Archive for September, 2008

It’s official!

Debbie Macomber has totally smashed her 30,000 word writing goal for September! Debbie has written 37,908.

Check out her blog on the subject! Go Debbie and thanks for being our Pacesetter Author!

How many of you met or exceeded your goal this month?


September 30, 2008 at 10:58 pm

$600 to go!!

I think I can do the math in my head:  $600 = 30 x $20

That’s right. Thirty, twenty dollar donations will get us to our goal! If you have been waiting to make a donation, now is the time. Simply click here to go to our event page. Click “Donate” and fill out the form. We are on our way to $10,000!

If you prefer,  make a check payable to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and mail to:

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

2990 Cahill Main
Madison, WI 53711

Be sure to mark Unleash Your Story on the check so that your donation is credited to our event!

September 29, 2008 at 2:53 pm

The Organized Reader


The Book Exchange

Welcome, guest blogger Annette, owner of The Book Exchange stores in Port Clinton and Freemont, Ohio.

I frequently have customers complaining that they have no idea which books
they’ve read anymore, or that they have picked up a copy of a book that they
already had at home.  When asked if I could contribute to this blog my immediate thought was perhaps I could help some of you to organize your book/reading lists.  Making it easier for you to keep track of your reading.

First things first, you can’t organize unless you know what you have.  So you’ll need to start by organizing your library at home.  At my home (and
the stores) I first separate my books into genre/category.  I have one bookshelf for my classics, another for romance, and another for general fiction/mystery etc. I then place them alphabetically by Author, then by
title or series (yes, I am that obsessive).  It is a great way to figure out what you have at a glance, as well as quickly allowing you to see what you still need.  This obviously won’t help you to remember books you may have read that are not in your collection, but it’s a step in the right direction!

There are many things you can do when it comes to actually taking an “inventory” of what you read.  There are free Book Inventory programs all over the Internet.  They are a great way of keeping stock of your actual
inventory at home.  Some even have the capability to list the person that you loaned it too.  You don’t really need to get that in-depth however; all I do is keep a simple spreadsheet document.  You can add sheets, one sheet per Author.  Label the tab with the Authors name, make a column for the title, and a simple X next to the title will tell you if you’ve read it or not.  You even have the ability to add more information about the
book/series, special notes to yourself, who you loaned it to. You can put as much as or as little information as you want into your spreadsheet.

Finally you’ll need to get a list of your Authors books.  The great thing about the Internet is that you literally have the world at your fingertips!

For any Author that you want to read or have read you’ll be able to find a list of their books online.  Most Authors put a full list on their websites, even breaking them down by series (bless them!).  Simply copy and past into your spreadsheet, or enter the books into your program and your list is ready to go!  Print a copy for your wallet or purse and whenever you take a jaunt to the bookstore, you’ll know exactly what you need or don’t need!

September 27, 2008 at 6:42 am 1 comment

Reading: It Doesn’t not do a Body Good

Welcome guest blogger Michelle Buonfiglio, host of Romance B(u)y the Book and super reader.

Michelle Buonfiglio

Michelle Buonfiglio

Ask readers why they’re addicted to the written word and you’ll often get the same answer my fellow writers offer when asked “why write”:  We simply can’t not do it.  Awkwardly phrased, that one, but easily understood.  Similarly understood by the word-obsessed is the idea that reading is good for us.  But can we really say for certain why?

Back in February, the “Why is reading good for you?” thread posted at garnered some interesting answers from young people.  Some were the ones one might expect.  Reading, they said…

“Can lead to a wider outlook on life, increased general knowledge, greater imagination.”
Improves or increases vocabulary.”

“Suggests good spelling and grammar usage.”  Commenters also stated some benefits of reading I hadn’t thought of…

”It gives you somewhere to store your bookmarks.”

“Gives you something to do when you have no life.”

Ouch.  I’ll admit I had thought of that one, as well as this one, especially when dealing with “literary types” who aren’t romance fans…

“[Reading] allows you to condescend to anyone who hasn’t read the same books as you.”

Finally, this comment reminds me a lot of what women who read romance often say about their choice in fiction…

“I read ideas/views on human nature/behaviour that I have thought before but never heard anyone speak about or never ventured to mention myself. It has the effect of making me feel a little less weird.”

