Welcome to our blog!
Amy and Jennifer ARE Seduced by Books. We’re both in our 30’s, moms, close friends, work together, and share many of the same interests including our love of reading. Amy grew up in Maryland and has been obsessed with Vampires for as long as she can remember. Jenn grew up in Florida and loves the furry, the fey, and the fangs, in that order. Currently we are both in Orlando, FL. When we can be pulled away from books, Amy loves to bake and Jenn loves to take pictures and scrap.
We decided to create a place where we could direct friends, and acquaintances for, book suggestions/recommendations (Jenn’s been known to talk to strangers on the train while traveling in NYC). Once we started out with a simple page, we evolved from there. Now we are sharing our book reviews, fun comments, recipes, and giveaways. We try to give reviews on new releases, pre-releases, and oldies but goodies that we read, or are reading. We’re going to be adding author interviews for established and up and coming authors soon.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Welcome Stephanie Rowe & a Feel Good Holiday

Today we WELCOME – Stephanie Rowe!!

Four-time RITA® Award nominee and Golden Heart® Award winner Stephanie Rowe is the nationally bestselling author of more than twenty published books with major New York publishers, including HarperCollins, Grand Center and Harlequin. Stephanie has received starred reviews from Booklist and high praise from Publisher's Weekly. In addition to her teen series, she is also published in romance (paranormal, contemporary and suspense), teen fiction, middle grade fiction and inspirational non-fiction. A former attorney, Stephanie lives in Boston where she is actively working on her next project. For more information on Stephanie, visit http://www.stephanierowe.com/.

We are so thankful that with all that she has on her calendar she slipped some time in for us and with a great guest post.

Stephanie: Christmas is awesome! The holidays are great! Great music, friends, family, wonderful food, uplifting decorations, colorful lights, holiday cheer and of course, a sparkle in our hearts and a skip to our step. Fantastic!

Except, of course, for the times when the holidays make us sigh with weariness, when the holiday music makes us turn off the radio, and when the decorations galore feel like clutter.

Ah… yes… we've all be there. No matter how cheerful and upbeat you are, there are times when the holidays feel like a special torture created just for you. How nice of society to gift wrap a time of such stress, tension and angst just for you! Isn't that thoughtful?

Sometimes, our holiday misery is short-lived. It can be cured by an afternoon of errands to shorten your to-do list, a large glass of eggnog, an overdose of holiday cookies and a good sleep.

Other times, maybe it's a little tougher than that. Sometimes you've just got so much weight bearing down on you that you can't shake it, no matter how much eggnog you pour over your head (though, I must admit, pouring a mug of eggnog over my head does have its "I'll do what I want, so there!" appeal. I might try it someday…)

Despite the eggnog dripping from your earlobes, sometimes being around all that joy, exhilaration and shopping frenzy can make it even harder to stay positive. You miss people you used to celebrate with. You don't have the money to buy your kids the gifts you'd like to give. You are struggling with a grim health problem that has you terrified. It feels like an insurmountable effort beyond to pull back your shoulders, flash a smile at the world and dance down the street. In truth? You just want to crawl into a dark corner and pretend the holidays don't exist.

I get it. I've been there. Some years, I've actually managed to forget about Christmas until it's actually here. On the surface, that feels like success, right? But in my heart, it hurts. Why? Because I want to be feeling that love and joy that seems to be bouncing off me. I want to giggle with anticipation at all holiday planning. I want to sing along to the radio instead of turning it off? Quite frankly, it just feels better to be happy.

The truth is that those better feelings are accessible to us. We might not be skipping down the street throwing paper snowflakes at everyone and singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas at the top of our lungs, but those better feelings are there, within us, right now, and we can find them and hold onto them.

In our soul, we want to be happy. That's why it hurts when we're worried, scared, stressed or tense. That's why it's harder to stay happy when surrounded by the joy of the holiday season—because when we see that joy, it makes us resent our own misery, which, in turn, makes us feel even worse.

The truth is: it sucks to feel awful inside because in our hearts, we just want to feel okay.

I decided that I wanted to feel better, so I put on my detective hat and did a little sleuthing. I figured out that my holiday grumpiness wasn't really a twinkling star and candy cane issue. It was actually a reflection of the weight I was sporting around on my back all year wrong. It just got harder to cope with at the holidays. Ah…so it's not that I'm holiday impaired! I was year-'round impaired! That's so much better! (Isn't it? Hmm… maybe not).

So, yeah, the bigger thing to do was to start to fix myself during the non-holiday part of the year, when there wasn't quite so much pressure. But seeing as how it was mid-holiday festivities, I figured out the best thing to was hunker down and go into survival mode for the holidays. You can get through anything for a short time. Really!

