you the one giving Lydia all the attention you couldn’t get from your husband?


Genevieve: Well, maybe, but you know, he was mean and hateful toward my girls and me. What was I supposed to do? And besides, I needed support and encouragement. I was always the one giving encouragement to my girls and my louse of a husband, never asking for anything until he cheated on me with another woman.


Ann; Wait a minute, that didn’t come out in the story. Why didn’t you tell me that before?


Genevieve: I didn’t want it to be part of my story, you’re out finding my girl, so your detectives don’t need to be distracted. But, yeah, he was a lying, cheating, abusive, conniving devil of a man. I’ll have to tell you about him some other time, but for now, I need to gloat about my youngest daughter.


Jennifer: Mom! What are you doing out here chatting up the readers? You’re supposed to be resting. I leave for a few moments and here you are, telling all kinds of lies to Ann and her visitors. They don’t want to hear about that, they want to read the book, don’t you? Let me know what you think of my mother’s tirade in the comments below.


Ann: Jennifer, I thought you were helping Becca, Jason and Joseph solve the case. When did you get back home?


Jennifer: I just walked in the door. Now, let me take my mother up to bed, before she causes any more problems or gives our story away. (She leads Genevieve out of our view, the elder woman still trying to state her case.)


Well folks, as we can see, there is a lot of bitterness and hatred between Jennifer and her mother, but you’ll have to read Journey to the Mountaintop when it is released in the next few months, to see how the story unfolds. However, let me reiterate my bit of encouragement from the last two interviews. I can’t stress enough how important it is to read A Journey of Faith, because if you don’t, you will be completely lost. Let me give you the links again, in case you haven’t read the first three interviews I’ve done in the past couple of weeks.


Until next time, let me know what you think about these little interviews. Thanks for reading, sharing and commenting on my site. To all you fine folks in the blogosphere, have a blessed day, and try your best to stay warm and dry.