That a person can zip around the Internet and find a universality of reasons for appreciation of reading is kind of amazing.  But does that prove reading is good for us?

Well, readers remark all the time – and I whole-heartedly-and-bodily agree — that reading romance feels good.  Is that feeling quantifiable?  I’d like to think so.  First, researchers have found that smiling – which we do often while reading romance — releases into the body serotonin and endorphins, the so-called “Happiness Hormones.”

Next, most readers I know say their bodies feel good when they read romance.  And just about everybody agrees that sexual arousal and expression do a body good.
Finally, what brings a smile to one’s face more easily than a little sexual arousal mixed with Happily Ever After (HEA)?

There you have it.  Reading romance is good for you!  So, um, don’t not do it.
Michelle Buonfiglio hosts Romance: B(u)y the Book at Lifetime Television’s She’s captain of the UYS TEAM RBTB.  Michelle is a kidney transplant recipient who reads only HEAs — because life is too short and too precious to invite negative karma.

September 24, 2008 at 6:01 am 17 comments

Heading for our goal!

We have eight days left to reach our $10,000 goal and only $2,100 left to go. That translates into about $16 for each of us. If we each find two friends to donate $10 each by September 30 we will surpass our goal.

130 fantastic participants x $20 = $2600

Don’t wait–e-mail two friends today! If we all work together we can reach our goal!

September 23, 2008 at 4:06 am

Help us make our goal!

Click above to donate!

September 20, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Discovering your passion

Welcome guest blogger Wendy Crutcher. The fiction buyer for a large southern California library system, Wendy has been blogging for the past five years at  The Misadventures of Super Librarian.

When you’re a librarian, people assume that you love to read. This is an easy and safe assumption to make, because frankly, who has ever met a librarian who doesn’t like to read?Librarians come to the profession from a variety of different paths. Some of those reasons might be the desire for a change in career, to work with children, or because they’ve been bitten by the research bug. Me? I chose librarianship because I knew I wouldn’t be good at anything else. Because for me, walking into a library, being surrounded by books, is like coming home.

The act of reading means different things to different people, but for me, it’s always been a comfort. When I walk into a library, looking at those rows upon rows of books, I see nothing but possibilities. There in front of me lies the whole world, and it is right at my fingertips. I can go wherever I want to go, do whatever I want to do, and be whoever I want to be. I am no longer tied down to my reality. Books, all those endless possibilities, give me the freedom to explore a reality outside of my own.

When I’m having a bad day, or need to get away from it all, I head for books. I find the nearest bookstore or library, wander about aimlessly, and browse to my heart’s content. And if getting away from it all isn’t a possibility? I wander back to my own book shelves, and “play.” I read back covers, reorganize my shelves, and once again fall in love with all of the options that books have to offer.

I love books and reading, and by conjunction, I love authors. They give me a world outside of my own. They take me to a place that is better, truer, and stronger. If I listen real closely, I can hear that book whispering to me that everything will be alright. Life is tough. Life is hard. But there’s a silver lining waiting for you. You just have to work hard and be patient.

I want to share that feeling, that passion, with other people who so desperately need to hear that whisper. Books and reading are my passion. I can’t imagine my life without either.

Wendy Crutcher

September 19, 2008 at 5:50 am 8 comments

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In 2008, Unleash Your Story raised $11,366 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Our 2009 goal is $23,000. Dollars Raised
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Pacesetter Author

Lori Wilde is our 2009 Pacesetter Author.

Lori has sold 47 books to 4 major New York publishers--5 books coming out in 2009. She's prolific and dedicated to writing regularly to keep up with all those deadlines!

Lori promises to set a sizzling pace for all our writers to follow! Her goal for the event is 60,000 words!

To learn more about Lori, visit her Pacesetter Page

Michelle Buonfiglio Pacesetter Reader

We are proud to have Michelle Buonfiglio as our 2009 Pacesetter Reader.

Michelle hosts Barnes &’s new “Heart to Heart” (H2H) daily romance fiction blog and is the creative force behind (RBTB), a fun and positive place where readers and writers hang to talk love, sex, family, life -- and, of course, romance novels

Michelle's goals are to read 10,000 pages and write 10,000 words in her blogs and comments.

To learn more about Michelle, visit her Pacesetter Page