I have a shelf reserved for what I call my keeper books. These are the ones that impacted me in some way like with a life lesson or writing advice. I have too many to name them all, but I’ll share a few that I was thinking about today and why they had an impact.
- The House with a Clock in Its Walls by Lewis Barnavelt. This was the first book that made me want to turn the page to find out what happened in the story but afraid to know. It was creepily fantastic and taught me about writing ending hooks.
- Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon. There were so many twists in the book. This one taught me that deeply flawed characters that cross the law and do the wrong thing don’t have to be redeemed in the end. Not if the motivation is strong enough.
- Rise: How a House Built a Family by Cara Brookins. This book impacted my life by teaching me the power of inner strength.
- A Family at Last by Carolyne Aarsen. I chose this book years ago because of the cover alone. It’s gorgeous and I’m so glad that I did buy it. This story taught me about forgiveness and moving on. It was so well written that it stuck with me.
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. The author said something that resonated with me about writing and self-doubt and listening to the voice of others in your mind as you write. “Take the attitude that what you are thinking and feeling is valuable stuff, and then be naïve enough to get it all down on paper. But be careful: if your intuition says that your story sucks, make sure it really is your intuition and not your mother.”
- Write Naked by Jennifer Probst. In this, the author shared so much great advice and she shared something about writing that impacted me while I was going through a rough writing patch. “Nothing but writing can help you during the bad times. Don’t look for external validation, like hitting a best-seller list, kudos from other authors, raving reviews from readers, or publishers who finally want to buy your work to keep you moving forward.”
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I love this story (and have a coffee cup that has “Talk Darcy to Me” written on it!) and it’s a story that I reread over and over. What it taught me was the importance of conflict, both internal and external, in an enemies to lovers trope which is one of my favorite tropes to write.
What are some of the books that have impacted your life? Leave a comment for a chance to win a box of Lindt truffles and a digital copy of one of my books from my backlist.
All Haley Bowman has ever wanted was her One True Love. But now, with her cousin getting married and Haley back in her small town, the pressure is on. Good thing she’s got a foolproof Kiss List, full of potential OTLs. Her parents knew they were soul mates at their first kiss, so surely Haley will know the same. All she needs to do is…well, kiss each of these guys…
Enter Max Gallagher: bane of Haley’s existence, her nemesis since childhood, and, unfortunately, as a local, her way in with all the guys on the Kiss List. Max wants nothing to do with love and certainly nothing to do with Haley, but he can clear the way for her to get to know the guys on the list. Of course, he wants something in return: to be made a partner in Haley’s family’s business. One kiss for relinquishing her hold-out vote on Max.
But the more time Max and Haley spend together, the clearer it is that there’s a paper-thin line between love and hate. Max will have to decide between the job he’s always dreamed of or the girl of his dreams before his fate is sealed with someone else’s kiss.