I absolutely LOVE today’s guest, and I finally got to chat with her in person at ACFW. Such a treat! Today, the always wonderful Tina Radcliffe talks about why we should step outside of our reading comfort zone – and her new release Christmas With the Cowboy (that cover! swoon!)
Home for the holidays
A second chance at love on Big Heart Ranch
Former navy SEAL Zach Norman has been avoiding his ranching roots—and the woman he couldn’t have.
Back to visit his brother’s widow, Emma Maxwell Norman, and her adorable toddler twins, the bah-humbug cowboy is roped into helping prepare the ranch for the holidays.
Working side by side, can Emma and Zach overcome their troubled past…and receive the greatest Christmas gift of all—love?
A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tina Radcliffe is an RWA Honor Roll member, a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, and three time ACFW Carol Award nominee. She is a 2018 ACFW Mentor of the Year recipient and a 2018 Carol Award finalist. Her 10th book for Harlequin released in October of 2018. In addition to novel length fiction, Tina has sold over two dozen short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. A former library cataloger, Tina is frequent presenter on writing topics and an online instructor. She currently resides in Arizona, where she writes fun, heartwarming romance. Visit her on the web at https://www.tinaradcliffe.com/
Step Outside of Your Reading Comfort Zone
How many books have you read this year? Do you count? Track them? I don’t, although before I sold a book I did document my reads in a journal.
How do you read? Like a runner, pacing yourself? Do you flip one page after the other, reading with methodical endurance, your eye on the prize which is a satisfying THE END?
As for me, I read a chapter before bed on a daily basis. Something that won’t keep me awake, but will fuel peaceful sleep. My big reads and suspenseful reads are scheduled in-between major writing projects. These big read opportunities are gorged in abandon. When I do this, it is with no regard for time or space or sleep for that matter. I tend to get hooked and read an entire backlist in a week. Seriously, I read the majority of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series in two weeks.
What about you?
I think it’s fair to say that we all have different reading styles and we pretty much stick to that pattern. It’s…comfortable, and meets our expectations and needs. Oh, occasionally, if the mood or situation requires, we grab a “keeper” from the bookshelf to relive a particular emotion. But, in general we tend to be creatures of reading habit. Correct?
Today, I’m going to suggest that we do something new with our reading life. Read outside of our comfort zone.
Reading outside our comfort zone allows us to get lost in our travels. It means that we get on the bus and get off at destination unknown. Remember when you were brave enough to do that? When someone gave you a book and you were so grateful to have your very own book that you opened the cover and started? There was no perusing the back copy to decide if this was the read for your taste.
Nope, you jumped in without a life vest.
I challenge you to go back to that first naïve reader you once were. The one who gave every book a chance without filtering your reading based on the genre, subgenre, author, cover, blurb or reviews.
The library is actually a great place to do this. Here’s a fun game I used to play. I’d wander into areas of the unknown and peruse the shelves, relying solely on the cover and the title and maybe, if I could not resist, the book jacket.
No, not the shelves the librarians set out to lure you to read the month’s display or the bestsellers or the staff picks.
Go to the children’s department.
Or the YA section.
And even deep into the unknown jungle of …
THE FICTION STACKS.
Before I went to work in a library as a page and then a cataloger, I actually had no idea what the stacks were.
“In library science and architecture, a stack or book stack (often referred to as a library building’s stacks) is a book storage area, as opposed to a reading area.”-Wikipedia
Another great way to find a book that takes you outside of your comfort zone is to ask friends. Don’t ask them what they’re reading, ask them what they read that was a surprise. A challenge. A book that grabbed them by the shoulders and was a real wake-up call.
Trust me on this. If you hang with your besties all the time, you won’t meet anyone new, and there is a big world of reads out there waiting for you to find them.
Today’s challenge to you is to post in the comments. I want to know what you’ve read in the last year that was outside your usual discerning and very discriminating selection that you are willing to recommend to other readers.
This post has a roundabout tie-in to my new release. The hero in Christmas with the Cowboy has distasteful memories associated with Christmas. The heroine must convince him to be open to the possibilities and to create new memories. Of course, when he does, change occurs, filling him with the joy of the season and a forever love. Ahh! I love happy endings. I hope you do too.
What about you? Are you willing to open yourself up to new memories associated with finding a brilliant new read you normally would not pick up? Tell me about it. One commenter will win a journal and an ecopy of Christmas with the Cowboy. If you are an international reader, you will receive an Amazon gift card and Christmas with the Cowboy.
Happy reading and early Merry Christmas!
Tina Radcliffe is giving away a journal and an ecopy of Christmas with the Cowboy to one of my readers (If international winner you will receive an Amazon gift card and Christmas with the Cowboy) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter by answering the question Tina asked in her post (listed again below):
I want to know what you’ve read in the last year that was outside your usual discerning and very discriminating selection that you are willing to recommend to other readers.