For me, holiday survival mode was two things: (1) giving myself a break for not feeling in the holiday mood. It's the old "I'm okay, you're okay" thing, and it actually helps. (2) I decided that since the holidays weren't giving me love, I needed to find something that did. Something that made me happy. Then I could ignore the holidays and focus on what I liked, and use that thing to make me feel better.

Start with little steps. Teeny ones. Think of something you love to do, that makes you happy no matter what mood you're in. Oh, no, don't roll your eyes and say "Nothing. My life is hell." Yeah, maybe it is, but you're a human being, as a person, there are things that you love, that make you happy. Maybe it's watching an old episode of Friends. Maybe it's walking through leaves and kicking them so they spray all around. Maybe it's going to Walmart, buying some paints and paper, and then painting like you used to do as a kid. Maybe it's knitting. Maybe it's grinding coffee beans and inhaling that amazing scent. Maybe it's making ice cream from scratch. Maybe it's puppies. Maybe it's making Christmas cookies and taking them to your local fire station like you and your mom used to do when you were a kid. Maybe it's changing the oil in your car. Maybe it's gardening. Things you haven't taken the time to do in a really long time.

Look into your heart. There's something that makes you happy, even if you haven't thought about it in a years. Find it. It's there. Then go do it. Lose yourself in it. Buy the paint. Contact your local animal rescue group about fostering some puppies. Stir that ice cream. Let yourself feel how good it feels to be absorbed by something good. Remember what it feels like to feel happy. Then look up, look around, and realize that, hey, you felt good for a few minutes. How about them apples, eh? Triumph for you!

Honestly, who the hell cares that it's the holidays? If they're making you crazy, then blow them off and, instead of hiding, turn your attention to that which makes you feel good. When you do that, when you take care of yourself, suddenly everything will glow a little brighter, and you'll be on your way.

It takes time. It takes effort. But if you keep believing you deserve to feel better, than you can feel better, then you will. I bought a Christmas tree the first weekend in December this year. I had fun decorating it. I even smile at people on the street. Yes, everything isn't totally hunky dory, but I'm doing okay this year. And it feels good! If I'm doing this well now, imagine how fantastic I'll feel when I pour the eggnog over my head?

You. Can. Do. It.

And damn, it feels good when you do. Trust me, I know.

Happy puppy day. Happy art day. Happy change-the-oil day. Happy whatever-it-is-that-makes-you-happy day. That's the holiday you should be celebrating. Seriously.

SBB: You definitely said it right!! This time of year can bring up so many emotions and pressure. For our followers we wish you the best – and take Stephanie’s advice, do what makes YOU happy! A BIG Thank you to Stephanie for coming on and I know this post put a smile on my face as I read it and I’m ready to finish tackling what’s on my plate this weekend. Taking things one at a time and filtering out the drama are on my board to push me forward.

Known for her fun, unique, adventurous reads, it’s safe to say you won’t be disappointed with anything by Stephanie Rowe. Check out Stephanie’s latest – The Feel Good Life – just starting it here. Below see her latest romance – Touch if You Dare.

The Feel Good Life
I've been there.

I know what it's like to feel as if life is bearing down so hard and so ruthlessly that you can't take another step. I know what it's like to fall into bed at night and wish that a miracle would come, only to wake up in the morning and discover everything is still the same.

I also know what it's like to grit my teeth and shout, "I won't give up!"

We all deserve to feel better. We all deserve to feel relief instead of stress, misery or worry. We all deserve to feel the tension ease from our body and to breathe a little more easily.

Here's the thing: we can feel better. Bit by bit, little by little, we can start to get a grip on the storm that life is throwing at us. We can feel energy return to our bodies and our minds, we can feel a smile starting to build in our hearts, and we can start to feel alive and hopeful again.

This book is the collection of essays I wrote during some of those tough times, ideas that stopped my freefall and helped me redirect. People I've shared these with have sent me letters of hope and relief, finding peace for themselves within these pages. I hope they can help others. You, your kids, your best friend, anyone who needs a hand (isn't that all of us sometimes?).

You deserve to feel better. Don't give up. Fight for it. Starting right now.

Touch if You Dare
He's just about the hottest warrior she's ever seen...

Reina Fleming really appreciates a man who's on a mission-especially when he's a badass warrior doing his best to impress her. And Jarvis is charmed by the way Reina's magic touch can soothe his dark side.

But when Jarvis's attention puts her job, her home, and her family in danger, Reina has to decide whether love is worth the price...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amy & Jennifer! Thank you so much for having me! I'm so happy to be here. Happy holidays! :)