Exploring Space Romance

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This isn’t happily ever after. It’s so much more than that.” 
― Kiera CassThe One

I’d like to say “Good on Ya,” to Aussie Author, D.A. Hill for writing another book that despite being outside of my normal realm of reading genres, I read his publication Cerelia’s Choice engrossed from beginning to end. And I really enjoyed it too, I might add! The turns in the plot came often enough to keep me moving forward wondering what was going to happen next.

So as not to be the spoiler, I’ll refrain from giving you too much information about Hill’s first foray into an interesting genre of writing – space romance. But, I will say, “Oh, how I rooted that the chosen next ruler of the Imperial Throne could defend against the forces in the Galactic Empire so the princess could live happily ever after.”

Cerelias ChoiceYou’d almost have to expect a story about a space pirate from a person who works in the I.T. field. But what remained consistant from his previous publications, is the author’s ability to express very realistic human emotion and dialogue through the character of the lovely Crown Princess and others. Earthly sentiments expressed in an “other world environment” resulted in a fulfilling read.

Check out all of  independent publisher D.A. Hill’s novels including Newton’s Ark and Fuller’s Mine which “explore the impact of technology on human society.”

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling!

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Bringing Community Together

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bookclubWhat brings community together? Just ask the South Routt County Book Club and they will say “BOOKS!”

I  became familiar with this group of readers when I met one of it’s members at the Bud Werner Memorial Library Genealogy Club. Here is what Vanessa has to say about bringing individuals together through reading~

“The backgrounds of our participants is so varied and interesting.  There are ranch wives who have lived here for generations, several who have lived all over the world, who worked for the CIA in Paris, another has lived in South Korea, Netherlands, Argentina etc. following her husband’s work.  Many are retired, or are active in community non-profits, and they range from librarians to a psychologist to women who have never worked outside the home. Those who do work include a hair stylist who participated with her 16 year old daughter, a substitute teacher, and our current library manager. 

Our age range as stated has been between 16 and 80 something!  Our youngest started with her Mom and is now a senior in college.  We manage somehow to include all age ranges in our choices.  Book themes can be universal and appeal to every age.

We have been going since 2008 when we started with 6 members and now have twenty.  I remember holding my youngest grandaughter who was 3 weeks old at one meeting as I was babysitting for my son and daughter-in-law.

We select themes and book titles at our Jan. meeting and meet every other month with 3 selections on the current theme.  Some themes have been: War, Second Chances, Life’s Situations, Classics, Famous People, Hemingway, Memoirs, etc.  Everyone goes around and throws out titles and then we group them into a theme and try to have a contrast.

Our meeting places vary among our members.  Some for whatever reason will host at one of our libraries, however, most are at private homes.  We have a social period and food before we discuss the current books-many times the theme or books themselves will suggest the menu. We incorporate movies, pictures, and other items at our meetings. One memorable one was when we read Wild by (forget the author’s name!) and a member who had walked the Appalachian Trail shared that experience with us.

  The small (and I mean small) towns in the south part of Routt County are financially depressed yet surrounded by million dollar mansions and a small rural community around Stagecoach Lake.  The older residents are hardy, conservative, and clannish but community spirited with colorful people.There is also a large group who have moved here for the wonderful ski town atmosphere and for second homes and tend to be more liberal and richer.  Makes for an interesting clash of values though all seem to come together when needed.”

Thank you Vanessa for sharing this wealth of information about your book club and how it has brought a diverse group of people with varied interests and backgrounds together!

If you have never been a member of a book club before, put it on your list of things to do in the New Year!

This blog is brought to you by EVVY award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Pairing Health, Humor and Children

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Were you paying attention? Sometimes it is the little things that count. Did you see the reference between the medical school mentioned on the August 25th  blog posting on www.allthingsfulfilling.com and a highly treasured author of children’s literature? Go to Celebrate Aging  and play I SPY and see if you can figure it out.

The beginnings of the creative talent of “the doctor” who has brought millions of children joy became clear to me when I read an article in the September/October 2015 issue of Yankee Magazine. Here is an article that explains it even more.

Now, there is a new generation of books from the Cat in the Hat Learning Library that teach youth the basics of healthy living. They are part of the Healthy America program for Children.

Since future generations of children will benefit from the knowledge aspiring physicians acquire through this famed health institution and its research facility, it seems only logical that the medical school carries the name of an alumni. He has brought smiles to faces of children in many countries through his 47 books. Check it out!

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Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Balance of Power and Economy

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Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. ~ Jack Welsh

Beth Macy, author of the National Best Selling book Factory Man, held an author talk and book signing in Steamboat Springs, Colorado a few weeks ago. I attended and bought the book. It is a narrative non-fiction about Bassett Furniture Makers. The story is jam-packed with complicated family relationships, history and a whole community of people whose lives depended upon the livelihood of the textile and furniture industry in the town of Bassett, Virginia.

big_chair_little_chairAt the foundation of the story is a “full of himself” character who often strained the family dynamic with his leadership style. Add to that the exodus of industry – furniture products being manufactured overseas more cheaply, and the battle that ensued in saving an American town. What do you have? An impressive and fulfilling tale to tell.

