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Letting Dreams Soar: How Travel Changed My Life

in Non-Fiction by

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always dreamed of flying away to faraway places. I certainly have the travel gene. Every time I would see an airplane, my attention would dissipate for a moment while my 6-year-old self would ponder where the plane was going. It wasn’t long after our first family vacation to Florida that my interest in flying quickly became one of the consuming parts of my life. By the time I turned 15, I had flown well over 344,000 miles to four states. At that point, many people — especially my age — might consider this an accomplishment, or just insane. The truth is every single one of those miles was flown for a family…

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How Reading at Summer Camp Led Dale Wiley to Write ‘Southern Gothic’

in Fiction by

I trace the moment I really became a reader to Fountain Campground near Washington, Georgia. We went there every year, on our annual trips to Georgia to see my mom’s family, and although I read voraciously all the way through school, I have to say I thought it was uncool … until I saw all those pretty girls at camp reading. My mind changed in an instant. Camp meetings in the South are almost as old as America, places where people go to church services and find ways to disconnect from the modern world. For me, a tall and skinny teen nowhere near growing into my body, younger than many of the other kids who stayed on the campground, I…

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The Generational Reasons Why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are So Appealing

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Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have ignited a firestorm. They have addressed the worries and fears of three generations of Americans: Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Sanders’ appeal to millennials (born from 1982 to 2000, ages today 16 to 34) caught everyone by surprise because no one understood what was fueling millennials’ fears. Millennials, educated by 1960’s liberals, are a talented generation with few job prospects, massive student debt and living with their parents. So, for millennials, getting a government handout seems to be their only alternative. They love authenticity, so they felt the ‘Bern.’ And, they find Trump authentic. Millennials have little problem jumping from a democratic socialist like Sanders to a common sense conservative … especially when…

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The Secret to a Fulfilling Relationship According to Author Michael Gabriel

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Michael Gabriel, author of “The Balanced Relationship Barometer,” discusses Valentine’s Day and how his own heartbreak led to a deeper understanding of what it means to be in a fulfilled long-term relationship. There is more than one theory on the origins of how Valentine’s Day came to be. In 1537, England’s King Henry VII officially declared February 14 as the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day. Much has changed since the Middle Ages, when chivalrous deeds and poems were used to court women, to our current consumer product-focused bonanza for companies like Hallmark, Victoria’s Secret, Godiva and 1-800 Flowers. What has not changed is the physiological potion of love. When you’re in love, and the brain releases an abundance of feel-good chemicals…

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Sheila Roberts: Mothers and Daughters, and Weddings, Oh My!

in Fiction by

When we think of weddings we naturally think bride and groom. But, when it comes right down to it, a wedding encompasses so much more. Of course, weddings are about the happy couple, but they’re also a community celebration when family and friends gather to celebrate the joys of true love. (And to snicker when the ring bearer lies down for a nap in the middle of the ceremony.) Weddings are about two people pledging to be there for each other through all the bumps and turns in life’s road. They’re also an occasion for family to welcome a new member. And they even allow mothers and grandmothers, aunts and cousins to relive their own special day. In short, weddings…

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It’s not what you write, it’s where you write it

in Romance by

By J. Kenner All my books have a place. And I don’t mean the setting. I mean The Place where the book was primarily written (I might switch locations now and then, but each book has a Center of Operations)—and that place is inextricably tied up in my mind with that book forever. Tame Me’s place is the big comfy armchair in my office (which has recently been moved upstairs and replaced by a more back-friendly anti-gravity chair). It’s funny, because I can look back on most of my forty-odd books and remember where they were (mostly) written. Release Me  was written primarily on the couch in my living room. Claim Me primarily at my desk, with Complete Me being mostly completed…

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The great equalizer just may be fear

in Thrillers by

I’ve been thinking lately about my relationship with fear.  I’m a fan of the horror and thriller genres, I write twisty psychological suspense novels for a living, and I’d rather spend an evening walking through a haunted house than hanging out at a cocktail party.  I’ve been courting fear for a long time now, but I realize that it’s like a wild animal and it can hurt me if it wants to. “You should stay away from fear,” I can imagine my mother admonishing me.  “It’s up to no good.” “I know it,” I reply, and then jump on the back of its motorcycle and head off into the night. It’s more than just the adrenalin rush, I think, although…

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