Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Friday Blog Hop: Giving Thanks for Reading and Other Blessings

All of my life I've been a compulsive reader. I remember getting in trouble in second grade for reading a book in class instead of paying attention to the teacher. I didn't learn my lesson because I continued to sneak books whenever class was boring--and since I have a masters degree and a Ph.D, I had plenty of opportunities.

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, "Put that book away and do ..." I'd be rich. :)

Even today, I was getting ready to take a shower, waiting for the water to heat up, combing out my hair and reading my Kindle, which I'd set on the bathroom counter. (Isn't great how you can set an ereader down and can read it without holding it in your hands?) My boyfriend popped his head in the doorway to ask me a question and had to make a comment. "You're even reading now?" He doesn't get it. He's not a reader, poor guy. We're kindred spirits in many ways, but not with books. He doesn't know what he's missing.

In counting my blessings this week, I thought of the thousands of authors I've read. I've reread my favorites many times. My books overflow my house, my office, and my boyfriend's house. I even have a library in my house, but can't fit all my books on the shelves. Thank you to every author whose book I've enjoyed. You've enriched my life beyond what I can express in words. I know how much work it is to write a book. A piece of your life goes into every one. Many of you had to go through many difficulties to write your book(s) and get it published. I'm so glad you persisted.

I still buy paper books, but do so less and less. I'm reading more books on my Kindle and having a great time discovering other wonderful self-published authors. I'm probably saving a lot of money for self-published books are usually a LOT less expensive than traditionally published ones. However, if I already have an author's series, I'll continue to purchase matching paper (or hardback) books.

I'm thankful for my Kindle. I love it. It's so much easier to carry around with me because I always have a book in my purse, car, briefcase, etc. I know many people grumble that they'd never use an ereader. If they say that to me, I'll pull out my Kindle and show it to them, including how it works. That seems to change the person's mind, and he or she tells me that maybe....

I especially love the light that's installed in the cover so I can read at night without turning on a lamp. The other night, I read on my way home. (I wasn't driving.) Usually I can't read in the car because I get carsick. But darkness hid the blur out the windows (which is what's supposed to make you sick) and I could read just fine.

I'm thankful for self-publishing. My two series (starting with Wild Montana Sky and Sower of Dreams) have done really well. I've been able to cut back on my private psychotherapy practice and the corporate crisis counseling and write more. (I'm hoping to have Stormy Montana Sky out in a few weeks.)

I'm thankful for Amazon because they've created a platform that allows self-published ebooks to thrive. Because of them, four books that I'd written years ago (and my agents couldn't sell because they didn't fit the New York market) have found readers--about 32,000 readers in 7 months. My sales at Barnes & Noble are picking up, so I'm grateful for them too. I'll also add Smashwords to my blessings list. :)

I'm thankful for my friends who also write. They have supported, educated, prodded, and entertained me.

I'm thankful for Romance Writers of America (RWA) and for my local chapter (Orange County Chapter) and my online chapters--Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal, Hearts Through History, and Scriptscene. I'm the writer I am today because of them. But I'm also thankful that there are many other writers organizations that help their members become better writers and promoters. I get to benefit because they write and sell better books.

I'm thankful for editors, whether or not they make their living through editing. They make my books better. They also make other people's books better.

Most of all, I'm thankful for READERS! Whether you're reading my blogs or my books (or both) you're making it all possible. I'm so very grateful!

I'm giving away a free book (via a Smashwords coupon) to one lucky commenter on my blog on Black Friday. This is your chance to win Sower of Dreams. Good luck!

After commenting, hop on over to Jane Wakley's blog, where she'll be giving out a journal, pen, and bookmark.


  1. Recently, I picked up the first print book I'd read in quite a while (I, too, am a Kindle junkie). I fumbled with the back cover for about 15 seconds before I remembered there are no booklights built into print books! Talk about a middle-aged moment!

  2. Inspiring! I am thankful for your can-do attitude!

  3. Debra, you have such an interesting background. Nice post. I fixed the link on my blog to come to your blog.

  4. Thanks, Patricia

    I appreciate the fix, Ann.

  5. I'm so glad you're writing more! I haven't gone the self-pub route, but may do that with the shorter category romances I wrote that didn't sell. Hope you have a terrific weekend!

  6. I want to put all my favorite books onto my kindle but sadly some aren't available that way yet! Then I can read them anywhere, anytime. I'll keep some of the paper ones for the covers and the memories. Nice post!

  7. I've always been a voracious reader & I love that ebooks are so much cheaper & easier to cart around. I never have to worry that I'll finish the book I brought with me & have nothing else to read if I'm stuck in a doctors office waiting room too long. I've got several months of my TBR list already loaded on my eReader. However, since discovering online blog hops, my books to buy list has serious growth issues. I'm adding new books to the list way faster than I can afford to buy them.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at

  8. I'd rather be reading than most other things as well. Good blog.

  9. Christine,

    I've always been writing, just not fiction. I mostly gave up on fiction when my agents couldn't sell my "sweet" books. I do have a traditional nonfiction that has recently come out--The Essential Guide to Grief and Grieving. However, self-publishing has reawakened my love of writing fiction and I'm having fun with the next book in the series, and I'm jotting down ideas for many more!

    Catherine, I'm keeping my favorites instead of loading them on my Kindle because I couldn't bear to get rid of them. Although I did load Pride and Prejudice because it was free.

    Kathryn, isn't that wonderful. I love having so many choices and not worrying about running out of book.

    Chelle, I could happily read my life away.

  10. Only readers and/or a readers-turned-writers understand the addiction. I'm a latter and live for a great read, but even more so, to create one of my own.

    Nice post!

  11. Lovely post, Debra! Lots to give thanks for this year! I'm a reader who's also thankful for having LOTS to read this year! Thanks for giving us an enjoyable way to spend time this weekend!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  12. Dr. Holland,

    I'm thankful to authors like you who give us the opportunity to be able to learn more about you through these blog tours. I'm also thankful that because of you authors your giving me the courage to try writing when I would have never thought of before.
    I'm also thankful that I've have met and have become friends with some of the best writers I've ever knew.

    Thank you for all that you all give us each and everyday with the stories that you write.

    Teresa K.
    tcwgrlup41(at)yahoo dot com

  13. You're not alone in your addiction, Debra. Favorite books are like old friends. You never want to let them go! I say thank goodness for these ereaders. I'm finally clearing out space in my house that used to be overrun with books that are now on my Nook.

    Enjoy your weekend.

    Lisa Mondello

  14. It's true. Non readers just don't understand. I always have a book on hand. :)

  15. Ladies, it's nice to share with fellow reading addicts! :)

    Theresa, good luck with your writing!

  16. I loved your post and I LOVE my Kindle. Sometimes I forget I'm not actually holding a book and will try to turn the page. LoL. I've discovered a lot of new to me authors, reading some authors I've met online. Oh yeah, having a Kindle has streamlined my shelves, but I still love the smell of a book.

  17. wlynnchantale,

    I have so loved discovering other self-published authors. I have a whole bunch of new favs. :)

  18. Your list is great. I am newly self-published and I am thankful for the opportunity venues like Createspace and Smashwords provide. I held out for a long time but recently fell in love with the Kindle on a trip to Mexico. They make so much sense for travel.

    I've actually never read a romance novel. I think I will give yours a try!

  19. Thanks, fullsoulahead! I hope you like it. Best of luck with your self-publishing.

    I love my Kindle for traveling. Don't have to take several books. (And buy more on the trip.)