A very well-researched book that award-winning journalist Macy writes in a compelling and “you’ve gotta hear this style.”

Business people in every industry at all eschelons of power will glean something from this story about a multi-generational family furniture dynasty.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. 

Reading: A Vintage Idea

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Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. –Author Unknown

It’s not pop-psychology or new age thinking that a love of reading has many fulfilling advantages. Books stimulate the mind, they transport us to different places, we get to meet interesting characters with diverse personalities and learn something about different cultures. Literature broadens our world and exposes us to new concepts and ideas. Here is what some influential writers say about the magic of reading.

Today, I thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and see some of the vintage signs that indicate “reading is good for you.” These placards and posters have decorated libraries, reading rooms, bookstores and other platforms over the decades.

Come along and think back to when you obtained your first library card. What did it feel like? A priviledge? Freedom? A passport into a new world?

I heard one man, my father say “the day he got his first library card, it was like the best gift he had ever been given.”  My reply to that was “Oh, and then came the wife and the children….” Just kiddin’ Dad. We know you’d be lost without your books!

Seriously, if you have young children, one of the best things you can do is let them catch you reading, frequently! Happy Reading, everyone!

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This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on the award-winning Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, click here. And for Lessons of Heart & Soul, click here.

Reading and Happiness

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“Surrounded by darkness yet enfolded in light.” ~― Alan Brennert

There is an interesting article in the New Yorker Magazine about the connection between reading and happiness.  Researchers say when we read that there is a neurological process that takes place in our brain that transports us away from our everyday life to feeling as if we are in the place in the story, right along with the characters.

Bibliotherapy (reading books to make people feel happier) can be traced back to 1916 when the term was used in an article in the Atlantic Monthly. “Books,” the article said, can be used as a “stimulant or a sedative or an irritant or a soporific. The point is that it must do something to you, and you ought to know what it is. A book may be of the nature of a soothing syrup or it may be of the nature of a mustard plaster.”

palisades parkI had to laugh when I read that quote because I am currently reading a novel called Palisades Park by Alan Brennert. Through the story I have been transported to the famed amusement park in New Jersey and I have been eating hotdogs with mustard and sugary cotton candy in my imagination from the Midway. My mind has been spinning in circles as I’ve imagined the Cyclone roller coaster and the tilt-a-whirl and all the other rides. Every bit of the book has heightened my senses, as it’s stirred nostalgic memories of my youthful visits to the amusement park at Hershey Pennsylvania and Gwynn Oak Park in Baltimore.

Brennert’s book has done well in taking me to Palisades Park during the height of it’s popularity, in the 1930s. He has helped me understand the value of such entertainment in uplifting the American spirit during war times. All four of my senses have been fulfilled through his rich descriptive writing of tastes, sounds, smells and site of the historical times and events in his novel. You’ll hear the cacophony of calliope and shrieks. A sensational nostalgic summertime read!   Highly recommended.

If you are looking for other good reads that will transport you back to another historical time Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul, will remind you of the times when life was much simpler. This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

 

Library Browser Finds

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“I took my time, running my fingers along the spines of books, stopping to pull a title from the shelf and inspect it. A sense of well-being flowed through me ….” ~ Beth Pattillo

I’m truly convinced it’s time well-spent allowing oneself a lengthy browse in a library. The other day I came across a book that if you read only one book this year, The Awakening of Miss Prim should be it. In my opinion, this publication that I randomly came across should be front and center of any library. For a short time, it probably was. But books, even the best, quickly get backlisted.

Old world libraryBriefly, the storyline goes like this. A woman takes a job as a private librarian in the small town of San Ireneo de Arnois. When she arrives she finds that the community, an enclave of sorts, is filled with villagers from the baker to the florist to shoemaker to bookstore owner who have fled from other places to settle where there is something special, “it’s unusually harmonious.” Most believe that by “returning to the old ideals of a simple, traditional, family-based economy” it is what is best for society.

Hailed as “an ode to the simple joys of life,” by Huffington Post, through this impeccably rendered fictional story one comes to understand why books, art, culture, civilty and philosophy matters. Without these things entire generations of people’s values and relationships with one another are altered.

This International Bestseller by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera “set against a backdrop of steaming cups of tea, freshly baked cakes and lovely company” is a short, charming, and deeply thoughtful story. A treasure to behold for all readers.

An interesting side note: This debut novel was originally published in Spanish in 2013. In 2014 it was re-published in paperback, and in English.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning, debut author Sue Batton Leonard.